Chocolate lovers do not despair. Did you know that raw cacao is nutritionally dense and is a food that boosts testosterone?
Dark chocolate is from the cocoa plant and is packed with nutrients that can help improve your health. But can it really boost your testosterone levels?
We will be looking at the following in this article
- What is dark chocolate?
- How can it improve health?
- Does it boost your T levels?
What is dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is chocolate without added milk solids. It is made from the seed of the cocoa tree. Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas milk chocolate has between 10-50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form, and sugar.
Let’s take a look at benefits of dark chocolate, especially cacao nibs; this is the most unprocessed form of dark chocolate available.
Dark chocolate, specifically raw cacao, is packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
- Minerals: Magnesium, Zinc, Sulfur, Calcium, Manganese, Copper, Potassium, and Iron*
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E
- Polyphenols – Powerful micronutrients
- Flavonoids – High powered antioxidants
Research has shown that eating raw cacao can lead to:
- increased cardiovascular health
- lower blood pressure
- lower blood glucose
Dark Chocolate and Brain Function
The Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University wanted to assess the effects of dark chocolate on participants doing mathematical equations.
They wanted to see if nutrients in dark chocolate would help people perform mentally challenging tasks better.
The participants were asked to drink a flavanol rich hot cocoa drink before attempting the math questions.
The results were very interesting. They showed that the group who had the chocolate drink performed the tests quicker and with more accuracy than those who did not.
It seems that things high in polyphenols are good for your brain.
Furthermore, consuming cocoa appears to improve cerebral blood flow, especially to gray matter.
Cacao And Cardiovascular Function
Studies show that cacao:
- supports your heart health
- increases blood circulation
- lowers blood pressure
- lowers LDL cholesterol
- helps remove plaque build-up on your artery walls
The Kuna Indians, off the coast of Panama, do not suffer from blood pressure or arterial hypertension. They also have an extremely low rate of cardiovascular disease
This seems to be linked to the high consumption of cocoa by the island inhabitants.
Dark Chocolate And Testosterone
Is it really a food that boosts testosterone?
Firstly, go for the ones with the lowest sugar content – aim for 70% or more cocoa solids. Remember, refined sugars make your testosterone levels plummet.
Secondly, it contains key minerals vital to testosterone production. For example:
100g of dark chocolate contains around 6.8mg of zinc. Studies show that zinc boosts testosterone levels, and also elevates luteinizing hormone – a regulator of testosterone production.
Similarly, magnesium has also has testosterone boosting properties. Studies show that 10mg of magnesium per kg of body weight on a daily basis for 4 weeks can boost testosterone significantly.
Furthermore, the fat ratio is perfect for testosterone production as well. Consumption of healthy fats is very important for increasing testosterone!
It also helps control blood sugar levels, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and decrease stress which are all testosterone killers.
Finally, studies have shown that cacao can lead to an increase in plasma nitric oxide concentration. This is great because high levels of nitric oxide is linked to higher testosterone levels.
Conclusion on Dark Chocolate
Eating dark chocolate, especially in its most pure form, cacao nibs, can provide a range of health benefits. I tend to add some to my banana/peanut butter/oat milk smoothie. I recommend adding cacao nibs to your diet. Just 2 – 3 tablespoons of cacao nibs a day is great for most people.