Theobroma Cacao. That's the official name of the tree that give us cocoa. It translates to "Food of the gods." And that it is. No only is chocolate delicious and available in so many different ways, it's good for you. And it is the primary source of an amazing ingredient, theobromine. More studies on cacao are showing its health benefits, and the theobromine found in chocolate may boast a slew of mental and physical benefits. Below are some of them...
WHAT IS THEOBROMINE?
But what is theobromine? It’s a compound that exists naturally in a variety of plants, most notably the cacao bean. Theobromine is similar to caffeine, but has one methyl group difference, which makes all the difference. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Which basically means it stimulates your brain, and the brain is the boss. So you feel more alert, more focussed and have more energy, but it doesn't hit your muscles directly. Theobromine however is a cardiovascular stimulant, so it works on the blood system, which hits the whole body. Essentially it lowers blood pressure, and increases blood flow, which means your body gets more nutrients and oxygen flowing around. And that is why you don't get jitters and a crash after taking theobromine.
Complex chemistry aside, the bottom line is theobromine may be good for you in a number of ways. Here are some of the potential health benefits of the theobromine found in chocolate.
THEOBROMINE CAN GIVE YOU MORE ENERGY
Caffeine is often mentioned as the most used drug in the world. Theobromine is quite similar to caffeine, but works in a different way, and lasts for longer. Studies show theobromine lasts between 7 and 12 hours, and we personally have found it improves concentration and focus, allowing us to complete complex tasks over a prolonged period. Or, we studied and did admin for way longer than we could before.
THEOBROMINE CAN IMPROVE MENTAL FOCUS
One long-term study found that chocolate eaters performed better than non-chocolate-eaters on a number of tests looking at abstract reasoning, mental state evaluation, scanning and tracking, working memory, and visual-spatial memory and organization. Or, they were smarter for a bit! The study even said chocolate may be helpful in staving off age-related cognitive decline. This is likely because it encourages blood flow to the brain, which may help people feel more mentally alert and focused after having a chocolatey snack.
THEOBROMINE CAN HELP YOUR HEART
Studies suggest theobromine may help protect the heart in several ways. It naturally lowers blood pressure. This, in turn, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which means less likelihood of damage to blood vessels, reduced flow to the limbs and other scary stuff. There’s also some evidence theobromine may reduce “bad” cholesterol and improve “good” cholesterol. Additionally, the substance may improve blood flow throughout the body, further supporting the heart.
Theobromine used to be used for asthma because of its cough suppressant qualities. So rather than use cough syrup, you might be better off eating some chocolate instead. Some research suggests theobromine may act as a cough suppressant. There’s even evidence theobromine is more effective than codeine, common in cold medications, when it comes to soothing a nasty cough.
Theobromine may widen the body’s airways and relax smooth muscle tissue throughout the body, including the smooth muscle tissue found in the lungs. This, in turn, increases airflow to the lungs—which helps explain why theobromine may be useful in the management of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
THEOBROMINE CAN REDUCE INFLAMMATION
As demonstrated by the benefits described above, there’s strong evidence to suggest theobromine may be a potent anti-inflammatory. This is largely because the substance has antioxidant capacities, which helps reduce oxidative stress down to the cellular level. Inflammation is the bodies reaction to fighting something or repairing something, but too much can cause long term issues.
SO EAT MORE DARK CHOCOLATE - OR POWER UP
Dark chocolate has the most theobromine, and white chocolate has none, so choose wisely, but it can be beneficial to have more chocolate. But theobromine has such benefits when it comes to energy and focus that we put a bit more into our Power Up Snap and Power Up Bite. And you can buys some right here. Who knew?