Chocolate, which is sweetened raw cacao has been eaten for thousands of years by people all over the world. While cacao is commonly called a bean, it is actually a nut. In fact, it is the most widely eaten nut on the planet that no one actually eats in its raw form.
It is also believed that chocolate is the favorite food on the planet – meaning it’s the one food that’s eaten the most by people out of all the foods in the world.
The word chocolate originates from the Mayan culture – it is a Mayan word – the word cacao is considered to be the the oldest word in use today. It is estimated to be 15,000 years old. When arriving in the New World, Christopher Columbus thought that cacao was an almond.
As a matter of fact, the cacao nut was used as currency back then for Mayans, like the dollar bill is used today. It is known that the leader of the Mayans at the time, Montezuma, drank 50 cups of chocolate per day.
Chocolate is the biggest cash crop in the world today, topping 100 billion dollars per year. It is also the best crop to keep indigenous people in forest and prevent deforestation. Planting cacao plants doesn’t require cutting down native trees in the jungle, they are just planted around them. Every time someone buys chocolate and raw chocolate, they are making a contribution to save the rain forest.
Cacao Has The Highest Anti-Oxidant Value
Cacao raw chocolate is the highest anti-oxidant food in the world – 15 times more powerful than wild blueberries, 20 times more than green tea, and 30 times more than red wine. Cacao is a superfood and also the number one longevity food in the world. It is also one of the best foods for your heart according to the research, containing chemicals such a flavonoids and theobromine.
When we add stuff to the cacao bean to sweeten the chocolate, like milk, GMO soy lecithin, vegetable oils and sugar, it is way less healthy. If you are going to eat chocolate, ensure that it is organic, having 50% or more cacao in it nor any commercial sugar and no commercial or heavily processed dairy ingredients..
According to an Amazonian shaman, the bark, stripped from cacao trees and soaked in cold water for 24 hours will cure male pattern baldness, when rubbed into the scalp. Yes, there is a cacao based product being researched now that will be on the market soon for hair loss.
As a food source, Cacao has the highest amount of magnesium in the world. Magnesium is also the number one mineral deficiency in the western world.
Chocolate is also the highest natural source of iron, manganese and chromium of any major food in the world. Cocoa is also rich in phosphorous, zinc and copper. Everyone thinks calcium is the most important mineral for bone health, but in truth phosphorous is even more important than calcium.
Raw chocolate is terrific for your teeth – and prepare yourself; chocolate toothpaste is coming soon!
Is Cacao Good For The Heart?
In a study conducted in Swed, women that consumed dark chocolate twice per day exhibited fewer heart problems. It is also been shown to reduce high blood pressure and strokes and reduces the chances of having a heart attack.
Cacao or unsweetened chocolate has natural blood thinning and anti-blood clotting properties. Hence, it is very good for the heart. It facilitates ease of blood flow through the body and helps build healthy blood. Interestingly the heart has always been associated with love. Within chocolate are the “love” and “bliss” chemicals the brain associates with feelings of happiness, love and fulfillment.
It is interesting to note that heat kills these “bliss” chemicals. This is the reason why commercial chocolate, which is heated in its preparation, is not as beneficial as cold-pressed chocolate in terms of health benefits. This is not to say that dark chocolate you buy in stores today have no health benefits, they are just drastically reduced when compared to raw cacao.
Can Raw Cacao Chocolate Help With Losing Weight?
Eating dark chocolate causes a person to feel more full as opposed to eating light chocolate because dark chocolate has more magnesium. Magnesium is responsible for shutting off the appestat (your inner gauge that affects your appetite or how full you feel) Therefore it’s an ideal indulgence for anyone desiring to shed pounds.
This is why almost all ‘diets’ contain chocolate: it is well known to curb the appetite when eaten. Exercise is necessary to shed pounds. Let it be known that consuming dark chocolate alone will not help in attaining weight loss goals.
Can Cacao Chocolate Help Fight Diabetes?
Yes it can! An Italian study showed that consuming chocolate regularly increases a person’s sensitivity to insulin which reduced their chances of developing adult onset diabetes.
Raw chocolate – which is raw cacao that hasn’t been sweetened, has the nutrients – chromium, zinc, copper, magnesium, saturated and unsaturated ketogenic oils, as well as flavonoids (flavan-3-oils) required to keep energy up over long time periods without an energy crash later.
Raw Chocolate Helps Protect The Skin
The oils found in dark chocolate contain antioxidants which are fat-soluble. This is a very good natural skin protector, being effective in protecting the skin from harmful UV radiation from the Suns. Raw cacao butter has an SPF of about 3.
This doesn’t compare to commercial sunscreen, but with a little ingenuity, you can mix raw cacao butter together with a little spirulina and some organic coconut oil which makes a decent sunscreen and may be enough to keep you safe in the sun.
How Stress Can Be Reduced With Chocolate
Science has proven that eating dark chocolate lowers stress levels. A group of Swiss scientists have shown studies that when their study group of patients ate dark chocolate twice a week, it significantly reduced levels of stress.
Chocolate is also great source of PEA molecules – phenethylamine, a natural anti-depressant molecule. Chocolate also contains the endorphin anandamide, a natural endorphin which is beneficial for the brain. Anandamide also keeps the bodies natural endorphins in the blood stream longer with it’s natural endorphin re-uptake inhibitors.
Dark chocolate that contain high levels of theobromine and flavanols do actually help to increase blood flow to and from the brain and reduces stress levels. This helps one to be better at problem solving, focusing and staying on task.
Can Cacao Chocolate Cure Coughs?
According to some sources, theobromine, found in dark chocolate behaves as a natural cough suppressant. Persistent coughs are caused by activity in the vagus nerve and theobromine helps minimizes this activity. For similar reasons, chocolate has been observed to be three times more effective than asthma medication.
Adding Cacao Powder To Your Diet
A good place to start using raw cacao in your daily routine is to start sprinkling a bit into your cereal, juice or smoothie. Use your imagination. Just remember that heat destroys a lot of the positive chemicals in raw chocolate.
Including the correct amount of chocolate and cacao to one’s diet can help in achieving health goals one sets for oneself.
Cacao powder can be purchased in most health food stores. You can purchase dark chocolate in super markets which usually contain 60% – 70% cacao.
Now everyone has tons of good reasons to eat chocolate and feel excited rather than guilty. You now have an alternative to partying without the hangover.
Images – Valentyn Volkov/Ekaterina Kondrateva © 123RF