Cacao has be banned for many years for being too fat or not suitable for diet, but not anymore! Aside from very sweet transformed product, (which are too fat and too sweet), cacao is actually full of nutrients. Cacao gives you a kick in your day and makes you feel good, it brings antioxidants and magnesium, and can even help you fight cardiovascular diseases. Even a regular intake has shown to have benefits on health. So forget what you know about cacao, and here is what you should remember.

Antioxidants

Polyphenols are antioxidants found in many types of food, like greens, black tea but also grapes or wine. But cacao is one of the richest source of polyphenols. Polyphenols contain flavonoids that are antioxidant and anti inflammatory.

Why do we need antioxidant in the first place ? In our body all nutrients have molecule for shaped with different atoms, made from several electrons. To stay stable, all molecule need to keep the same number of electron. If a molecule loses an electron, it then becomes a free radical (A). The free radical is not stable, it will disturb the other molecules and can even damage them or turn them into free radicals. This is where our body needs antioxidant. They will give these free radicals an electron so that they can be stable again.
 
So antioxidant are truly useful to our body but we need them in the right amount, there needs to be a balance between the number of antioxidant and free radicals. When, antioxidant are not enough to fight free radicals, the body is in a state of oxidative state (B).
 
This a state where molecules can be seriously damaged and cause destruction of cells. Certain lifestyle habits help this oxidative state develop inside the body (alcohol, cigarette, pollution, sugar, infection, too much exercise). If the oxidative state last longer, it can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and accelerate the aging process.

Picture credit: Alison Marras

The polyphenols of the raw dark chocolate have also strong effects on calmness and mood. A regular consumption of dark chocolate makes the body less stressed, happier and more relaxed (C).

Vitamins and Minerals

Cacao is a high in minerals and vitamins: as said before it is high in magnesium. but also contain great dose of calcium and potassium. Among that, cacao is full of zinc and iron which respectively help the absorption of protein while boosting the immune system and interact with red blood cells synthesis. Raw cacao powder is also very rich in all B vitamins which are used to breakdown the energy contained in food, and Vitamin E, source of antioxidants.

Picture credit: Pablo Merchán Montes

Cardiovascular disease

Raw cacao has properties to fight cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, certain diseases are formed through the accumulation of bad cholesterol (LDL), it oxidizes and creates clog inside the blood. It is when there is too much clogs and that the blood cannot circulate properly that there is a risk of cardiovascular disease. By reducing blood pressure and improving the functioning of blood vessels, raw cacao helps reduce this bad cholesterol and increase the good one (HDL).(D). So, flavonoids naturally present in cacao can reduce blood pressure and make our immune protection against cardiovascular disease stronger.
 
Among all the polyphenols compounds, we can find flavonoids, which are responsible for the bitterness of the chocolate. They have a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are mostly found in fruits and vegetables. Be aware, that many flavonoids are lost into the process to turn cocoa into chocolate. A dark chocolate with 70% of cacao does not mean it is full of flavonoids.

Indeed, the the process of turning cocoa into chocolate can make chocolate lose some nutrients like polyphenols. Quantities of catechins and proanthocyanidins which are polyphenols decrease after the fermenting, drying and roasted process of cocoa beans (E). Prefer to eat raw cacao, it will be less processed.

Magnesium and theobromine

Cacao has some ant-stress and anti-fatigue properties thanks to the theobromine and magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral, it is responsible of more than 300 reactions inside our body and works along with sodium, potassium and calcium. Magnesium’s function is to relax muscles after exercise which is very important for the heart rate. It helps assimilate lipids and regulate blood sugar level. With theobromine, they have have an effect on muscles relaxation. Magnesium is highly present in chocolate but we can find more much in cacao powder: 100 g of cacao powder can give around 400 mg of magnesium, which is the daily dose of magnesium needed (6 mg per kilogram per day).

