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Chocolate and decaf green tea: What are the possible health benefits?

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What are the health benefits of mixing a cup of decaf green tea with a cup of organic, raw cocoa, either hot or frozen and turning it into a frozen dessert sorbet or hot drink? Green tea non-dairy chocolate mouse without added table sugar. To buy green tea powder online see, Green Tea Powder. Also you may wish to see the YouTube video, "The difference between "lavado" and "fermentado" cacao beans."

Green tea is renowned for its antioxidants and great benefits. It is non-GMO. Packed with EGCG, green tea from Camellia sinensis promotes good health in the body. Mix in with water or any other beverage. Serve the green tea chocolate mousse with green tea ice cream. Here's the recipe for the frozen dessert, which also can be served as mousse.

Use green tea powder in small amounts instead of coffee when making chocolate mousse. Store your green tea powder in the refrigerator. To make green-tea flavored chocolate mousse, you'll need unsweetened baking chocolate squares, coconut cream, and coconut oil as well as eggs and a pinch of stevia or some applesauce to sweeten. You can pour the chocolate over sweet thawed pitted dark cherries.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) melted organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons green tea powder
  • 1 cup cold coconut milk or can of coconut cream
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 pinch of stevia
  • (Optional) sweet cherries.

Instructions

1 Open a can of coconut cream and stir it so that it looks like whipped cream. Add a pinch of stevia to the coconut cream and stir.

2 Combine the unsweetened baking chocolate squares, pinch of stevia to sweeten, the melted coconut oil and green tea powder in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm. If it is too cool, the mixture will harden when the other ingredients are added.

3 Once the melted chocolate has cooled slightly, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold a shape. Sprinkle in a pinch of stevia to sweeten and beat until soft peaks form.

4 When the chocolate melts, stir in the yolks. Gently stir in about one-third of the thick coconut cream. Fold in half the whites just until mixed in thoroughly, then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining coconut cream.

5 Spoon the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes. If you wish, layer in fresh sweet thawed frozen pitted dark cherries and blobs of air-whipped coconut cream. Refrigerate overnight in a covered container. (The mousse can be refrigerated for up to a day.)

Serves 5-8, depending on the size of the servings. Keep your green tea powder stored in the refrigerator. According to the website, green tea powder may be stored under refrigeration for up to six months. Note that green tea powder contains caffeine.

Green Tea Ice Cream: Where to find the recipe online via video

You make a basic ice cream recipe from scratch and add green tea powder to it. Check out the recipe on how to make green tea ice cream in this uTube video which demonstrates specific ingredients and how to mix them to make the ice cream. The video is How to make green tea ice cream without an ice cream making machine.

Green tea ice cream is a popular Japanese-style dessert usually eaten in the West. On uTube, there are various videos on how to make green tea ice cream which uses green tea powder mixed with eggs and cream or milk. If you're on a non-dairy diet, use coconut cream or almond milk instead of cow's milk and coconut cream instead of heavy dairy cream.

You also can make this a nondairy frozen dessert by using other milk substitutes of your choice. Some people make frozen desserts from ground almonds and bananas or other fruits such as pureed mango chunks with coconut flakes. You can also view the video on how to make Mochi Ice Cream.

More green tea ice cream recipe videos are at the following sites: You can combine unusual ingredients for a new taste and twist on frozen desserts. You may wish to check out the site, "Homemade Green Tea Ice Cream (녹차 아이스크림)."

Can cocoa extract counter the mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease?

Cocoa extract may counter specific mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, says a new study, "Cocoa Extracts Reduce Oligomerization of Amyloid-β: Implications for Cognitive Improvement in Alzheimer’s Disease," published online June 20, 2014 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD). Insights into mechanisms behind cocoa’s benefit may lead to new treatments or dietary regimens. A specific preparation of cocoa-extract called Lavado may reduce damage to nerve pathways seen in Alzheimer’s disease patients’ brains long before they develop symptoms, according to that study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Specifically, the study results, using mice genetically engineered to mimic Alzheimer’s disease, suggest that Lavado cocoa extract prevents the protein β-amyloid- (Aβ) from gradually forming sticky clumps in the brain, which are known to damage nerve cells as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. The goal is to use cocoa that is not processed with alkaline substances as Dutched cocoa usually is because the alkalizing process destroys the polyphenols in the cocoa, that is the dense nutrition and antioxidants.

