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Your brain on chocolate... 0

In the mid 1970s, psychologist Merrill Elias began tracking the cognitive abilities of more than a thousand people in the state of New York.

The goal was fairly specific: to observe the relationship between people's blood pressure and brain performance. And for decades he did just that, eventually expanding the (MSLS) study to observe other cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, obesity, and smoking. 

There was never an inkling that his research would lead to any sort of discovery about chocolate.

And yet, 40 years later, it seems to have done just that.

Late in the study, Elias and his team had an idea. Why not ask the participants what they were eating too? It wasn't unreasonable to wonder if what someone ate might add to the discussion.

 

Diets, after all, had been shown to affect the risk factors Elias was already monitoring. Plus, they had this large pool of participants at their disposal, a perfect chance to learn a bit more about the decisions people were making about food.

The researchers incorporated a new questionnaire into the sixth wave of their data collection, which spanned the five years between 2001 and 2006 (there have been seven waves in all, each conducted in five year intervals). The questionnaire gathered all sorts of information about the dietary habits of the participants. And the dietary habits of the participants revealed an interesting pattern.

 

"We found that people who eat chocolate at least once a day tend to perform better cognitively," said Elias. "It's significant—it touches a number of cognitive domains."


Others had previously shown that eating chocolate correlated with various positive health outcomes, but few had explored the treat's effect on the brain and behavior, and even fewer had observed the effect of habitual chocolate consumption.

 

This, Crichton knew, was a unique opportunity.

 

Not only was the sample size large—a shade under 1,000 people when the new questionnaire was added—but the cognitive data were perhaps the most comprehensive of any study ever undertaken.

 

The chocolate effect

In the first of two analyses, Crichton, along with Elias and Ala'a Alkerwi, an epidemiologist at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, compared the mean scores on various cognitive tests of participants who reported eating chocolate less than once a week and those who reported eating it at least once a week.

 

They found "significant positive associations" between chocolate intake and cognitive performance, associations which held even after adjusting for various variables that might have skewed the results, including age, education, cardiovascular risk factors, and dietary habits.

 

In scientific terms, eating chocolate was significantly associated with superior "visual-spatial memory and [organization], working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and the mini-mental state examination." 

Why exactly eating chocolate is associated with improved brain function Crichton can't say with absolute certainty. Nor can Elias... But they do have a few ideas.

They know, for instance, that nutrients called flavanols, which are found naturally in cacao, and thus chocolate, seem to have a positive effect on people's brains.


 

In 2014, they concluded that eating the nutrient can "reduce measures of age-related cognitive dysfunction." 

A 2011 study, meanwhile found that cacao flavanols "positively influence psychological processes." 

The suspicion is that eating the nutrient increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn improves a number of its functions.

Experts have known about the wonders of eating chocolate for some time.

And a lot of previous research has shown that there are, immediate cognitive benefits from eating chocolate.

 

  • Stuart Jones

Why do they call chocolate the love drug? 0


For many, Valentine’s Day is the greatest of holidays, because it celebrates love and ardor. One of the most widely offered Valentine’s Day gifts is chocolate.

Chocolate is a complex material possessing numerous compounds, which act upon the brain, producing a sense of delight that no other substance can replicate for you.

Chocolate is surprisingly good for your health, and especially for the heart. Cacao, the primary ingredient in chocolate, is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, a group of protective chemicals found in many plant foods including red wine and tea...


Our interests here concern the enhancement of your mind and mood, and your experience of love.

In this regard, the first two compounds in chocolate to consider are caffeine and theobromine. Caffeine, an alkaloid, is the most widely consumed stimulant on earth.


Taken by adults at a dose of 300 milligrams or less per day, caffeine is safe and beneficial.

 

Chocolate is a modest caffeine source, with a 50 gram piece of dark chocolate yielding between 10 and 60 milligrams of caffeine, as compared with a five ounce cup of coffee, which can yield up to 180 milligrams.

 

Modest amounts of caffeine in chocolate provide a healthy stimulant effect, suitable for consumption by all adults and children, except for the unusually sensitive or hyperactive.According to numerous medical studies, caffeine is beneficial to overall health. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, stimulates the flow of blood in the brain, and increases secretion of the very important neurotransmitter serotonin.

 

Caffeine enhances alertness, facilitates thought formation and decreases fatigue. This alkaloid also improves mood overall, lifts the spirits, and enhances both cardiovascular function and respiration.

