Raw Cacao & Echinacea= Natural Cell Mates – Mito-Endurance
Raw Cacao & Echinacea= Natural Cell Mates – Some things are just better when they get together…peanut butter & jelly, Beyonce & Jay-Z, Raw Cacao and Echinacea.
Wait what? Can that really be? Is chocolate’s soul mate a purple flower? Well science may have proven these two natural wonders to are even more powerful and beneficial when they team up in our bodies. Sort of like a Hollywood power-couple, these anti-oxidant rich products are just begging for sometime in the spot light….So let shine some light on them!
According to several recent studies, raw chocolate (cacao) can help prevent heart disease and cancer. In their article Cocoa nutrient for ‘lethal ills’, Michelle Roberts points out that epicatechins, a flavonoid in chocolate, seems to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. This nutrient is believed to relax blood vessels (vasodilation) and improve blood flow, making it heart healthy. It also has antioxidant properties which may help prevent cancers.
Chocolate is a rich source of flavonoids, but roasting and alkalizing lowers these excellent nutrients. In 2010 a study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that compared flavonoids in raw versus roasted chocolate beans. When beans were roasted under controlled conditions, there was a noticeable loss of epicatechins when bean temperatures went above 158 °F.
Flavanols like epicatechins tend to taste bitter and are often removed from commercial chocolates to create a milder flavor. Raw chocolate keeps the flavonoids that are lost when cocoa is cooked or alkalized.
An interesting study done by researchers from Harvard Medical School looked at the effects of chocolate on Panama’s Kuna Indians. They found that the Indians living on the islands drink chocolate as a staple part of their daily diet and have lower rates of heart disease and cancer. The people living on the mainland in Panama do no drink nearly as much chocolate and have higher rates of these diseases.
Another natural source of flavonoids is Enchinacea pupurea, which has many health benefits, including being anti-inflammatory and a peripheral vasodilator. Echinacea has been used by native Americans for hundreds of years to treat infections of the body and the skin and to boost the immune system throughout the year.
Recently enchinacea has been studied to see it’s effect on athletes and the potential to give them a boost of EOP.
The study investigated the effects of four-weeks of oral Echinacea supplementation on erythropoietin, running economy, and VO2max. Men were supplemented with either Echinacea purpurea or a placebo. Blood samples were collected prior to and every seven days during supplementation and analyzed for erythropoietin. Maximal graded exercise tests were administered to measure VO2max, running economy, and heart-rate responses.
The results showed that Echinacea condition significantly increased Erythropoietin at days 7, 14, and 21 and VO2max. Running economy improved significantly in the Echinacea condition (indicated by a decrease in submaximal VO2 during the first 2 stages of the graded exercise test). This study showed that Echinacea purpurea supplementation resulted in significant increases in erythropoietin, VO2max, and running economy.
When combined with raw cacao, Echinacea can boost the effectiveness of the flavonoids by oxygenating the cells organelles and allowing them to function more effectively and to absorb the benefits of the flavonoids that are being consumed. Taking cacao with Echinacea can enhance the benefits of both in your cells.