Lavado cocoa is primarily composed of polyphenols, antioxidants also found in fruits and vegetables, with past studies suggesting that they prevent degenerative diseases of the brain

The Mount Sinai study results revolve around synapses, the gaps between nerve cells. Within healthy nerve pathways, each nerve cell sends an electric pulse down itself until it reaches a synapse where it triggers the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters that float across the gap and cause the downstream nerve cell to “fire” and pass on the message.

The disease-causing formation of Aβ oligomers – groups of molecules loosely attracted to each other –build up around synapses. The theory is that these sticky clumps physically interfere with synaptic structures and disrupt mechanisms that maintain memory circuits’ fitness. In addition, Aβ triggers immune inflammatory responses, like an infection, bringing an on a rush of chemicals and cells meant to destroy invaders but that damage our own cells instead.

“Our data suggest that Lavado cocoa extract prevents the abnormal formation of Aβ into clumped oligomeric structures, to prevent synaptic insult and eventually cognitive decline,” says lead investigator Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, according to the June 23, 2014 news release, "Cocoa extract may counter specific mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease."

Pasinetti is the Saunders Family Chair and Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Given that cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease is thought to start decades before symptoms appear, we believe our results have broad implications for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Evidence in the current study is the first to suggest that adequate quantities of specific cocoa polyphenols in the diet over time may prevent the glomming together of Aβ into oligomers that damage the brain, as a means to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The research team led by Dr. Pasinetti tested the effects of extracts from Dutched, Natural, and Lavado cocoa, which contain different levels of polyphenols. Each cocoa type was evaluated for its ability to reduce the formation of Aβ oligomers and to rescue synaptic function.

Lavado extract, which has the highest polyphenol content and anti-inflammatory activity among the three, was also the most effective in both reducing formation of Aβ oligomers and reversing damage to synapses in the study mice

“There have been some inconsistencies in medical literature regarding the potential benefit of cocoa polyphenols on cognitive function,” says Dr. Pasinetti, according to the news release. “Our finding of protection against synaptic deficits by Lavado cocoa extract, but not Dutched cocoa extract, strongly suggests that polyphenols are the active component that rescue synaptic transmission, since much of the polyphenol content is lost by the high alkalinity in the Dutching process.”

Because loss of synaptic function may have a greater role in memory loss than the loss of nerve cells, rescue of synaptic function may serve as a more reliable target for an effective Alzheimer’s disease drug, says Dr. Pasinetti.

The new study provides experimental evidence that Lavado cocoa extract may influence Alzheimer’s disease mechanisms by modifying the physical structure of Aβ oligomers. It also strongly supports further studies to identify the metabolites of Lavado cocoa extract that are active in the brain and identify potential drug targets. You also may wish to check out another article mentioning news of another study also involving Lavado cocoa extract, "Hershey: Cocoa polyphenols show weight management potential." The point is that cocoa extracts that underwent a minimum of processing were tested.

Notice how each time a new study finds a type of plant extract works, there's almost always the hope that a supplement can be made from it, or that the goal is to find a way to make money from the findings. For example, in addition, turning cocoa-based Lavado into a dietary supplement may provide a safe, inexpensive and easily accessible means to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, even in its earliest, asymptomatic stages. But can a person buy a container of organic, raw cocoa powder that's minimally processed and not alkalized or 'Dutched, which destroys many of the polyphenols in the cocoa'?

Researchers from Kanazawa University in Japan contributed to the study and the cocoa used in the study was a gift from Dr. Jeffrey Hurst of the Hershey Company. Authors of the study are Jun Wang*, Merina Varghese*, Kenjiro Ono, Masahito Yamada, Samara Levine, Nikos Tzavaras, Bing Gong, William J. Hurst, Robert D. Blitzer, Giulio Maria Pasinetti *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Also, you may wish to see another noteworthy study, "Compound Reverses Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease in Mice, SLU Research Shows." Or check out, "Natural Chemical Found In Grapes May Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease by Decreasing Neurotoxins in the Brain."

You may also be interested in an older study which appeared in the news in August 2013. That study is published in the journal Neurology, explained that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help older people keep their brains healthy and their thinking skills sharp. A brisk walk also helps.

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