 

Theobromine, caffeine’s chemical cousin, occurs at a greater concentration, about 250 milligrams in a 50 gram bar of raw chocolate. Like caffeine, theobromine is a central nervous system stimulant, though it is milder in its effects. Theobromine is a stronger cardiac stimulant than caffeine and not nearly as well studied. This compound has a different chemical structure, and is presumed to possess unique mood enhancing effects.

Chocolate gets right to the heart of sexual pleasure by increasing the brain’s level of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical...

Serotonin plays a major role in positive mood, emotional health, proper sleep and balanced appetite, contributing to numerous behavioral and physiological functions. Decreased serotonin is a well-known factor in cases of depression. Increased brain serotonin promoted by chocolate increases sexual excitation, desire and responsiveness.

 

Women have more serotonin in their systems than men and appear to be more sensitive to chocolate. Chocolate provides a mood boost to women during PMS and menstruation, when serotonin levels are often down. It also puts women in the mood for love. 


Chocolate’s serotonin elevating activity helps to modify mood in positive ways and acts as a sexual sweetener. These serotonin-related effects enhance the sense of closeness between lovers.

 

Probably the most influential love compound in chocolate is PEA, phenethylamine.

 

This chemical, which occurs in chocolate in small quantities, stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of pleasurable opium-like compounds known as endorphins. PEA also potentiates the activity of dopamine, a neurochemical directly associated with sexual arousal and pleasure. PEA acts as a potent antidepressant in both sexes and rises during periods of romance.

 

The giddy, restless feelings that occur when we are in love are due to a great extent to PEA, which significantly increases in the brain at that time, and when we achieve orgasm. Some scientists dismiss this notion, claiming that the PEA in chocolate is metabolized too quickly to produce a significant mood-altering effect, but others disagree. Why else would chocolate be so inextricably intertwined with love and romance?

 

While there are a great many agents in nature which boost libido and enhance sexual function, chocolate alone actually promotes the brain chemistry of being in love.

 

The popular drug cannabis (marijuana) contains a group of compounds called cannabinoids. Of these, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, causes the high associated when that plant is consumed. Cannabinoids are found in only two other places.

 

One is in the human brain, where a mind-altering cannabinoid named anandamide is manufactured. This same extraordinary chemical is also found in chocolate. Anandamide’s name derives from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss. Cannabis and chocolate and the human brain all share this bliss-inducing agent. In the human brain, anandamide binds to the same receptor sites as THC from cannabis.

 

Anandamide in raw chocolate produces a feeling of euphoria...

This compound may account for why some people become blissed-out when they eat chocolate. The human brain is a marvellous and mysterious organ. Tickle the right neurons with delicious chocolate, and all heaven breaks loose.

Not everybody will fall madly in love, become highly sexually aroused, or swoon with ecstatic bliss after a bite of good chocolate. Individual chemistry plays a major role in how people react to chocolate, as it does with almost everything else.

Chocolate may produce a modest effect in some people, but it will make others swoon.

Learn Why Thousands of People Are Raving About Wilde Chocolate!

  • Stuart Jones

How much chocolate do you need for optimal health? 0

The type and amount matters when it comes to heart and performance effects.

 

The health benefits of raw chocolate are widely known—especially its effect on your heart. But new research is finding that chocolate may help boost your performance. Here's what you need to know before breaking off a square (or two).

 

Go Raw For Your Heart
Studies have found that a daily square of raw chocolate can improve your heart health thanks to its flavanols, which serve as antioxidants. One study from 2012 showed that a small dose of dark chocolate could decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly 40 percent. 

But it matters what type of raw chocolate you nibble on. For the heart health benefits, reach for something minimally processed, which retains more of the anti-oxidant powers. 

 

Minimal Processing = Better Performance


New research is finding that—the least processed the cacao you get the more health benefits it's going to have—and will have a higher performance-boosting effect. 

Recent U.K. studies show that epicatechin, an antioxidant found in the cacao bean, will give you increased performance benefits.

The study, while small, showed that cyclists who consumed 40 grams of raw chocolate a day displayed massive improvements in distance compared to their performance after consuming milk chocolate. 

Milk chocolate is highly processed, which means it’s lost most, if not all, of its epicatechin. 

“The more chocolate is processed the more antioxidant flavonols, including epicatechin, are lost,” said Monique Ryan, M.S., R.D.N., the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.

