Raw Cacao - The Healthy Chocolate
You may have heard whisperings of late that chocolate is actually not all that bad for you. In fact, if prepared the right way it can be incredibly good for you as raw cacao beans contain some of the most potent levels of antioxidants of any food out there! So get eating your chocolate this Easter!
We sure are not recommending that you head for the Dairy Milk after hearing this news - but where has the chocolate industry gone so wrong? The starting point of the problem comes from the cacao bean itself - normal cocoa powder is highly processed and is often subjected to scorching temperatures of up to 150°C, while all sorts of solvents and chemicals are added to get it to it's desired state. As you can imagine this process removes pretty much all of the antioxidant properties and naturally occurring nutrients. By choosing raw cacao, you are making the most of the bean in it's natural state - this means that you are subjecting yourself to the below (to mention a few):
1. Very high levels of magnesium: Magnesium is becoming much harder for us to ingest naturally as the levels found in our soil are so depleted as a result of industrial farming. Raw cacao provides more magnesium per gram than almost any other food. Often, the reason that so many women crave chocolate before their periods is because of this magnesium content.
2. Antioxidants: Raw cacao scores very highly on the antioxidant scale containing around 20 times more flavonoids than the likes of green tea! With these high levels of antioxidants, raw cacao helps to fight off free radicals in the body helping to prevent the onset of diseases such as cancer.
3. Iron: So many of us struggle to get enough iron in our diets - especially the older we get. A single serving of raw cacao will provide almost a quarter of your RDA of iron.
4. A healthier heart: Research has found that regular doses of raw cacao can help to reduce blood pressure. (perhaps because chocolate makes us happy thus making us relax). Blood flow is increased and LDL cholesterol reduced.
5. Improved moods: By increasing circulation and the flow of oxygen around the body, our cells are better equipped to function at their best. Serotonin is released when we eat chocolate and combined with more oxygen in the body, this helps to stimulate the brain and make you feel happy!
Here are some of our raw cacao rich dishes to try. The perfect excuse for a bit more chocolate this Easter. Don't forget your raw cacao nibs too - they are brilliant for crunching on, great added to granola or your chocolate chip cookies.