Chocolate. Yes it is good for you and here’s why!
Cacao or raw chocolate has been used in South America for centuries for its healthy benefits and energising properties.
Cacao is the dried seed from a South American tree and which is used to make cocoa, chocolate or cocoa butter. Cacao contains many of the same health benefits of the dark green leafy vegetables, however it all depends on a few key things; like how it’s prepared, how you eat it or what you eat it with.
Why is Raw Chocolate good for you?
Raw cacao beans are full of flavonoids that act as natural antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from ageing and disease caused by free radicals. Raw cacao contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional cocao powder.
Scientists from Cornell University in the US recently discovered that raw cacao contains nearly twice the antioxidant content of red wine and up to three times the antioxidant content of green tea.
These are the amazing benefits of good quality raw chocolate:
- It’s a top food source of antioxidants.
- Top source of magnesium – nature’s tranquilliser for helping you deal with stress.
- Contains the compound that scientists believe is released when you’re in love (Phenylethylamine) – now we all need more of that!
- Boosts serotonin & endorphins – improves your mood and the feel good emotions.
- Supports good heart health, helps lower blood pressure and it reduces inflammation – i.e. stops ageing read more about that here
Avoid this chocolate!
Commercial chocolate (bars, sweets etc.) is usually roasted to high temperatures that ends up destroying all the goodness – the anti-oxidants, enzymes and nutrients whereas raw chocolate is not heated above 45°C to maintaining it’s health benefits.
Store bought chocolate bars also mostly contain a lot of sugar and milk which if you don’t know all the negative effects that sugar has on your weight, your skin and ageing then read more here.
The lower the cocoa content in the chocolate bar or sweet the lower the antioxidant level e.g. A 75% cacao bar has approx. 25% sugar.
Cacao powder is finely ground and easy to add to recipes or smoothies, homemade energy balls and raw chocolate cakes.
You can have too much of a good thing. Raw cacao is a stimulant, contains some caffeine and can over stimulate the nervous system, especially if you are sensitive. Don’t consume more than four heaped teaspoons a day.
HEALTHY CHOCOLATE RECIPES
Raw Chocolate Nut Smoothie – Energiser
½ cup almonds
2 cups dairy alternative milk i.e. rice milk or coconut milk
2 medjool dates
1 teaspoon raw organic cacao powder
1 banana (frozen if desired)
Place all ingredients into your blender and mix until smooth and enjoy!
Chocolate & Kale Smoothie – Hormone Balancing
- 1 cup coconut, hemp, or almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 cup of kale
3 tablespoons cacao nib
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder 5-6 ice cubes
Throw all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
Healthy Chocolate Bar Recipe
-2 cups of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit
– 1/2 cup of coconut oil
– 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
– 1 tablespoon raw honey
Chop nuts into smaller pieces.
Mix all ingredients together, flatten in a baking tray and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.
Cut into squares.
Store in a refiergate.