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03 June 20

How can cocoa help us take care of our health?

Based on over 110 years of experience and tradition in cocoa processing, Luker Chocolate has conducted and supported many studies that concur in that chocolate is not only delicious but that many of its components provide health benefits, especially when eaten in high cocoa content and low sugar products. As Hugo Olarte, Science and Research Advisor at Luker Chocolate point out “eating two servings of chocolate powder or one of dark chocolate every day for at least a month can benefit our whole body” (find out more here).

healthy-chocolate

 

Since the 16th century, the ancient inhabitants of America, specifically the Olmecs, Mayas, and Aztecs, already knew about the benefits of cocoa consumption. This knowledge was spread across Europe through manuscripts where its properties were reported to increase the energies of the disheartened, as a weight gain treatment and to improve digestion. Hence, cocoa has long been related to well-being and nutrition, and it is not for nothing that it is considered “the food of the gods”.

 

 

Cocoa contains a mixture of bioactive components that have positive effects on the body.

1)    It helps with skincare and the brain:

As explained in the study Bioactive compounds in cocoa: importance and potential for maintaining skin health cocoa’s antioxidant content supports skincare. The article explains its strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, photoprotective and chemopreventive effects, concluding that the antioxidants found in cocoa protect the skin from the inside by neutralizing oxidative stress, which is a major factor in premature skin aging.

The antioxidants in cocoa also help improve memory functions and learning ability by promoting the creation of new brain cells. The study called Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease, highlights the effect of flavonoids (an antioxidant present in cocoa) and their contribution to protecting against neurodegradation and modulation of neuronal function.

2)    It keeps cholesterol levels healthy:

Cocoa butter is made up of the lipids present in cocoa, or, more specifically, its triglycerides. This is a mixture of three fatty acids: oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. The latter is very special as it is not believed to be a cholesterol-raising fat but, as mentioned by the Advisory Committee on Dietary Guidelines in 2010, one that produces a neutral response.

3)    It reduces the risk of diabetes:

Fibre in chocolate comes from the bean bran which is kept in commercial cocoa products. Most of the fibre in cocoa is insoluble, which is the type of fibre that has been associated with reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also contains soluble fibre, which helps reduce serum cholesterol, and total dietary fibre, which contributes to weight maintenance as concluded in the study “Metabolic effects of consuming dietary fiber and preventing diabetes”, Published in The Journal of Nutrition vol. 138,3 – 2018.

4)    It positively affects the cardiovascular system:

Cocoa contains minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium and calcium, which all help to reduce the risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis. Magnesium, for example, contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscle function, energy metabolism, and protein synthesis. Copper contributes to the normal transport and metabolism of iron, and to children’s growth and development. A study called Cocoa and cardiovascular health also highlights a number of other recent studies that illustrate the beneficial effect of cocoa on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and vascular and platelet function.

 

healthy-chocolate

 

Science has demystified the negative impact of chocolate on the body and has sought answers in the benefits that cocoa has on our health. The relationship between chocolate and health is closer than ever, and is accompanied by studies that conclude that when we have a good diet, which includes cocoa and we accompany that with regular physical exercise, we are giving the body what it needs to stay strong and balanced.

The value of chocolate lies in the balance it provides between its health benefits, and its delightful flavour. In our case, all Luker Chocolate products have the unique flavour and aroma of Colombian Fine Cocoa. Learn the 5 steps that go into creating origin chocolate and discover what is special about our ingredients and finished products.

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