Raw Chocolate has high levels of epicatechin, study co-author Rishikesh Patel told Runner’s World. And a 2014 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found it to improve blood flow in arteries.

 


 

The Takeaway
The more processed the chocolate, the less of the good stuff (heart-healthy antioxidants and epicatechin) there is. 

Wilde Chocolate uses minimally processed raw cacao beans from Ecudaor to make their chocolate bars with. Which means you can get all of the amazing health benefits in one delicious chocolate bar!

 

 

 

Take a Selfie With Your Favorite Wilde Chocolate Bar and Post It on Instagram with #LoveWilde for Your Chance to Win $500 of Free Chocolate!

Learn More About Wilde Chocolate Made with Raw Cacao Beans Here!

  • Stuart Jones

The #1 Benefit You Can Get from Birch Xylitol 0

The #1 Benefit You Can Get from Birch Xylitol 


When you first hear the name Xylitol, your natural response is probably to think of a highly processed, chemically-based substance that couldn’t possibly be good for you... However despite the very misleading name, Non-GMO Birch Xylitol is actually an incredibly good for you..

 

There are other cheaper forms of Xylitol that are made from GMO corn (that's the one you need to avoid), but the Xylitol we use in Wilde Chocolate is made naturally from the sap of birch trees. This incredible sap is becoming very popular for it's powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties...

 

We all know birch xylitol is becoming more popular every single day because many health care experts are raving about it... In fact, the dental community is one of its biggest supporters because of it’s impressive ability to help prevent cavaties. 

 

For example, according to a study published in the Journal of Dental Education, “The replacement of sucrose (cane sugar) with xylitol significantly decreases the incidence of dental caries.”The main benefit of birch xylitol is its ability to help improve your overall oral health.

 

This is why we sweeten our Sweet & Salt Crunch bar with Non-GMO birch xylitol so you can eat some delicious chocolate everyday with worrying about cavaties!

 

Learn more about our sugar-free Sweet and Salt crunch bar here!

 

 

  • Stuart Jones

Is Coconut Sugar Good for You? 0

 

We can give thanks to the coconut tree for the numerous products it yields — from coconut water, to desiccated coconut, coconut vinegar and, a personal favorite, coconut oil. It’s also very popular in making alcoholic drinks known to locals as tuba or coconut wine. However, it is the inflorescence — or coconut blossoms of the coconut tree (not to be confused with the palm tree) — that offers a sap that can be processed to create a syrup or honey-like substance, which is then dried to form coconut sugar.

Coconut sugar is an amazing natural sweetener that may be more expensive than regular granulated sugar, but it’s worth it since it yields some tremendous benefits that make it a much better choice than many other sweetener options. For instance, coconut sugar is better for diabetics and the gut than your normal, everyday sugar, and it holds trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.


So... Is Coconut Sugar Good for You?

This question is a popular one, especially since coconut oil has become one of the top go-to's for just about anything from whitening your teeth to a healthy fat on your morning toast.

But, what about coconut sugar...?


Well the truth is, it's a great alternative sweetener because it's loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, some short-chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants, and a fiber known as inulin — all of which offer some health benefits that regular table sugar cannot. 


Coconut Nectar Chocolate

Check out the Coconut Nectar Crunch bar Here! It's sweetened with Organic Coconut Sugar!

4 Benefits You Can Get from Coconut Sugar

1. May Help Diabetics

Coconut sugar and coconut nectar contain a fiber known as inulin. This fiber may help slow glucose absorption, offering an alternative for those dealing with diabetic concerns. Some studies show that inulin may help reduce the absorption of glucose, therefore, keeping glucose levels in check. One study in particular conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Diet Therapy at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences’ Nutrition Research Center suggests that it helps women with type 2 diabetes, improving some glycemic and antioxidant levels while decreasing malondialdehyde levels, a marker of oxidative stress.

With a taste much like brown sugar, coconut sugar (and coconut nectar) is gaining popularity as a sweetener in everything from coffee and tea to delicious food recipes. The American Diabetes Association shares that while it’s OK for those with diabetes to use coconut sugar as a sweetener on a diabetic diet plan, it’s important that they use it the same way they would use table sugar because it contains just as many calories and carbohydrates — about 15 calories and four grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon. Another important note is that it’s often found blended with table sugar, so take a look at the label before making a purchase.

 

2. Paleo-Approved

If you are on the Paleo diet, coconut sugar is an option that you can use to satisfy that sweet tooth, according to the Ultimate Paleo Guide. 

