Those of you who’ve been following me for a while will know about my love for cacao! I just love the chocolaty taste! Many people feel guilty for liking chocolate and feel they have to give it up to be healthy, but that is just not the case! I can’t remember the last time I had some ‘normal’ chocolate, but the last time I had REAL chocolate was today in my smoothie!
Before I go into the benefits, I just want to explain the difference between raw cacao and cocoa. Raw cacao powder is made by cold pressing the raw cocoa bean. This keeps all the living enzymes, plus all the nutrients of the raw bean. Cocoa powder is made by roasting the cocoa beans at very high temperatures. This kills many of the enzymes and nutrients.
The studies that show chocolates amazing health benefits are not talking about the processed, store bought chocolate high in trans fats and refined sugar. It’s talking about the beautiful raw cacao.
So what is so great about this superfood?
- Full of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, calcium, potassium, B vitamins, antioxidant rich flavonoids, plus magnesium. It is one of the highest sources of magnesium in the world!
- Cacao is high in resveratrol (yes, the nutrient you get when you drink red wine!). This phytochemical has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to help protect the nervous system.
- High in many antioxidants which help to maintain healthy levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide vasodilates the blood vessels, increasing oxygen flow to the muscles, organs and also the brain.
- Phenylethylamine is found in chocolate which is a chemical released by our brain when we experience love! So cacao can increase our levels of certain neurotransmitters that boost our mood.
- Most importantly, it tastes amazing :-D
So start adding raw cacao into your smoothies, porridge, raw desserts, or even make your own raw chocolate! I have quite a few recipes which include this delicious superfood :-)
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