Pure Cocoa Extract Review
Lose Weight With the Power of Pure Cocoa
Is it possible for cocoa to help you shed all of those extra pounds?
It is a well-known fact that cocoa contains numerous vitamins and nutrients that are pivotal for good health. In fact, this unique food has sometimes even been referred to as a ‘nutritional powerhouse’. Pure Cocoa has been linked to quite a few different health benefits, with one of the most famous being weight loss.
Out of all of the different natural weight loss remedies that experts have ever looked into and tested, cocoa is one of the only ones that has proven to be successful. Now, you may be wondering to yourself, ‘How exactly can cocoa make me lose weight?” Read on, and you will find the answer to this question in the article below.
What Is Cocoa?
What Exactly are we referring to when we say ‘Cocoa’?
The term ‘cocoa’ is in reference to a very specific item: the ingredient that is used to make the infamous and beloved candy product known as chocolate. This low-fat super food comes in many different forms, with two of the most common being either a solid or a powder.
The cocoa bean, which is scientifically referred to as the seeds of the Theobroma cacao, is generally dried and then converted into these solids or powders.
Cocoa can vary widely in regards to color, texture, and appearance, and this fact is mainly due to differences in pH levels. If cocoa powder is only slightly acidic, it will appear to be light brown. In contrast, if cocoa powder is slightly basic, it will take on a dark brown color. The more basic cocoa powder is, the darker the color then becomes. In some instances, the powder can even wind up appearing dark red or black.
The most nutritional part of the classic cocoa plant is the raw cocoa bean. It is jam packed with over 300 different phytochemicals that are pivotal for good health and a long life. Some of these phytochemicals include sodium, potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus, just to name a few. Additionally, raw cocoa also contains theobromine and caffeine.
However, these are not the only compounds that serve to make cocoa a major super food that enables all sorts of individuals to lose weight. Cocoa also contains numerous types of amino acids that are vital for good health. It is full of compounds that increase the amount of serotonin within the body, which is an important neurotransmitter that helps to improve ones mood, aid with sleep, and increase the efficiency of the body while completing vital bodily functions.
Serotonin is not the only neurotransmitter that cocoa increases, however. It also boosts the production of dopamine, which is an important brain chemical that helps to control attention spans, increase one’s memory, and increase an individual’s mental focus.
And, as if all of this isn’t already enough, it is believed that cocoa is one of the natural foods that contain the most antioxidants. This amazing ingredient truly is powerful.
Even foods that are infamous for their antioxidant content, such as red wine and green tea, don’t stand a chance when placed in comparison of cocoa. When comparing numbers of antioxidants, there is simply no other fruit or vegetable that has been found that contains more than cocoa.
Cocoa’s Flavonoid Content
The main reason why cocoa does provide so many different health benefits is because it has such a high content of flavonoids.
In cocoa, there are six different major types of phenolic compounds. The most important of these phenolic compounds is flavanols, which are related to flavonoids.
Cocoa’s flavonoid content can vary greatly depending on how the cocoa is processed and what form it is in. But, at its highest, flavonoids can be up to 10 percent of the weight of foods that are made from cocoa. This percentage is very high, and there is no other known food like it.
You’re probably wondering what the big fuss over flavonoids is anyway. Well, flavonoids are known for having lots of antioxidants, being anti-inflammatory, and containing anti-platelet properties. They have the ability to improve the body’s resistance to insulin, reduce one’s blood pressure, and improve the quality of an individual’s lipid profile. And this is just the work of flavonoids alone!
There are many different types of flavanols, but the two major ones that are found in cocoa are known as epicatechins and catechins.
When raw cocoa is alkalized and thus turned into products such as chocolate, the charges of both epicatechins and catechins are thus reversed. When the charges are reversed, these flavanols become much more difficult to be absorbed into the body.
Because of this fact, raw cocoa is much better for the body than processed cocoa that has become more basic. It allows for flavanols to be better absorbed, and the quality of the compounds found within it are not degraded.
Quercetin and its metabolites are also found within cocoa, and they are affected similarly when cocoa becomes alkalized.
