I love chocolate! …always have. So imagine my excitement when I started reading about all amazing health benefits attributed to my favorite food. It’s being hailed as a superfood, because it:
• Contains more antioxidants than goji berries, acai and blueberries
• Has lots of minerals, including magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc and manganese
• Increases the levels of some neurotransmitters, promoting well-being and brain health
• Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
• Reduces the risk of stroke
• Lowers blood pressure
• Boosts your mood
• Protects your nervous system
• Helps prevent cancer
• Improves your vision
• Improves memory
And more! 21 benefits
So, what’s the problem? Turns out, all these great health benefits are found in cacao (pronounced kakaw) the raw ingredient, derived from the bean of a Cacao tree. When the cacao beans are roasted at high temperatures, then pressed to remove the fat, it becomes cocoa. Then it’s processed with sugar, milk and other things to make chocolate, and many of the nutrients that were in the raw cacao, are actually lost.
I’ve been eating chocolate candy, thinking it was a nutritious food …how about you?
The following compares the nutritional facts for one ounce of raw organic cacao powder (left column ) with one ounce of my favorite French made 85% dark bitter chocolate bar (right column).
• Calories – 120 178
• Calories from fat – 23 121
• Total fat – 2.5g (4% DV) 14.2g
• Saturated fat – 1.5g (7% DV) 8.5g
• Sodium – 20mg (1% DV) 0mg
• Total Carbs – 19.0g (6% DV) 10.6g
• Dietary fiber – 7.0g (28% DV) 4.26g
• Protein – 5g 3.55g
• Calcium – 4% DV 1.42%
• Iron – 6% DV 4.26%
The difference is significant, and I don’t know how many other minerals, antioxidants, and beneficial enzymes were lost in the making of the chocolate bar.
I’ve decided that I want all the health benefits available from cacao, so I’ve added about 30 grams to my morning breakfast smoothy.
BTW, I’ve changed my morning breakfast smoothy. It now contains:
1 cup coconut beverage
10 raw almonds (brown skin removed)
1 packet Starbucks instant coffee
1 tbsp saigon cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp organic cacao powder
3 tbsp organic hemp protein (12g fiber, 11g protein)
3 tbsp frozen organic blueberries
6 – 7 medium frozen organic strawberries
2 raw organic eggs
I’ll admit that the cacao powder I’m using tastes a little bitter, but so does my 85% dark bitter chocolate bar, which I’m still doing about 20g/ day. ($2.99/8 servings at Trader Joe’s)
So enjoy your chocolate candy …and try cacao if you want these incredible health benefits.
Here’s to your amazing health and happiness,