healthy lap of the week – eat more chocolate!

Healthy Lap of the Week – Eat More Chocolate!

You may think that I am crazy, but I have been reading the book Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie.  It is unbelievable what raw chocolate (cacao) can do for your health.

 

Now, I’m not saying that eating any chocolate bar will benefit your health.  It needs to be natural, raw chocolate (or dark chocolate).  So, don’t go out and buy a case of Snickers bars!

All chocolate is made from cacao beans, which are the seeds of the cacao fruit.  Once removed from their pods, they taste like rich dark chocolate (with a bitterness) because that is what they really are!  Which is why dark chocolate is the best type that you can eat.  Most good, high quality dark chocolate is minimally processed.

Chocolate (and the cacao fruit) grows on trees! (Source)

The cacao beans are found inside of the fruit, which is ripe once colorful. (Source)

They are found inside of the pods. (Source)

And removed for chocolate production! (Source)

The cacao bean contains numerous antioxidants, more than anything else, including red wine and green tea which have been shown to contain many antioxidants themselves.  However, in order to gain the antioxidants from chocolate, it needs to be eaten as dark chocolate or in it’s natural state (ie. raw cacao nibs or powder).  It has also been shown that consuming chocolate and milk together, greatly decreases the amount of antioxidants that your body can absorb.  Therefore, milk chocolate is a no-no, and so is drinking a big glass of milk with your chocolate bar.  I frequently add raw cacao powder and/or nibs to my smoothies.  Not only am I getting a delicious chocolate drink, but I am also getting the many great benefits of raw chocolate.

Raw Cacao Nibs are delicious when added to smoothies (without milk!!) and cookies! (Source)

 

Surprisingly, chocolate is shown to decrease your appetite.  Many people believe that chocolate is linked to obesity (which is true because of all of the artificially produced candy bars out there), however, if eaten correctly, chocolate is actually proven to be a natural weight loss drug!  If you look at many weight loss products on the market today, more often than not, there is cacao somewhere in the ingredient list because it will suppress your appetite.

Chocolate also contains the following benefits:

  • It has high levels of magnesium, which over 80% of Americans are deficient in.  We need magnesium for heart health, muscle relaxation and to increase our brainpower.
  • It has high amounts of phenylethylamine (PEA), which makes us happy!  Happy people have noticeably higher levels of PEA in their brains.
  • It also contains anandamide and tryptophan, which are both mood-enhancing nutrients that our bodies need.

“Every study on chocolate is pointing to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us. That something is the raw cacao bean, the nut that all chocolate is made from. The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s #1 weight loss and high-energy food. Cacao beans are probably the best kept secret in the entire history of food.”
David Wolfe, co-author of Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About The World’s Greatest Food.

You can purchase cacao powder and nibs in many natural food stores these days, including whole foods.  I love the Navitas Naturals brand, but anything will do!

 

If you need any other reasons to keep eating chocolate, definitely check out this book!  I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ll be giving you lots of tidbits here and there until I do!  It has a lot of great looking recipes to try too, but they are all raw, so that needs to be your thing!

Happy Eating! 🙂

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7 Responses

  1. Thanks for the cacao info! Just another reason to eat chocolate every day 🙂

  2. […] healthy lap of the week – eat more chocolate! […]

  3. oh I LOVED hearing ALL about chocolate. I learned some new things 😉

  4. […] Cacao powder and nibs – it’s chocolate!  Isn’t that a good enough reason?  Cacao is also very high in antioxidants and magnesium.  Check out my post about it here. […]

  5. […] And, are also very rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.  As we know from my post about the benefits of chocolate, over 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.  We need magnesium for heart health, muscle […]

  6. […] Chocolate is made from cacao beans, which are the seeds of the cacao fruit.  Once removed from their pods, the beans taste like a bitter rich dark chocolate.  To get to the chocolate bars we eat today, those cacao beans are highly processed and mixed with a lot of sugar (and milk to make milk chocolate).  Check out more here. […]

  7. […] knew a lot of the information from reading Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie (see post here), but it was interesting to learn about the process that Theo […]

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