Nutritionist, Herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner, Closed Colonic Hydrotherapist, Lecturer, Speaker, Author, Registered Nurse - helping the community for over 30 years.

 

There is a huge difference between the chocolate you buy in the supermarket as opposed the actual cacao bean. The actual cacao (or cocoa) bean is very good for you! Here are some great facts about cacao that you may not be aware of…

  • The Mexican Mayan kings drank up to 30 pure chocolate drinks a day to maintain their vigour and valued the bean so highly that it was used as money.
  • Cacao is a very potent antioxidant with studies showing those who consume dark chocolate daily have had reduced blood pressure, lowered cholesterol levels and an improved blood supply. In fact, 1 cup of raw cacao has almost 3 times the antioxidants of a cup of green tea!
  • Raw cacao is full of nutrients, including beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), Omega-3 EFA’s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of muscle relaxing, stress relieving magnesium – now you know why women crave chocolate every month! Unfortunately most of these nutrients are lost in processing, so don’t expect the same nutrient hit from your commercial milk chocolate!
  • Cacao is a natural happy food – it has a mood elevating effect similar to amphetamine substances. There is also evidence that this chemical can be addictive, proving chocoholics are a real phenomenon!

In order to get chocolate into the milk chocolate it is known best as, the cacao bean undergoes heavy processing with the addition of sugar, milk, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, which not only can affect your insulin levels but also destroys many of the nutrients and antioxidant properties.

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How to experience the health benefits of chocolate:

  • Opt for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. When you first change to dark chocolate, you may find it to be very strong and bitter. Stick with it – your body will adjust and soon you will find milk chocolate is just way too sweet!
  • Buy raw cacao beans or nibs and snack on them with nuts of berries. Cacao nibs are simply the cacao (or cocoa) beans, which have been crushed and shelled. The raw cacao has a bitter taste, with a slight hint of chocolate. Be warned though, the nibs contain a large amount of caffeine (0.23g/100g – coffee is 0.04g/100g!) so take it easy if you are not used to caffeine, or avoid altogether if you are sensitive to caffeine. 

 

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