Today, chocolate is rarely associated with valuable or healing qualities, as it was hundreds of years ago. Why is this? Simply this noble bean has been transformed from a nutrient packed power-house into sugar-packed junk food for mass consumption!
13 compelling reasons to eat Chocolate (ie raw, in the nude cacao) – good mood food:
- Flavanoids (chemical helps give food its colour) found in dark chocolate promote antioxidant activity. Making chocolate one of the highest antioxidant foods available to us! Cacao has 15 times the amount of antioxidants as wild blueberries, 20 times more than green tea, and 30 times more than red wine! Antioxidants help keep our blood vessels, cells, and our nerves in prime condition by protecting against damage from free radicals, created in our bodies from toxins in our environment, poor food choices, stress etc….
- The antioxidant activity may also improve the skin’s ability protect against some types of skin damage, including UV-induced issues like sun burns. Plus, the flavonoids can help keep skin hydrated, increase oxygen saturation, and boost blood flow.
- Specifically it can help improve cardiovascular health, with the high levels of antioxidants in cacao.
- It’s brimming with nutrients so this is a food that gives us great ‘bang for our buck’ when we eat it.
- It’s a great source of magnesium, a critical mineral for wellbeing and often low in our diets. Magnesium supports our hearts, increases our brain power, relaxes menstrual cramping and muscles, helps build bones & improves our alkalinity. An important mineral for growing children.
- Iron, (important to help oxygenate our blood and keep our energy levels up)
- It’s also chock-full of chromium (helps balance our blood sugars), manganese, copper, zinc,( another essential mineral that plays a critical role in supporting our immune systems and giving us healthy skin).
- Phenylethylamine (PEA): (check if this is in loving earth) a class of chemicals we produce in our bodies when we fall in love. Hence why love and chocolate probably has such a deep connection. PEAs are heat sensitive, & therefore not present in conventional & organic cooked & processed chocolate.
- Cacao is actually a great weight loss food because within its extraordinary nutrition profile it contains the minerals & PEA molecules work together to help shut off our appetite.
- Anandamide (also known as the “bliss chemical”) is an endorphin our bodies naturally produce after exercise.. It has only been found in one plant – cacao. Hence when we eat chocolate it really does help to make us ‘feel good’
- Cacao also contains the essential amino acid Tryptophan, a powerful mood-enhancing nutrient – which can also help decrease symptoms of depression. The use of chocolate as a cure for emotional stress has been given support in clinical trials where it’s been found eating a small amount of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones.
- It acts as a natural aphrodisiac.
- Eaten in moderation some studies have shown it can reduce blood pressure.
Give yourself permission to eat and enjoy a small amount of good quality, (preferably home made) dark chocolate regularly and improve your overall wellbeing and you are likely to also stave off your cravings for less healthy sweets.
For more inspiration check out my 4 min video on how to make delicious chocolate at home.
At the same time, as with all the food we eat, experiment with it and see what works for you as individuals. We are all unique in our chemical makeup, so what works for one person, may not work for another. Some people may find they’re actually sensitive to cacao… listen to your body or watch your childrens behaviour.