Health Benefits of Raw Chocolate
Antioxidant effects: Cacao beans are absolutely packed with phenolic phytochemicals & flavonoids, which protect your cells against damage from free radicals. Oxidative damage can result in premature aging & many of the modern health conditions today. Cacao has 20 times the antioxidants of blueberries!
Improves cognitive performance: Epicatechin, the main flavonoid in cacao, improves various aspects of cognition and preserve cognitive abilities during aging.
Natural mood elevator & anti-depressant: High levels of serotonin, dopamine, anandamine, tryptophan, tyrosine & phenylethylamine (more commonly referred to as ‘bliss chemicals’) which play an important role in mental health, are present in cacao. This is why the feeling of unity, love, bliss & calm is often experienced when people have proper raw cacao, especially prominent during cacao ceremonies. Potent MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), more commonly referred to as powerful antidepressants, are also found in cacao, which potentiates the effect of the above mentioned neurotransmitters (bliss chemicals) so that they last longer in our systems.
Lowers blood pressure: Flavanols lower blood pressure & increase blood vessel flexibility.
Protects your heart: Flavanols and procyanidins from cacao increase antioxidant capacity in blood plasma & reduced platelet reactivity, resulting in a healthier heart.
Regulates insulin levels: Epicatechin, a flavanol in cacao, activates key proteins & help regulate glucose production, even among diabetics.
Good source of micronutrients: Cacao beans are also rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, & manganese.
Highest plant-based source of iron: Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at 7.3mg/100g. This compares to beef and lamb at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg. Note the iron in cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so to get the maximum benefits you’ll want to combine it with some vitamin C such as oranges, kiwifruit, or superfoods such as camu camu (which have 40 times more vitamin C than oranges).
High source of magnesium for a healthy heart and brain: Magnesium is important for a healthy heart, and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with laser-sharp clarity & focus. This is why you might turn to a bar of chocolate during an all-nighter at your desk!
More calcium than cow’s milk: Raw cacao has 160mg/100g, versus only 125mg/100ml of milk.