Every time new research emerges about chocolate being good for you, chocolate-lovers around the world rejoice. Not so fast though! Let’s look deeper into this tasty topic.
There are some things to look into when looking for cacao, cocoa, and chocolate. Whatever you want to call it – the fact is that it can be good for your health depending on what other ingredients are added to it and what level of precessing it goes through.
Lots of studies have been done on cacao (the original raw form) – which confirm benefits in cardiovascular health, blood pressure, atherosclerosis, mood, and anti-aging. Some of the important nutrients in cacao include Vitamins A, C, and E, along with magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc. It is also said that raw cocoa has more antioxidants that any other food, including acai berries and blueberries!
Some cardiovascular research states, “It is important to strictly differentiate between the natural product cacao and the processed product chocolate, which refers to the combination of cocoa, sugar, and eventually milk and other ingredients into a solid food product. Many of the health effects of cocoa and its contents discussed here may not be applicable to chocolate”.
The study goes on to say that “An important thing is that, during the conventional chocolate manufacturing process from fresh cocoa seeds to the final product, the concentration of flavanols markedly decreases. In particular, food processing methods such as fermentation and roasting have a detrimental impact on the final flavanol content of foods. Furthermore, flavanol concentration may depend on the agricultural origin of the HYPERLINK “http://www.naturalnews.com/raw.html”raw cocoa. In particular, milk chocolate has the lowest flavanol content compared with cocoa powder and dark chocolate”. These flavanols are a type of very beneficial phenolic compound that are the focus of many new studies.
Raw cacao vs. processed cocoa?
Many health experts believe that high heat processing destroys the majority of cocoa’s nutrients. Most chocolate products use heat to roast the cocoa bean which takes away it’s amazing antioxidants.
Raw food expert, David Wolfe, said that HYPERLINK “http://www.naturalnews.com/raw_cacao.html”raw cacao is “the richest antioxidant food in the world”. There have been studies showing a highly superior antioxidant value of raw cacao powder vs. processed or roasted cocoa powder.
So, when studies come out about the benefits of chocolate, make sure to read the fine print. Running to the candy store after reading just a headline is a big no-no. Avoid using it as an excuse to eat a pack of hershey’s kisses or snicker bars. Be picky with your chocolate and look for raw cacao for your healthiest option.
What to Take from This:
Raw Cacao is better for your health then processed cocoa (or chocolate)
Make sure to look at ingredients added to your chocolate – avoid milk, processed sugars, high fructose corn syrup and tons of salt.
Raw cacao (or nibs) is great for your health and can be added into smoothies or any raw recipes for an anti-oxidant boost
10 Cacao health benefits:
- High in “feel good” neurotransmitters such as seratonin.
- Natural aphrodesiac.
- Contains PEA (phenylethylamine) known as the “molecule of joy”.
- Natural appetite suppressant.
- Contains cannabinoids – help regulate every system in our body including our nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, immunological system, endocrine system, circulatory system and every other system.
- Great source of sulphur which is known as the “beauty mineral”.
- Rich source of magnesium which is known to treat anxiety and hormone imbalances.
- Extremely high in anti-oxidants – according to the US ORAC scale – up to seven times that of regular chocolate.
- Considered a “grounding” food because it contains so many minerals including calcium, copper, phosphorus, zinc and many more. It is called “spiritually grounding” because it contains so many necessary elements from the Earth.
- Tastes incredible!