Chocolate Consumption Links to Health Benefits

Yachana Jungle Chocolate Uses Pure Natural Cocoa That is Good for You AND Good for the Amazon Rainforest & its People

Quito, Ecuador – Wouldn’t it be great if delicious natural chocolate was good for you, as well as good for the protection of the Amazon River rainforest and its people? All of this is possible. A study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that flavonoid-rich chocolate can boost blood vessel functions. These findings are just the latest good news about chocolate’s healthy attributes. The findings of a similar study on the cardiovascular benefits of flavonoids were published in the December 2003 edition of the Journal of Hypertension.

The new research, announced last week by a team at the University of California – San Francisco, found that daily doses of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate consumed over a two-week period improved blood vessels’ ability to dilate (expand). They also reported that a particular flavonoid found in chocolate that is thought to be good for blood vessel function, epicatechin, was absorbed at high levels in the blood.

Chocolate is made from the cacao bean, which is harvested from the fruit pod of the cacao tree (Theobroma Cacao). Raw cocao (cocoa), like that used in Yachana Gourmet’s Jungle Chocolate, contains flavonoids - plant-based compounds with protective antioxidants like those found in green tea. These antioxidants have been shown to promote several beneficial effects in the cardiovascular system such as inhibiting the build-up of blood platelets, decreasing oxidation of LDL cholesterol (a process that allows cholesterol to accumulate in vessels), and decreasing the body’s inflammatory immune responses.

All chocolate is not equally healthy. The researchers noted that the standard manufacture of chocolate destroys about a quarter to one half of the flavonoids. Due to the painstaking traditional production techniques used by Yachana Gourmet, the health benefits of their pure cocoa beans are preserved.

Recognized as a Fair Trade product by the Fair Trade Federation, Jungle Chocolate is made from delicious all-natural ingredients grown by over 2,500 family farmers in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Unlike other chocolate bars and candy on the market that are loaded with sugar, processed, then melted and poured into solid forms, Jungle Chocolate features an innovative consistency made up of pure crunchy cocoa bits that never lose their crunch and don’t melt.

During the March to July harvest, Yachana Gourmet buys freshly picked cacao beans at a premium price from small family farms. Once the most aromatic and flavorful shade-grown cacao available has been selected, the beans are carefully fermented to bring out their rich chocolate taste. They are then sun dried, slowly roasted, coarsely cracked and finally mixed with just a touch of sugar cane syrup. The cocoa is then blended with high-quality natural ingredients to produce 4 delicious varieties of Jungle Chocolate.


Yachana Gourmet generates a Fair Trade income for small family farmers in the Amazon and supports the education, healthcare, poverty reduction, rainforest conservation, and community development projects of the Foundation for Integrated Education and Development (FUNEDESIN). Each purchase of Yachana Jungle Chocolate supports FUNEDESIN’s remote Mondana Health Clinic that serves more than 8,000 men, women and children living along the Napo River. Each purchase also helps to buy and protect Amazon rainforest. FUNEDESIN has conserved more than 3,600 acres of rainforest.

The future of the Amazon rainforest is inextricably linked to the well being of the native people. Yachana Gourmet increases the earnings of rural family farmers by cutting out exploitive middlemen and by paying Fair Trade prices. They also provide agro-technical assistance and a secure market on which over 2,500 subsistence-farming families can depend. This economic system is a healthy alternative to the unsustainable land uses that plague other regions of the rainforest such as unregulated logging, excessive cattle grazing and the cultivation of illicit crops

Sold primarily at natural food stores, Jungle Chocolate can also be ordered through or

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