Anandamide

Anandamide is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain which brings a feeling of joy and happiness. It is present in the part of the brain that takes care of memory and motivation. The formation of new cells enables the anandamide to deliver antianxiety and antidepressant benefits in these areas of the brain. But neurotransmitter usually break down quickly which is why the state of happiness doesn’t last long. Cacao contain some anandamide which is responsible of the feel good mood after eating some chocolate (C). To have more anandamide prefer darker chocolate or even cocoa nibs which are the less processed form of chocolate, contain no sugar and are a concentrate of all cocoa benefits.

How to measure antioxidant power of food?

Tomatoes contain antioxidant, but so does cinnamon. If I eat one tomato per day and pour cinnamon on my coffee, is it enough antioxidant ? Which food is stronger in antioxidant? Well, the National Institute of Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have developed an index to measure the antioxidant capacity of different types of food (F) called ORAC. It stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and is measured by the reaction between the antioxidant contained into food and the free radical. Data is measured at the beginning of the experiment and after 35 minutes. The curves between these two data numbers indicate how the antioxidants absorb free radical, whether if the curve is steep or not.

This index leads to a listing of more than 200 types of food and gives an approximate idea of the antioxidant power of the food presented. The list (G) ranks all kinds of spices in the top with cinnamon (143 264), cloves (111 490) or dried oregano (165 712). So remember to spice up all your meal! Keep in mind that you only eat 2 to 5 g of each spice per meal and that the high score of ORAC are for 100 g. Even though spices are high in antioxidant, the fact that we consume very few of them make them not a big source of antioxidant in our diet. Among food that are not spices, acai pulp is high in antioxidant (102 700) and unsweetened cocoa powder is pretty high too (55 653). To compare, here are some food known for their antioxidant properties: wild blueberries (48 320), black raspberries (19 220), pecan nuts (17 940), ginger root (14 840), chia seeds (9 800) and artichoke (9 416).
 
So to come back to the example: cinnamon ORAC’s score is 143 264 while tomato is 546. So there is definitely more antioxidants hidden in cinnamon, but it is easier to eat 100 g of tomatoes than 100 g of cinnamon. We can also see that ginger, which has a strong antioxidant reputation has more than three times less antioxidants than raw cocoa powder. So a big tablespoon or raw cocoa powder inside your milk topped with cinnamon and curcuma is much more effective than a trendy “ginger shot”. Back to basic!

Picture credit: Maddi Bazzocco

Check out our products with Cacao

Functions 

• High levels of flavonoids (antioxidants)
• High protein content (20%)
• Might speed up metabolism (the thermal effect of chili)
• Energy source (contains caffeine)
• Source of magnesium and iron (important when you are physically active)
• Flavonoids can increase the amount of dietary nitrate (NO) in the body, which can expand blood vessels and increase blood flow

Are you tired of the usual dark chocolate and is in need extra protein throughout the day? Green Machine PowPow is protein chocolate with different functions. First, the dark chocolate is CO2 neutral imported from Belgium. This delicious organic chocolate is then mixed with our own milk protein concentrate (BIO MPC 85), which ensures that the protein content is the best quality. The chocolate bars are moulded by in Denmark before being shipped to our customers.

Why PowPow?

The high cocoa content in the dark chocolate means that the chocolate contains flavonoids (antioxidants). These Flavonoids can contribute to increased production of dietary nitrate in the body, which can help expand our blood vessels and increase blood flow (good for blood circulation and blood pressure).

PowPow has a total protein content of approximately 20%. Also, we added caffeine (from guarana and match tea) corresponding to a cup of coffee. This means that the bar can provide the body with energy when there is a need for extra. In addition, PowPow contains harbanero chili, which might contribute to increased fat-oxidation, thus helping the body to burn larger amounts of fat.

When?

PowPow is a good and tasty alternative to the protein bar after your workout, but also works well as a source of energy (contains caffeine)! The type of protein used (BIO MPC 85) has a long-term effect on protein synthesis, and the muscles may therefore receive protein for a long time after ingestion.

