Is it true?
Chocolate – without the sugar – is a Health Food
Theobroma Cacao. When chocolate companies – including us – quote this “God Food” name for cacao, are we using nomenclature to give chocolate products a health halo? The answer is yes and no. Cacao, by any standard, is indeed a superfood. We’re excited to share the health beneﬁts of organic cacao, which are quite spectacular. Almost every chocolate product on the market combines this superfood with ingredients that render chocolate a net drag on health – sugar or unhealthy, artificial sweeteners. By excluding these, we allow the medicinal properties of delicious chocolate to shine through. We give you – finally – chocolate that is genuinely healthy and still sweet!
Chocolate can help
Reduce risk of Chronic Diseases
Chocolate can reduce the risk of Multiple Chronic Diseases and has Benefits for Cardiovascular, Skin, Metabolic and Mental Health!
In addition to the high levels of longevity-promoting polyphenols, cacao actually has clinical applications for prevention and amelioration of many chronic diseases. Cacao polyphenols improve endothelial function, nitric oxide synthesis and have anti-inﬂammatory effects, improving blood pressure, cardiovascular health and protecting against heart disease (i). Cacao also has anti-inﬂammatory beneﬁcial impacts on intestinal health (ii). Studies indicate that via epigenetic mechanisms, cacao reduces visceral fat, improves satiety, improves lipid markers (lowers oxidised low-density lipoprotein (LDL), reduces triglycerides and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL)) and reduces cardiovascular disease risk (iii).
Cacao’s anti-inﬂammatory effects and ﬂavonoids have been studied in the central nervous system, demonstrating its neuroprotective effects, including within Alzheimer’s disease research (iv, v). Cacao also provides significant benefits to skin health, via its antioxidant properties and phytonutrients, with great potential and already clinical application in treating and preventing skin diseases and protecting skin (vi). Dark chocolate appears to benefit those with Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome by contributing to reduced oxidative stress, improved insulin sensitivity and reducing cardiovascular disease risks (vii). While sugar consumption causes and exacerbates metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes, without the sugar, chocolate is an excellent food for those seeking to reverse these conditions. While sugar causes and exacerbates health conditions, cacao itself benefits them and enhances health.
Chocolate and your Mitochondria
Mitochondria are the energy-generating and fat-burning powerhouses of our cells. A nutrient called pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) has been found to both protect mitochondria from oxidative damage and stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis (the growth of new mitochondria). Evidence demonstrates that PQQ is so important – for growth, immune system function, reproductive performance, lipid and energy metabolism, skin and collagen renewal – that it is starting to be considered a vitamin: an essential nutrient that we cannot make and must get from food. Improving mitochondrial energy production is key to healing and optimising health and longevity.
Human Breast Milk
Fermented Soybeans (Natto)
Know, Lee (2018) ‘Mitochondria and the future of medicine: the key to understanding disease, chronic illness, aging and life itself’, Chelsea Green Publishing, p. 159
PQQ may be both a key cofactor in Complex 1 of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) while also being anti-inflammatory and protecting from free radicals. PQQ interacts in a beneficial way with a transcriptional coactivator that is involved in regulating energy metabolism genes, muscle fibre type, blood pressure, obesity and protection vs. mitochondrial toxins. Fascinatingly, PQQ appears to be a component of interstellar dust, and it and its derivative IPQ are both widely found in animal and plant tissues. It is uniquely capable of being a catalyst for continuous redox cycling, an important ability given that most bioactive factors usually self-oxidise and cannot be used again in redox reactions. Studies demonstrate that PQQ protects nerve cells from damage and enhances neurogenesis and the formation of new synapses (important for brain health and memory). A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in humans found that 20mg of daily supplemented PQQ enhanced information identification, attention, short-term memory and processing ability in healthy adults. Cacao is the highest food source of PQQ per gram. While many health benefits of cacao have been attributed to other compounds therein (incl. various polyphenols, epicatechin, theobromine, etc.), given its biological function, PQQ could play a central role in the following specific health benefits of cacao: cardiovascular function, neurological and cognitive performance, enhanced exercise and endurance skill and weight-loss benefits (viii).
DELICIOUSNESS can be OBJECTIVE
CHOCOLATE is about DIVING into a SENSORY PLEASURE-TROVE. NOMOSU believes DELICIOUSNESS can be OBJECTIVE.
While we all have our food preferences, there are certain foods that are undeniably and universally pleasurable. Our benchmark is that every mouthful of every NOMOSU product must be objectively, seriously delicious. This is why we regularly run blind tasting panels with chefs, chocolatiers and chocoholics to compare our chocolate with those of other high quality chocolates. We strive to make every NOMOSU chocolate deliver the wow-factor and we continue until this is achieved.
NOMOSU applies blends of organic cacao beans, all from South and Central American regions, where we have found the best quality and characteristics of cacao. The Olmecs and Mayans of Southern Mexico first invented chocolate, consuming it as an invigorating, health-boosting drink. With our partners, we are getting deeper into learning how best to grow and ferment the cacao to enhance the delicious tastes even further, and we are excited to help reveal its enhanced polyphenol-content and health beneﬁts. Cacao differs in taste and properties as much as coffee and wine do, depending on the varieties, cultivation, fermentation, ‘terroir’, drying and toasting methods. There is great scope for exploring and elevating chocolate creation to an even higher art, flavour-wise and health-wise, applying nature’s gifts to their fullest. We are on this.
(i) Magrone, T. et al. (2017), ‘Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Polyphenols: From Biology to Clinical Applications’, Front. Immunol. 8(677)
(ii) ) Pérez-Berezo, T. et al. (2012), ‘Effects of a cocoa diet on an intestinal inflammation in rats’, Exp. Biol. Med. (Maywood) 237(10), pp. 1181–8
(iii) Crescenti, A. et al. (2013) ‘Cocoa Consumption Alters the Global DNA Methylation of Peripheral Leukocytes in Humans with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial.’ PLoS ONE 8(6): e65744
(iv) Cimini, A. et al. (2013) ‘Cocoa Powder Triggers Neuroprotective and Preventive Effects in a Human Alzheimer’s Disease Model by Modulating BDNF Signaling Pathway’, J Cell Biochem. 114(10), pp. 2209–2220
(v) Wang, J. et al. (2014) ‘Cocoa extracts reduce oligomerization of amyloid-β: implications for cognitive improvement in Alzheimer’s disease’, J Alzheimers Dis. 41(2), pp. 643-50
(vi) Scapagnini, G. et al. (2014), ‘Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin health’, Nutrients, 6(8), pp. 3202-3213
(vii) Shah, S.R. et al. (2017) ‘Use of dark chocolate for diabetic patients: a review of the literature and current evidence’, Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, 7(4), pp. 218–221
(viii) Know, Lee (2018) ‘Mitochondria and the future of medicine: the key to understanding disease, chronic illness, aging and life itself’, Chelsea Green Publishing, pp. 154-160