What Cocoa can do for your Health
A common misconception that people tend to have is that because chocolate is made of cocoa, chocolate and cocoa thus have the exact same effects on the body.
However, this is not true in the slightest. Raw cocoa has many more health benefits, and it is much better for you.
The main reason why raw cocoa is so much healthier than processed cocoa is because raw cocoa has not gone through alkalization, and therefore retains all of its major compounds and flavonoids in their purest forms. In contrast, processed cocoa is considered to be ‘degraded’.
If raw cocoa provides a specific health benefit, alkalized cocoa, or chocolate, may do so as well, but to a much lesser degree. Similarly, because most chocolate contains either milk or other diary products, the flavonoids are further suppressed.
Many studies have even proven that milk can prevent the body’s absorption of flavonoids altogether. This renders the flavonoids virtually useless, and prevents numerous health benefits from occurring.
Pure Cocoa Extract Research
There have been quite a few different studies completed in order to show the health benefits of cocoa, but one study stands out in particular. This set of experiments was meant to discover if there are any long-term health benefits from using raw cocoa, and if so, what they are.
The way that this experiment was conducted was quite simple. Researchers compared the health of the Kuna Indians of Panama, which is a civilization that is infamous for consuming raw cocoa daily, against individuals who lived on the mainland and barely consumed raw cocoa.
Studies showed that the Kuna Indians were far less likely to suffer from both heart disease and cancer than individuals on the mainland were.
By consuming raw cocoa every single day, the Kuna Indians had better blood circulation, were faster at learning, and had much sharper memories.
Also, because flavonoids have anti-platelet properties, they help to prevent blood clots from forming, and ensure that blood vessels are nice and clear. Similarly, because flavonoids contain such high levels of oleic acid, they also boost the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol that is found within the body.
Another study was also published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. These experiments compared the effects of raw cocoa against green and black tea, and it was found that the former was able to reduce blood pressure while the latter were not.
Additionally, the Archives of Internal Medicine also published its own study which showed that males that consumed raw cocoa each day were 50 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular related illnesses, and 47 percent less likely to die from other generic health problems.
Lose Weight With Cocoa
Raw cocoa contains two main compounds that some believe are vital for successful weight loss: theobromine and caffeine. Each of these is a thermogenic agent that has long been considered the Holy Grail for dieters, and there are high concentrations of them within cocoa beans. However, they are not the only reason that cocoa is so effective in regards to weight loss.
In fact, some people are not even sure if theobromine and caffeine are as effective as people claim them to be. Some weight loss products contain each of these compounds, but others forgo them altogether. Studies vary in regards to how effective they are, and a definitive conclusion has yet to be reached.
However, this does not mean that the potential effects of theobromine and caffeine should ever be discredited. It is still believed that when this duo is combined, they can stifle appetites, help get rid of pesky water weight, and even burn off stored fat that you never believed could ever leave your body.
Cocoa can accomplish all of these weight loss benefits, as well as many more.
Adiponectin, Cholesterol, and Cocoa
As we stated earlier, studies have shown that cocoa has positive effects on the body’s cholesterol levels and lipid profiles. Cocoa’s flavonoids work to increase the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol while stifling the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol.
In fact, John Hopkins completed a study that showed that after two weeks of cocoa consumption, HDL levels increased by 9 percent while LDL levels decreased by 6 percent.
Additionally, cocoa also prevented the LDL that was produced from harming the blood vessels, and it increased the Apo A-1 protein and PON-paraoxanase levels that are found within the body.
PON-paraoxanase is an antioxidant enzyme that is vital for good health, while Apo A-1 protein clears out the cholesterol that blocks up arteries.
The clearing up of arteries is one way that the flavanols in cocoa help to cure obesity and spur weight loss, but it is by no means the only way.
Another main way that the flavanols aid in dieting is by increasing the amount of adiponectin that is produced within the body.
Adiponectin is simply a type of hormone that is released from adipose tissue, which is otherwise known as fat. It is considered to also be a protein, and it is released into the bloodstream. The more adiponectin that an adult has within his or her bloodstream, the smaller the percentage of their body fat is.
