Cacao Brain Power


Artisan Granola made in Byron Bay

How do you wake up in the morning?

Leap in to your day with the mood-brightening & stress-relieving rewards of cacao, without having to indulge in a sneaky morning chocolate bar!
Kick-start your brain & body with the readily usable energy of coconut oil, sharpen your mind & memory with ginger’s neuroprotective family of nutrients.
From the stream of endorphins that flow from cacao, to the dopamine boost in maca, to ginger’s serotonin tickle, this is a blend of energising plant compounds designed for short-term focus & long-term benefit. In order to make these nutrients as available & digestible as possible, we soak our nuts & seeds in a cultured & PH controlled solution in order to ‘activate’ dormant nutrients.

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Serving suggestions: Straight out of the jar into your mouth! | In a bowl with milk | Sprinkled on top of yoghurt or a smoothie | A chocolate mousse topper!

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Activated nuts & seeds (buckwheat^ Australian insecticide free sunflower seeds, pepitas^ almonds^ pecans^) coconut chips^ macadamia honey raw macadamias^ psyllium husk^ cacao nibs^ cacao powder^ ginger^ cinnamon^ mesquite^ maca^ nutmeg^ vanilla bean^ gingko^ gotu kola* brahmi^ tulsi^
CONTAINS NUTS ^=Certified Organic. May contain traces of other nuts & shell
Created under the Byron sunshine in a solar powered facility

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In a mouse study assessing the actions of (-)-epicatechin (125-750mg/kg) on memory, despite an increase in memory formation being noted there did not appear to be any enhancement of newborn cellular survival in the hippocampus.[54]
In otherwise healthy young adults subject to a cognitive task, five days supplementation of 172mg cocoa flavanols (final dose 90 minutes before testing) increases blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast indicating increased cerebral oxygenation specifically in the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and parietal cortex;[62] but even though increased activity of the ACC is thought to result in increased reaction times,[63]
It is possible that cocoa components can exert an antiinflammatory effect on immune cells (macrophages and PMBCs) in the gut which, quite indirectly, could exert a mood elevating state related to serotonin. While this is mechanistically possible, the relevance of this signalling pathway to chocolate’s effects on mood has not been demonstrated directly. A possible mechanism for cocoa extract in interacting with mood may be its ability to prevent increases in the activity of IDO during cellular inflammation as seen in vitro with concentrations that can be biologically relevant in the gut;[70]
In another 3-month randomized and controlled trial, healthy but sedentary 50-69 year olds were assgined to a high-flavanol group who consumed 900mg cocoa flavanols (containing 138mg of (−)-epicatechin) per day and a low-flavanol group (who consumed 10mg cocoa flavanols containing less than 2mg (−)-epicatechin daily).[75] The high- and low-flavanol groups were further split into two groups: those who exercised aerobically 1 hour a day for 4 days per week, and those who did not.[75] The study found a 630ms improvement in a computerized test of visual memory recognition in the high-flavanol group compared to the low-flavanol group, with exercise having no significant effect; this improvement corresponded to an increase in dentate gyrus function.[75]

Cocoa extracts have been noted in vitro to downregulate inflammatory cytokines from macrophages including MCP-1, TNF-α, and IL-6 with a potency greater than a similar concentration of pure (-)-epicatechin[151] (with similar antiinflammatory effects noted in whole blood[152]). Other studies have noted the isolated cocoa constituent clovamide has similar effects in LPS-stimulated macrophages.[153] In the absence of LPS or other pro-inflammatory stimuli, procyanidins from cocoa have been noted to possess the ability to increase the secretion of IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α in PMBCs,[154][155] where the longer chain flavanols seem to be more potent.[155]

It has been suggested[156] that cocoa constituents may suppress macrophage activity via their intrinsic antioxidant action, since inflammatory pathways tend to be REDOX-sensitive, and antioxidants in general have been shown to suppress the activation of macrophages. Indeed, NF-kB, which plays a prominent role in macrophage activation, is suppressed by antioxidants.[157] Moreover, (-)-epicatechin has been shown to suppress NF-kB.[152].

(-)-epicatechin and other flavanols in cocoa may limit macrophage activation via their intrinsic antioxidant activity.

A diet high in cocoa flavanols (494mg with 89mg epicatechin and 21mg catechin) daily for four weeks has been noted to increase the bacterial count of bifidobacterial, enterococcus, and lactobacilli strains in the intestines while decreasing clostridia compared to a low-flavanol control as assessed by fecal examination .[170] This study also noted decreases in blood pressure and C-reactive protein, with the latter correlated to changes in lactobacilli.[170]
50g of dark chocolate (125mg (-)-epicatechin) given two hours prior to a psychosocial stressor in otherwise healthy men attenuated the rise of salivary cortisol and adrenaline in a manner correlating with serum (-)-epicatechin relative to placebo chocolate, with no influence on noradrenaline or ACTH.[65]
A pilot study using six middle-aged subjects (41+/-5 years) of average weight given 1mg/kg (-)-epicatechin twice a day for seven days noted that follistatin to myostatin ratio increased by 49.2+/-16.6%.[137] Importantly, the increase in follistatin to myostatin ratio also correlated with a bilateral increase in hand strength of around 7%.[137] Moreover, when (-)-epicatechin is fed orally to mice at 2mg/kg daily (in two divided doses of 1mg/kg) for two weeks, the 18% increase in myostatin and 30% decrease in follistatin which normally occur with aging were prevented. Young mice given the same dose of (-)-epicatechin showed a 15% reduction of myostatin with no influence on follistatin.[137] The (-)-epicatechin found in dark chocolate has been shown to promote muscle anabolism in both aging mice and middle-aged humans by increasing follistatin to myostatin ratio in skeletal muscle. This suggests that cocoa extract supplementation may be helpful for conditions associated with muscle loss, such as during aging (sarcopenia) and muscle wasting diseases.

