Let’s begin with a pop quiz. True or False?:
Healthwise, eating a milk chocolate bar is the same as eating a chocolate bar with 70% dark chocolate.
If you answered false, you’re right!
Most chocolate that’s widely available commercially are so loaded with added sugar, fat, trans fats, and preservatives that it’s a distant relative of its original ingredient—cacao—and devoid of any healthful properties. Amazingly, Americans consume in the ballpark of 12 pounds of chocolate per person per year! And while eating dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa or cacao content in moderation is a more healthful option, to derive the ultimate superfood benefits, you’ll want to stick with eating cacao.
What Is Cacao?
Long enjoyed for its invigorating properties in South America, and grown in tropical areas, cacao is the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate. Beans grow on trees, and referred to as “food of the gods,” raw cacao benefits a wide range of cardiovascular issues. The dark chocolate antioxidants and abundant amounts of magnesium and other phytochemicals can balance blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, scrub away arterial plaque, and promote general health by reversing heart disease. (Raw) chocolate bars are known as a great remedy for many menstruation issues women can get. It is also confirmed as an aphrodisiac for both genders.
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, here’s a fun fact that could point to chocolate’s superfood powers regarding longevity: The world’s oldest woman, Jeanne Louise Calment of Arles, France, reportedly ate 2.5 pounds of bitter dark chocolate per week!
All in Moderation
While it may be tempting to run out and gorge on this superfood treat, adding a few tablespoons of raw cacao powder or cacao nibs to your morning smoothie may be all that you can tolerate. Here’s why: Raw cacao, for all its wonderful properties, contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid with caffeine-like properties. If you are sensitive to theobromide, you may feel jittery, high or on-edge, so best to begin by indulging in moderation!
A Delicious Treat
For a quick and nutritious dessert that highlights this ancient superfood, mix 2 ripe avocados, ¼ cup raw cacao powder, a splash of agave or maple syrup, a few tablespoons coconut oil, a splash of vanilla and cinnamon to a high-speed blender and whir until you achieve a smooth consistency. Chock full of goodness, this pudding lets you have your chocolate and eat it too!
Vita Raw Organic Chocolate
Nativas Naturals Cacao