I must confess I am late to the party in terms of raw cacao. That is strange as I love chocolate and don’t need much of an excuse to eat some. But, I actually came across raw cacao in one of the recent infographics on super foods that I ran right here on the blog. Turns out raw cacao is one of them. I bought mine from Terrasoul Superfoods on Amazon.
Secrets of Longevity says, “It turns out that all the bad things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars, such as cavities, weight gain and diabetes, are actually caused by the dairy, sugar and others fillers added to the dark chocolate. Health benefits of chocolate when it is in the form of raw cacao beans, butter, nibs and/or the powder include; weight loss (because of its high chromium and coumarin content), prevention of cavities (theobromine actually kills streptococci mutans one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay) and regulation of blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium can naturally regulate blood sugar). Also raw cacao benefits the heart and the entire cardiovascular system as a whole.
“Cacao is the highest whole food source of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the diet of modern cultures. Magnesium relaxes muscles, improves peristalsis in the bowels and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system. The dark chocolate antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. Also, various other vitamins and minerals in raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular system.”
Now that you appetite has been whetted, how do you get this bitter, if wonderful, substance into your system? Here is a brief list:
You can add it to puddings, coffee, fruit smoothies. Put it on banana slices on toast. Spread it over fruit, granola cereal or granola bars, dairy or nut milk and finally, add it to your favorite protein drink. Feel free to suggest ways that you might be using.
Weight Loss and Sex
“Drinking a cup of hot cacao before meals can diminish your appetite by helping the body tune in to its natural appetite. According to Dr Gabriel Cousens, this is due to cacao’s monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors). This is why it is often added to weight-loss supplements, ” says Body and Soul of Australia.
In addition, it can lead to sex. “Raw cocoa is an aphrodisiac because it contains anandamide, a substance that induces euphoria. It also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mood enhancer. This super molecule exists naturally in the brain.”
Natural News wasn’t too keen on getting your cacao from chocolate bars. “The bitter taste indicates it is true cacao, but many find it unpleasant which is why sugar and milk solids and other additives are now mixed with it. The dilution of its true taste also means its powerful phytonutrients have been diluted as well. Most mainstream candy bars, for instance, have under 10 percent cacao, and the amount and integrity of the phytonutrients suffers from oxidation and alkalinization during processing. Dark chocolate contains many more flavanols than milk or white chocolate.”
Finally, it helps the old cabeza. “Cocoa is good for the brain too. Traditional uses include antidepressant, mood leveler, and improvement of cognitive function due to the constituents that influence our neurotransmitters. One study suggests that adding cocoa to a the diet during nutritional recovery reduces damage caused by oxidative stress and helps to restore glutathione levels.”
I am currently adding the raw cacao powder to my fruit smoothie in the morning and also putting some in my coffee. Mocha, anyone?