BCAA's (Essential amino acids)

Per 100g

Per bar

 

3,298

 

Isoleucine   ( I )

0,813

0,406

Leucine   ( L )

1,520

0,760

Valine   ( V )

0,965

0,483

(Other essential amino acids)

 

 

Histidine   ( H )

0,546

0,273

Lysine   ( K )

0,793

0,396

Methionine   ( M )

0,256

0,128

Phenylalanine     ( F )

1,188

0,594

Threonine   ( T )

0,535

0,267

Tryptophan   ( W )

0,213

0,107

(Other amino acids)

 

 

Alanine   ( A )

0,876

0,438

Arginine   ( R )

2,642

1,321

Aspartic Acid     ( D )

2,603

1,302

Cysteine   ( C )

0,265

0,133

Glutamic Acid     ( E )

4,500

2,250

Glycine   ( G )

1,304

0,652

Proline   ( P )

0,961

0,480

Serine   ( S )

1,074

0,537

Tyrosine   ( Y )

0,868

0,434

Functions

  • High levels of flavonoids (antioxidants)
  • High protein content (20%)
  • Source of magnesium and iron (important when you are physically active)
  • Flavonoids can increase the amount of NO in the body, which can expand our blood vessels and increase blood flow.

Green Machine Dark & Salty is protein chocolate with sea salt. The dark chocolate is from Belgium and has a cocoa content of 70%. This chocolate is CO2 neutral transported to Denmark where it is moulded by hand. When the chocolate is mixed with protein, it has a total cocoa content of about 58%.

Why Dark & Salty?

Dark & Salty is an interesting alternative to the protein bar or as a snack when you need a bit of sweetness. It contains 20% protein, which comes from our own Austrian milk protein concentrate (BIO MPC 85). This type of protein has casein to whey distribution of 4:1, which provides a stable and prolonged supply of protein to the muscles.

One of the benefits of Dark & Salty is a high number of flavonoids that act as antioxidants and can help increase the immune system. Additionally, flavonoids in dark chocolate can increase the amount of dietary nitrate (NO) in the blood, which can have a relaxing effect on the body and thus expand the blood vessels. This can result in increased blood flow.

Dark chocolate also contains minerals, including iron and magnesium. The benefits of dark chocolate combined with high protein content makes Dark & Salty a good substitute to the protein bar!

When?

Dark & Salty is ideal as an alternative to the protein bar after a finished workout, but also works well as a snack throughout the day.

Amino profile

BCAA's (Essential amino acids)

Per 100g

Per bar

 

3,382

 

Isoleucine   ( I )

0,833

0,417

Leucine   ( L )

1,559

0,779

Valine   ( V )

0,990

0,495

(Other essential amino acids)

 

 

Histidine   ( H )

0,560

0,280

Lysine   ( K )

0,713

0,407

Methionine   ( M )

0,262

0,131

Phenylalanine     ( F )

1,218

0,609

Threonine   ( T )

0,537

0,269

Tryptophan   ( W )

0,218

0,109

(Other amino acids)

 

 

Alanine   ( A )

0,898

0,449

Arginine   ( R )

2,709

1,354

Aspartic Acid     ( D )

2,709

1,332

Cysteine   ( C )

0,273

0,136

Glutamic Acid     ( E )

4,612

2,306

Glycine   ( G )

1,338

0,669

Proline   ( P )

0,986

0,493

Serine   ( S )

1,100

0,550

Tyrosine   ( Y )

0,891

0,445

 

Functions

  • Very high level of antioxidants
  • Contains caffeine and theobromine (refreshing effect on the body)
  • Rich in magnesium and iron
  • High content of dietary fiber (can contribute to stable stomach function)
  • Contains phenethylamine (can be stress-relieving)
  • Superfood
  • Source of protein


Cocoa intake began in America and in the middle of the 16th century it rapidly spread to Europe. Besides being appealing because of its sweet and comfortable taste, chocolate was thought as good nutrition and as a form of medicine. Traditionally, the health benefits of cocoa were associated with the high levels of antioxidants in cocoa beans.