Studies lead us to think that our “ancestors obtained about 35% of their dietary energy from fats, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein.” Coconut sugar would lie in the carbohydrate category.

 

3. Contains Vitamins, Minerals and Phytonutrients

Coconut sugar contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Iron and zinc, for example, are found in coconut sugar, containing about two times more than granulated sugar according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

The FNRI also notes that there are a decent amount of phytonutrients, specifically polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidins. These phytonutrients help reduce blood sugar, inflammation and cholesterol, making coconut sugar a better option than many other sweeteners. The American Cancer Society explains that phytonutrients that come from plants offer many health benefits and are better choices than supplements or pills.

 

4. Good for the Gut

As noted earlier, coconut sugar contains inulin. Inulin has the ability to stimulate the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria, commonly found in probiotics, which can provide an overall boost to the immune system. Though bifidobacteria are a group of bacteria that normally live in the intestines, they can be grown outside the body and taken orally as medicine. Bifidobacteria have been known to help restore the good bacteria in the gut that may have been destroyed through chemotherapy, antibiotics and the like. 

This bacteria helps many conditions that may affect the intestines, such as diarrhea, ulcerative colitis,and pouchitis, and it has even been used to prevent a particular bowel infection found in infants called necrotizing enterocolitis. 

Check out the Coconut Nectar Crunch bar Here! It's sweetened with Organic Coconut Sugar!

  • Stuart Jones

3 Reasons Why You Need Raw Honey In Your Diet 1

 

According to Dr. Ron Fessenden, M.D., M.P.H. the average American consumes more than 150 pounds of refined sugar, plus an additional 62 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year. In comparison, we consume only around 1.3 pounds of honey per year on average in the U.S. According to new research, if you can switch out your intake of refined sugar and use pure raw honey instead, the health benefits can be enormous.

 

What is raw honey? It’s a pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized sweetener made by bees from the nectar of flowers. Most of the honey consumed today is processed honey that’s been heated and filtered since it was gathered from the hive. Unlike processed honey, raw honey does not get robbed of its incredible nutritional value and health powers.

1. Healthy Weight Management

Research studies have linked honey consumption with weight loss. A San Diego State University study found that replacing sugar with honey can actually help prevent packing on extra pounds and also lower blood sugar. The results also suggest that in comparison to sugar, honey may lower serum tryglycerides.

Another study from the University of Wyoming found that raw honey can activate hormones that suppress the appetite. In the double-blind randomly assigned study, appetite hormones and glycemic responses were measured in 14 healthy non-obese women after consuming a breakfast containing either honey or sugar. Overall, researchers concluded that honey consumption offers potential obesity protective effects. 

 

2. Natural Energy Source

Raw honey contains natural sugars (80 percent), water (18 percent), and minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein (2 percent). It’s not surprising that honey has been called “the perfect running fuel.” It provides an easily absorbed supply of energy in the form of liver glycogenmaking it ideal for energetic morning starts and as a pre- and post-exercise energy source. 

Studies at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sports Nutrition Laboratory have shown honey to be one of the best choices of carbohydrate to consume right before exercising. Additionally, studies have revealed that as a sporting fuel, honey performs on a par with glucose, which is the sugar used in most commercial energy gels. 

When it comes to raw honey’s use in athletic endeavors, I highly recommend raw honey for both fueling and recovery. That’s why raw honey is included in some of the best pre-workout snacks and post-workout meals

3. Antioxidant Powerhouse

Studies have shown that a daily dose of raw honey raises levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants help block free radicals in the body that cause disease. It also boost the immune system, acting as a preventative against any number of debilitating diseases. Honey contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

One study fed 25 subjects about four tablespoons of honey per day for 29 days in addition to their regular diets. When blood samples were taken at the start and end of the study, researchers found a clear, direct link between honey consumption and an increased level of disease-fighting polyphenols in the blood.

Studies have shown that honey contains the disease-fighting antioxidant flavonoids pinocembrin, pinostrobin and chrysin. Pinocembrin supports enzyme activity, and many studies have shown that pinocembrin induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) of many types of cancer cells. Laboratory research suggests that chrysin may increase the male hormone testosterone and improve bodybuilding results, but human research hasn’t found any effect on testosterone levels. 

 

Raw Honey Chocolate

 

Learn More about Wilde Chocolate made with Raw Honey Here!

 

 

 

 

  • Stuart Jones