Have you picked up on the hype over raw cocoa lately? Sometimes I can be a cynic when I hear about the latest and greatest foods and what we should eat (including amounts and how often). Ive been around long enough to know things fall in and out of the "good-for-you" category quite quickly! However, I have come over to the "believing" side after researching more about raw cocoa and what it has to offer me. Come to find out the chocolate bar your mom told you would rot your teeth and cause you to get fat, was only because of the sugar added and (in some cases) the dairy.
I truly hope my blog post will offer some insight into why you would want to add raw cocoa to your diet and inspire you to try something new.
Before we go on, I must clarify that I'm speaking of raw cocao and ONLY the raw version. There are many forms of cocoa powder, hot chocolate mixes, and cocoa imposters. Please read labels and be aware of the difference! One thing that might help is knowing raw cocao is sometimes spelled differently than the traditional C-O-C-O-A. Why do some spell it "cocoa" and others spell it "cocao"? Are the two things different? If so, what differentiates the two? According to my research, "cacao" is typically referring to raw vegan chocolate products which come from minimally processed cocoa beans and have no additives. Cocoa tends to be heated and may be highly processed. You've heard how chocolate is high in antioxidants right? These antioxidants are much higher in the raw version of cocao powder, as well as the preservation of vitamin C, phenethylamine (PEA, the feel good neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of love!). Eating raw cocao delivers substantial amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids. However, when cocoa is heated it becomes rancid and causes inflammation. A serving of raw cocoa also delivers tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid in those who consume a diet of mostly cooked food).
Have I peaked your interest yet?
READY TO HEAR EVEN MORE BENEFITS!?
Why should we eat raw cocao and why has it gained popularity as a "super food"? After I finish listing all the health benefits of raw cocoa, you'll be running to your cupboards to make a hot cup of chocolate. But back to the nutrition side........
Trying to lose weight? Raw Cocao is high in chromium and coumarin content. These two minerals will sped up your metabolism. * Side note: As I was creating my hot chocolate recipe, I drank my first trial cup and the next morning my scale registered me at 1 lb. lighter. I thought this was a coincidence until I made another cup 4 days later. The next morning I did my ritual weighing in and found I was down another pound and a few ounces as well. I'm not making any claims here but I am convinced that drinking the raw cocoa was the reason.
Cocao aids in the prevention of cavities (theobromine actually kills streptococci mutans one of the strains of bacteria that cause tooth decay) and normalizes blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium can naturally regulate blood sugar).
Also raw cacao benefits the heart and the entire cardiovascular system as a whole. Clinical studies have proven the antioxidants rich in dark chocolate, dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure.
The modern diet is stated to be most deficient of magnesium. Eating cacao can remedy that because this whole food has the highest source of magnesium! Magnesium is known to relax the muscles, improve bowel function and relax the whole cardiovascular system.
So there you have it....the health benefits of raw cocao in a nutshell! I, for one, will be eating theis super food on a regular basis and that leads to my recipe for:
Sugar FREE Hot Chocolate made with Stevia & Raw Cocao