This blog post is going to make your heart sing if you are a chocaholic!


In recent years, the interest in dark chocolate and it in its original form cacao has intensified, revealing a plethora of health benefits that extend far beyond the mere joy of eating it.


While the rich, velvety taste of dark chocolate is undeniably enticing (am I making your mouth water?)  its nutritional profile, plays a large role in our wellbeing.


Besides its long list of nutritional benefits, dark chocolate has been linked to boosting stem cell production and improving blood flow.


Exploring the Nutritional Benefits of Dark Chocolate


It is essential to understand the nutritional richness encapsulated within dark chocolate. Unlike its milk chocolate counterpart, which often contains high levels of sugar and dairy, dark chocolate boasts a higher percentage of cacao solids, the primary source of its health-promoting properties. Cacao is abundant in flavonoids, particularly flavanols, potent antioxidants known for their role in combating oxidative stress and inflammation within the body.


Enhancing Stem Cells: The Regenerative Power of Cacao:


One of the most interesting discoveries in recent years is the potential of cacao to enhance stem cell function. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with the remarkable capacity to develop into various specialized cell types within the body. They play a pivotal role in tissue regeneration, repair, and maintenance.


Emerging research suggests that the flavanols present in cacao may stimulate the mobilization and proliferation of stem cells, thereby promoting tissue repair and rejuvenation.


Studies have demonstrated that consuming dark chocolate high in cacao content can lead to a significant increase in circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), a type of stem cell critical for vascular repair and regeneration.


By enhancing EPC function, cacao holds promise in mitigating cardiovascular disease risk factors and supporting overall cardiovascular health. Furthermore, the regenerative properties of cacao extend beyond the cardiovascular system, with potential implications for various other tissues and organs.


Improving Blood Flow: Nourishing the Body’s Vital Pathways:


In addition to its regenerative effects on stem cells, cacao has been lauded for its ability to improve blood flow throughout the body. Flavanols, the bioactive compounds abundant in cacao, have been shown to promote vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels, thereby enhancing blood circulation.


By facilitating smoother blood flow, cacao may help reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of blood clots, and enhance nutrient and oxygen delivery to tissues.


Moreover, research indicates that regular consumption of cacao can lead to improvements in endothelial function, the inner lining of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is a hallmark of various cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and atherosclerosis.


By promoting endothelial health, cacao contributes to the maintenance of optimal vascular function, thereby supporting overall cardiovascular well-being.


Improving Gut Microbiome: supporting immune function


Cacao besides containing compounds like flavonoids and polyphenols also contains healthy fibre. Fibre serves as a prebiotic feeding healthy gut bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.


These beneficial bacteria generate compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that also improve glucose and lipid metabolism. Cacao has also been found to correct disruptions to the microbiome caused by chronic stress – NO that doesn’t mean you can run out and eat a sugar and dairy loaded chocolate block!

Incorporating Dark Chocolate or Cacao into a Healthy Lifestyle:


At the University of California, San Francisco found that participants who drank a high- flavanol dark chocolate drink twice a day for 30 days had a significant increase in their levels of stem cells in their blood.


The best way to get the best results from eating or drinking dark chocolate is to choose a dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao – ideally 85%. If drinking use honey or maple syrup to sweeten it – add unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk, macadamia nut milk or fermented soy milk (Bonsoy).


If you love a chocolate brownie – especially one which is high in protein, carb free and sugar free bar some coconut sugar or stevia – this is the best one you will ever eat!


If you would like one on one  holistic beauty and wellness advice – book a glowing skin and wellness consultation via zoom with me!

Yvette xx

Thank you for reading my blog!


I am Yvette van Schie, I am a holistic beauty therapist, skin nutritionist, skincare developer and makeup artist. I am passionate about sharing real beauty advice with a whack of reality.

For over 30 years I have worked with the best in the beauty and health industry as a trainer, educator  and product formulator and I still do – so my knowledge is diverse – I am not blinkered when sharing my information with you because everyone I speak to shares what they know, and I turn it into easy to digest information because I want my readers to feel empowered to make their own decisions and to feel that they are fully in control of their beauty and well being.


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