This hormone is pivotal for reducing an individual’s risk of suffering from obesity, atherosclerosis, and most types of diabetes. The reason that adiponectin is able to prevent these health issues from occurring is because it is able to regulate glucose levels, how the body interacts with insulin, and the processing of fatty acids.
At this moment in time, it is still unclear how exactly adiponectin works. Scientists and researchers are constantly looking for further information that will help explain the processes that this hormone undergoes. However, the results of this compound have clearly shown that weight loss is a direct result of it working within the body. It positively affects bodily functions that are controlled by the brain, and it increases the efficiency of the body’s metabolism.
Additionally, adiponectin is also oftentimes combined with a protein known as leptin, as they both work well in conjunction.
The Relation Between Gene Expression and Cocoa
Many years ago, a study established that there was a direct connection between the consumption of cocoa and weight loss in rats. The rats that were partaking in the experiment underwent a severe decrease of visceral adipose tissue, and they lost substantial amounts of fat. In 2005, the science journal known as Nutrition decided to add onto this study and discover the effects that had previously occurred in regards to biochemical and genetic mechanisms.
This new study involved the use of 2 different rat groups. For the duration of the experiment, each group was fed unhealthy foods that were high in fat, but only one group was also fed cocoa.
Once the study had gone on for 21 days, the specimens were evaluated. The researchers looked at the rats’ body weight, triglyceride levels, and amount of adipose tissue. Additionally, the scientists also used gene chips to determine gene expressions within the rats’ livers and adipose tissues.
It was the determined that the rats that consumed cocoa daily weighed less, had less adipose tissue in their bodies, and also had less serum triacylglycerol.
Once the researchers analyzed the results from the gene chips, they also found that the genes that were responsible for the production of fatty acids and adipose tissue were suppressed and prevented from working at their full potential. At the same time, the cocoa also helped to speed up many different thermogenic factors that are known for enabling weight loss.
A Link Between Cocoa and Digestive Enzymes
A more recent study by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which was completed in the year 2011, investigated the effects that three different types of cocoa had on three different enzymes that are pivotal for the body’s metabolism and accumulation of fat. These three different enzymes are known as alpha amylase, pancreatic lipase, and phospholipase.
The different cocoa extracts that were used were regular cocoa, Lavado, and Dutch-processed.
Out of these different types of cocoa, the one that is the least processed is Lavado. Lavado cocoa is simply washed, rather than being processed and fermented, which means that its flavonoids are left virtually untouched and many of its compounds have not been degraded.
In contrast, Dutch-processed cocoa has very few flavonoids and natural weight loss compounds. While it is being processed, it goes through alkalization, which is why it retains so few of its nutrients.
The study found that Lavado cocoa was the most effective at inhibiting these different enzymes, while Dutch-processed cocoa was the opposite. Thus, Lavado cocoa was the most efficient type of cocoa for weight loss.
What Exactly Does This Mean for Chocolate?
Chocolate is by far one of the most processed foods that contain high levels of cocoa. It is made up of a mixture of non-fat cocoa beans and high fat butter, which thus severely reduces the anti-oxidant levels of the entire concoction. In comparison to cocoa, chocolate is not nearly as powerful.
The main issue with chocolate is that the production process tends to degrade many of the healthy compounds that are found in cocoa.
Additionally, chocolate can also be very unhealthy, as it contains high amounts of fat, sugar, and calories. So, even if chocolate does retain any of the health benefits from the cocoa, they are canceled out by these facts. The type of chocolate that is closest to raw cocoa is dark chocolate, as it is not as fatty and has many flavonoids in comparison to milk chocolate.
Although chocolate is very different than cocoa, it is important to note that it still does have some weight loss properties.
This shows just how amazing and potent cocoa is, as its health benefits are oftentimes much strongeer than the unhealthy aspects of chocolate.
Many studies have shown over the years that the regular consumption of chocolate has the ability to reduce an individual’s BMI. A steady consumption, rather than binging, is a much healthier option.