There's no reason to feel guilty about eating chocolate. Chocolate is actually good for you. Just bear in mind that all chocolate is not created equal. High quality chocolate is reported to decrease inflammation, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, boost the immune system, elevate mood, and keep free-radicals at bay. In fact, it is reported that individuals that take in high quantities of dark chocolate are thirty-seven percent less likely to develop cardiovascular problems and twenty-seven percent less likely to have a stroke. Bulletproof® Upgraded™ chocolate powder offers the highest quality dark chocolate powder available.
Chocolate can not be eaten raw so it is fermented. The cacao beans are exposed to fungi while growing and often during fermentation and other processing. These fungi produce toxins referred to as mycotoxins. Recent samplings from South American chocolate demonstrated that eighty percent of the chocolate contained mycotoxins. Consumption of these toxins even in relatively low doses can bring about weakness and lethargy. If you happen to be allergic to these toxins, that can be deadly. Fortunately, Bulletproof® Upgraded™ chocolate powder is processed such that the toxins have been kept to a minimum.
Upgraded™ chocolate starts with rare, wild, and hand-harvested Central American cacao beans from an area that is high in elevation that has rich volcanic soil. High elevation is important because this tends to reduce the amount of mold. Upgraded™ chocolate comes from heritage cacao species in the Arriba family from old trees. The chocolate comes from this area only and is not mixed with any other of chocolate from other growers. Cacao pods are collected by experienced craftsman and brought directly to the processing plant.
The chocolate is fermented but the high altitude and closed plant processing allows for a short duration fermentation creating less exposure to mold toxins that are generally found in humid processing methods. All the flavors and oils are maintained by a quick sun-drying in a high mountain atmosphere. This type of processing actually maintains eighty-six percent more beneficial molecules. Other chocolate processing procedures use alkalization, spray/gas drying, and harsh solvents. These processes tend to destroy beneficial molecules by over eighty-five percent. Upgraded™ chocolate beans are then ground into powder. This powder retains a high antioxidant value. This chocolate is 100 percent organic, wild, and kosher.
Other brands of powdered, bitter, dark, milk, and white chocolate coming from Brazil have been tested for the presence of mycotoxins. Studies indicate that ninety-eight percent of those brands contained ochratoxin A. It was also found that powdered, bitter, and dark chocolate were higher in fungal toxins than the other forms with powdered form having the most. Those other powdered brands were high in aflatoxin and ochratoxin.
Cacao trees that are grown in humid climates are generally infected with fungi/mold. Although roasting the beans destroys the fungi, it doesn't destroy all the mycotoxins produced by the fungi. Listed below are the ochratoxin A and alfatoxin amounts in various forms of chocolate.
Amount of Ochratoxin A in Different Chocolate Forms
- Powdered Chocolate has 0.39 μg/Kg
- Bitter Chocolate has 0.34 μg/Kg
- Dark Chocolate has 0.31 μg/Kg
Amount of Alfatoxin in Different Chocolate Forms
- Powdered Chocolate has 0.53 μg/Kg
- Bitter Chocolate has 0.66 μg/Kg
- Dark Chocolate has 0.43 μg/Kg
It is reported that the upper safe limit of ochratoxin A is somewhere between 4-5 ng/Kg. This is based on body weight per day ingestion. Some reports indicate that the lower safe limit is 0.2 ng/kg weight per day. Food safety limits of aflatoxin run around 20 parts per billion (ppb) according to the USDA.
If you're not familiar, μg stands for micrograms (10-6 grams) and ng stands for nanograms (10-9 grams). A study done on processed cocoa found 48ng/g of ochratoxin A. Consider a 150-pound individual eating 60 grams of this chocolate. This person would have taken in 42 times the safe upper limit. Keep in mind that chocolate is only one source of mycotoxins as other foods and the environment contain them as well. Bulletproof® Upgraded™ chocolate powder has been able to limit the amount of mycotoxins because of where the cocoa trees are grown as well as the unique processing they use.
The Power of Chocolate
Upgraded™ chocolate powder is loaded with antioxidants as well as other molecules that are known to reduce inflammation. In fact, cocoa has more antioxidant power than green tea, red wine, Acai, pomegranate, and blueberry. Dark chocolate protects your cardiovascular system and reduces blood pressure as well as reduces oxidized LDL lowering atherosclerosis development. Dark chocolate is also known to reduce insulin resistance.
Chocolate and Fiber
Cocoa happens to contain fiber. Animals studies have demonstrated that rats who consumed cocoa fiber had lower blood pressure and healthier weight. For humans, cocoa fiber aids in elimination and provides a good food source for E. coli in the gut. This keeps healthy numbers of gut bacteria which are important for the production of vitamins B-complex and K as well as biotin.
Chocolate and Lead
Where you aware that a lot of cocoa is contaminated with lead? Lead is a nasty heavy metal that causes brain, heart, and reproductive dysfunction. More often than not, this lead contamination occurs during shipping and processing when cocoa is exposed to fumes from leaded fuel burning machinery. Not to worry with Upgraded™ chocolate powder. This product is processed, stored, and packaged in such a way as to avoid the risk of lead contamination. These chocolate beans never see the inside of a container ship and are not shipped in burlap bags so you don't need to worry about contaminates.
Chocolate and Flavonoids
Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that are found in a number of plants that helps to protect plants from toxins. When we eat fruits, vegetables, and other plant sources that are high in flavonoids, the antioxidants are passed on to us. Antioxidants are important for keeping free-radicals at bay. When free-radicals build up in your system, a number of health issues arise. For example. LDLs become oxidized easily and become a bad form of cholesterol that forms plaque in the arteries. Chocolate and cocoa flavonoids help protect LDLs. These flavonoids also have the ability to lower blood pressure and inhibit clotting. Chocolate is just chock full of antioxidants and one class is known as procyanidins which includes epicatechins and catechins to mention a few. The list goes on and on. Each one has slightly different antioxidant property.
Chocolate and Fat
Although chocolate contains cocoa butter, the fat content is for the most part healthy. Cocoa butter contains equal amounts of oleic acid (monounsaturated fat, heart healthy), stearic acid (saturated fat), and palmitic acids (saturated fat). Having an ounce or two several times a week is recommended.
Upgraded™ Chocolate Powder Uses
It is suggested that you mix Upgraded™ chocolate powder with Upgraded™ cacao butter to make exceptional recipes. These are mixed together at low temperature to make fudge and chocolate bars. Using more powder produces a chocolate bar-like product whereas the more cacao butter you use makes a fudge-like product. If you're interested in a creamy texture, try adding Upgraded™ vanilla and if you like it sweet, add erythritol (a sugar alcohol) or raw honey. If you really want a treat, try mixing cacao butter into Bulletproof® Upgraded™ coffee. Upgraded™ chocolate powder can be added to the coffee as well.
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