We spend lots of time in this newsletter writing about the health and performance benefits of cocoa flavanols. But what are flavanols?
Flavanols, a subclass of flavonoids, are plant-based, health-supporting nutrients naturally found in green tea, blueberries, grapes, apples, and, of course, cocoa. Cocoa flavanols are a unique blend of flavanols that include single compounds called epicatechin and catechin as well as larger chains called procyanidins. Raw cacao is the earths single top source of antioxidants – with 40X the antioxidants of blueberries per milligram.
Cocoa flavanols exert health and performance benefits by raising nitric oxide (aka, the miracle molecule) levels. Nitric oxide, in turn, increases artery flexibility, circulation and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. The result; improved cardiovascular and brain function (and happy taste buds!).
Cocoa flavanol content in chocolate and cocoa powder varies considerably based on factors such as growing conditions, agricultural processes, fermentation methods, and roasting techniques. This is why we source only the highest flavanol cocoa beans and preserve flavanols with minimal, flavanol friendly processing.