Come on over to the dark side and enjoy the sweet benefits
- keep your blood sugars even or reduce them,
- help you lose body fat (especially from your belly),
- lower blood pressure
- lower bad cholesterol
- reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- offset age-related cognitive decline
- keep you looking and feeling younger
The Kuna, an indigenous tribe in Panama, as compared to rest of Panama citizens have a 10 percent less risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart disease because they drink five cups or more of unprocessed cocoa a day.1
David Wolfe says, “this is the NUMBER ONE food for LONGEVITY”2. Check out his great presentation on cacao, click here.
Dr. Oz says that 3,
1) “The best 100-calorie splurge to protect your skin may be a little candy indulgence that acts like built-in sunscreen: dark chocolate.”
2) It’s good for your heart – While an apple a day keeps the doctor a way, an ounce of chocolate a day can keep your blood pressure at bay and even lower cholesterol. But the cardiovascular benefits don’t end there. The flavonols in dark chocolate produce nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes your arteries, improving blood flow to your heart.
3) It boosts your libido
Chocolate has long been known to be a sensual treat, but do you know why? The more than 400 chemicals in chocolate positively affect your body’s “good mood” chemicals, including serotonin, endorphins and even phenylethylamine, known to stimulate the release of dopamine into the body’s pleasure centers (think: happy ending!).
Theobromine, which is present in cacao, kills streptococci mutans, one of the main types of bacteria responsible for tooth decay and improves asthmatic type conditions by opening up the lungs.4
So, why is a Personal Trainer/Health Advocate talking about chocolate and educating her clients to eat it. Because the chocolate that I am talking about is not a candy, it’s an antioxidant rich cold-pressed product. Chocolate is derived from the cacao bean (or cacao bean), however, there are many things that can happen along the way to change it from a SUPERFOOD to BADFOOD (a processed product with no nutritional benefits).
When you consume raw or cold-pressed chocolate you are receiving all the antioxidant value, mineral benefits, neurotransmitter rejuvenating properties and overall health-giving qualities. You will not find any of the fillers that are found in your store bought chocolate candy bar. Even some of the dark chocolate that is now filling the grocery shelves has lost its nutritional value due to being heated.
Cacao means “the food of the gods”. Chocolate isn’t a new invention. In the 1700’s it was so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used cacao beans instead of gold as money. Cortez, who probably introduced Europe to chocolate, wrote: “The divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food”.
**Don’t confuse cacao powder with cocoa powder – although they are made from the same plant, cocoa powder is highly processed, often sweetened and not as flavourful. 5
There are a plethora of scientific studies on the health benefits of chocolate and none that have been able to prove any negative health effects associated with it (unless the chocolate has additives like dairy or sugar).6
For years, I have been researching chocolate and loved the wealth of knowledge I learned from, Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe. You can pick up your copy here.
When I switched from milk chocolate to dark chocolate it took me awhile to find one that I could eat because it just did not taste that great. After a few attempts I stumbled upon Xocai- a company that sells Healthy Chocolate and for a few years ate it religiously. I actually sold it for awhile but stopped only because I’m not a chocolate salesperson but rather I like to encompass “everything healthy”. So while I don’t actively sell it anymore, it still consume it and can get some for you if you like.
To my surprise, the dark chocolate that I didn’t like a few years ago, I now love. My taste buds had transitioned from milk to dark and now milk chocolate is way too sweet and artificial tasting. So, give it time and be patient!
I love the raw hand pressed chocolate from Living Libation, here is how Nadine describes her chocolate bars:
Our Chocolate is the love-child of Willy Wonka and Mary Poppins dancing in the rain forest, singing “a spoonful of chocolate helps the plant- medicine go down in the most delightful way”. This raw organic chocolate is created and ground by hand so that all abundant vitality and rich minerals are present. This forest grown, heirloom seed, whole cacao, artisan chocolate and is liberated from dairy, roasting, soy, nuts, refined butter and sugar. Alas, there is nothing to inhibit the gifts of this primordial chocolate packed with nutrient botanical super-foods.
I also love the Sacred Heart chocolates available at Upayanaturals. They are raw, stone-ground, organic and vegan.
David Wolfe says, “This is clearly the best chocolate bar ever! Take one bite and you will know that Sacred Chocolate has cracked the cacao code!”
Are you ready to try a few recipes using raw cacao? Let your taste buds dance happily with these great desserts!
Raw Chocolate Pudding LOVE this!!! So rich and creamy and super delicious. Sometimes I eat it for lunch!
- 4 ripe avocados (p.s – anti aging superfood , so eat them up and enjoy your youthful skin)
- 1/2-3/4 cup pure local maple syrup
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup raw cacoa powder*
In a blender (I use my Vita-mix, free shipping code 06-005828), blend all the above ingredients together until smooth. Cool in the fridge. Enjoy! My children also enjoy this. You can dip some fruit in it for a new adventure.
Or how about, The Willy Wonka with a Side of Oompa Loompas Smoothie
Don’t want to eat chocolate? Then let your skin soak it in! Try the Chocolate Best Skin Ever
Fore more information on how chocolate protects your skin, click here.
Make a healthy switch today, you’ll be happy you did!
1 Oprah Magazine, July 2011 pg 85
5 The Detox Prescription by Woodson Merrell ND