How Healthy Is Chocolate?
Chocolate is made from the Cacao Beans. These beans are actually the seed of a fruit from the Theobroma Cacao tree, which means “Cacao, the food of the gods.”
Cacao (ka·cow) is the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate.
Best Kept Secret
The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s number-one weight loss and high-energy food. Cacao beans are probably the best-kept secret in the entire history of food.*
What’s In It For Us
Left untreated these seeds, or cacao beans, can be considered a superfood offering a wealth of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Cacao actually contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. By weight, cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined. It is rich in minerals, and trace minerals such as magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, and copper.
These nutrients found in raw chocolate have been linked to a number of health benefits.
o Raw chocolate can lower blood pressure & improve circulation;
o Raw chocolate can neutralize the free radicals that cause cancer;
o Raw chocolate can improve digestion;
o Raw chocolate can promote cardiovascular function & health, and can cut the risk of a heart attack in half;
o Raw chocolate can enhance physical and mental well-being.
o Raw chocolate offers longevity, possibly adding years to your life.
Where We Went Wrong
To make the chocolate that many of us are accustomed to, these raw cacao beans are roasted to form cocoa. The high heat during the roasting process reduces the levels of antioxidants in the cacao, drastically minimizing the powerful health benefits found in the unprocessed, raw cacao. They are then combined with sugar and fats to take us even further away from nature’s healthy gift.
Make the Switch
You can find raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, and cacao butter at health food stores. Sprinkle raw cacao nibs on your favorite dessert, or use them in lieu of chocolate chips. Use the nibs and/or powder to make delicious chocolate smoothies. I made delicious raw chocolates as gifts for family, friends, and clients this Christmas. Here’s the recipe!
1 cup Raw Cacao Powder
½ cup Raw Cacao Butter
1 T Coconut Oil
1/3 cup Raw Local Honey or natural sweetener of your choice
Melt over double boiler then pour into a glass measuring cup or small bowl. The following are some mix-in ideas:
Chopped Nuts (Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, Macadamia, etc.)
Pour into molds and place in freezer for one hour. I made a variety of assorted chocolates. For peanut butter chocolates, put a bit of chocolate in the bottom of the mold, add a dollop of pb, then top with more chocolate.
If 2016 is the year you’ve decided to feel better, sleep better, eat better, get fit, or to finally focus on YOU, I can help. I offer private and group coaching packages. Sessions are held in person, or via phone or Skype. Call or email for a free health consultation!
Strive to Thrive!
Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer
* Superfoods, written by David Wolfe