Muscular Endurance
Oral ingestion of 1mg/kg (-)-epicatechin twice daily in one year-old mice (C57BL/6N) for 15 days alongside exercise caused improvements in duration and distance until failure relative to exercise alone.[77] (-)-

Musclar Output
In another study in sedentary middle aged adults (42 years of age) 1mg/kg (-)-epicatechin twice daily increased grip strength by 7% relative to baseline, although this was not compared to a placebo control.[137]

(-)-Epicatechin given to mice at 1mg/kg twice daily for 15 days increased mitochondrial proteins of the electron transport chain and two markers of the mitochondrial membrane (porin and mitofilin) above control mice, and both in the presence and absence of exercise.[77] Rodent studies suggest benefical effects of (-)-epicatechin ingestion on heart tissue by promoting its energetic capacities at a relatively low human-equivalent dose (0.08mg/kg twice daily).

Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a measure used to assess aortic stiffness, a hardening of the aorta from calcification[87] which is the long-term target of Vitamin K for cardiovascular health[88] and is a good independent predictor of all-cause mortality at all ages.[89]

When testing cocoa in otherwise healthy adults on this parameter, 10g of 75% dark chocolate daily for a month has resulted in a decrease in PWV of 5% (6.13+/-0.41m/s to 5.83+/-0.53m/s)[90] which is an effect not observed with acute usage of a higher dose of cocoa (100 grams) in the same demographic.[23]

One of the mechanisms by which cocoa flavanols may reduce blood pressure is through inhibition of angiotension converting enzyme (ACE), [106] although its interactions with nitric oxide are also relevant to blood pressure (being the major mechanism related to blood flow),[107] potentially related to how an insulin-mediated interaction with nitric oxide can widen blood vessels after cocoa ingestion.[46] Cocoa flavanols may reduce blood pressure through two mechanisms: by increasing blood vessel width by increasing nitric oxide and by inhibiting ACE.
Healthy adults given 100 grams of dark chocolate (500mg total flavanols) daily for 15 days, relative to white chocolate control, have been noted to experience an increase in insulin sensitivity (HOMA, QUICKI, and ISI) when subject to a glucose load; the average insulin sensitivity index (ISI) appeared to be near doubled with dark chocolate (15.18+/-7.69) relative to white chocolate control (7.4+/-3.5).[123] An improvement in insulin sensitivity (assessed via HOMA2) has also been noted with overweight adults given 451mg flavanols daily for 12 weeks in a manner that did not interact with modest physical exercise.[98] Longer term supplementation may be required for augmented insulin signaling, however, as three days supplementation of 100g dark chocolate in otherwise healthy adults in one study failed to have an appreciable effect on sensitivity.[109]
—> — Cocoa flavanols are known to improve blood flow in a way that is prevented by blocking the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) enzyme.[17]

Some studies have indicated that cocoa may increase nitric oxide production. Ingestion of dark chocolate (30g of 70% cocoa) in prehypertensive subjects can increase the amount of nitric oxide in serum within 15 days by 54% as assessed by serum biomarkers.[96] One study has also noted a reduction in vascular arginase activity, the enzyme that degrades Arginine, thought to result in an increase in L-arginine availability and hence an greater capacity to synthesize nitric oxide.[97]

In a cohort of 37,103 Swedish men followed for 10.2 years, a decreased risk of stroke was associated with the highest quartile (25%) of chocolate consumption, with a median intake of 62.9g weekly, having an 0.83 relative risk compared to the no chocolate intake (95% CI: 0.70-0.99).[64]
Cocoa powder (6.43% (-)-epicatechin content and 3.54% procyanidin B2) at 50mg/kg daily in mice for two weeks has been noted to reduce blood glucose, which was thought to be secondary to an increase in fat oxidation in and mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle.[138] This hypothesis was supported by an increase in resting energy expenditure (RER) as well as increases in the expression of CPT2 in skeletal muscle and UCP1 in brown adipose tissue. This occured independent of any changes in locomotor activity.[138] Enhanced mitochondrial bioenergetics were also noted in a preliminary study of five humans with impaired mitochondrial function (type II diabetic and with heart failure) who were given 100 mg (-)-epicatechin daily for three months.[125] An improvement of mitochondria cristae has been noted both in mice with poor oxidative metabolism in skeletal muscle[139] as well as the aforementioned human study.[125]

(-)-Epicatechin in cocoa powder has been shown to enhance oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial function in addition to promoting mitochondrial biogenesis in animal models. Preliminary evidence suggests this may also occur in humans.

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450g Jar, 450g Eco Refill Bag, 1kg Bag, 200g Snack Bag