Why Green Machine Cocoa Nib?

Our cocoa nibs contain caffeine and theobromine, both of which have a refreshing effect on the body. Teobromine also has a relaxing effect on our muscles. This refreshing effect combined with the stress-relieving substance, phenethylamine, which is also present and that stimulates the excretion of endorphins, makes this a wonderful product.

Theobromine and caffeine, both found in cocoa, are responsible for the huge popularity of this specific food. These substances have a positive effect on our mood and vigilance. Cocoa Nib also contains more than 300 chemical compounds and has almost four times as powerful antioxidant properties as average dark chocolate.

Another feature of the crushed cocoa beans is the high content of dietary fiber that can contribute to better digestion and a good feeling of satiety. Protein, iron, magnesium and essential fatty acids are other components that are also part of this delicious product.

Production

Farmers select the highest quality beans that are washed and dried. After the drying process, the moisture content is reduced to below 4%, and the beans are peeled and ground to "Nib". Through all these steps, the temperature is never higher than 45 degrees, which guarantees the highest quality.

Suggestions for use

Sprinkle to your breakfast product, your instant porridge or use them in your own home-made energy bars!

Functions

  • Very strong antioxidant
  • Contains theobromine and caffeine (refreshing effect on the body)
  • Source of protein (19g per 100g)
  • Rich in potassium, phosphorus and magnesium
  • Superfood
  • High content of dietary fiber (can contribute to better intestinal flora)



Cacao (Theobroma Cacao), "the Food of the Gods", originates in South American cultures. The Aztecs considered cocoa as a sacred plant and even used the plant as a form of currency. During the 17th century cacao was introduced to Europe through the Spaniards.

Why Green Machine Raw Cocoa Powder?

From our Peruvian Amazonas partners we offer you the finest criollo beans, ecologically certified and cold-pressed in raw quality. There is no plant crossing involved in the process. The natural cacao is cultivated by local farmers in a sustainable environment that protects the rainforest. All the farmers involved are assigned to international fair-trade standards.

Theobromine and caffeine, both found in cacao, are the reason for its huge popularity. These substances have a positive effect on our mood and vigilance. The raw cacao also has very powerful antioxidant properties, actually up to 20 times as much as blueberries.

Another advantage of raw cacao is its very high content of dietary fiber (whole 35g / 100g) that can help keep your stomach healthy and keep you comfortable throughout the day. In addition, the powder contains about 19g protein per 100g, and is rich in potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.

Production

Farmers select the highest quality beans that are washed and dried. Then the beans are converted into powder form. Through all these steps, the temperature is never higher than 45 degrees, which guarantees the highest quality. Our cacao powder has a floral and sweet scent with a mild and delicious flavor.

Suggestions for use

Is ideal for sprinkling your breakfast or some fresh fruit. Is also good in your smoothie or in different forms of pastries.

Reference:

(A) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained#section2
(B) Lobo, Patil, Phatak and Chandra, Free radicals, antioxidants and functional food: Impact on human health, December 2010, PMID: 22228951 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
(C) http://reset.me/story/anandamide-putting-the-bliss-molecule-to-work-for-your-brain/
(D) Lee Hooper Colin Kay Asmaa Abdelhamid Paul A Kroon Jeffrey S Cohn Eric B RimmAedín Cassidy, Effects of chocolate, cocoa, and flavan-3-ols on cardiovascular health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 95, Issue 3, 1 March 2012, Pages 740–751, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.111.023457. 2012
(E) Jan Wollgast, Elke Anklam, Review on polyphenols in Theobroma cacao: changes in composition during the manufacture of chocolate and methodology for identification and quantification, European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Food Products and Consumer Goods Unit, I-21020 Ispra (Va), Italy. 2000
(F) https://www.marksdailyapple.com/orac-value/
(G) David B. Haytowitz and Seema Bhagwat, USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 ,May 2010

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Photo credit for Cover picture: Joanna Kosinska