Chocolate comes in many forms and, truthfully, I'm a chocoholic. I eat dark chocolate and use raw cacao powder several times a day. The taste is awesome and the benefits are huge.
Raw cacao added to your NutriBlast can supercharge your body in many ways. Be creative with it.
But be warned - not all chocolate is healthy!
Milk chocolate or other candies in which chocolate is added does not have the health benefits of dark or raw chocolate. More than likely, they have milk and lots of sugar in them. Even healthy dark and raw chocolate is high in calories, so limit your amount to you avoid gaining weight. It only takes 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate or raw powder once a day to get the health benefits of chocolate.
To make sure I'm eating the healthiest chocolate, I only eat chocolate with a cacao content of 85% or higher. When I make hot chocolate, I use the healthiest form, which is pure, raw (uncooked or unprocessed) cacao powder. Chocolate is one of the highest antioxidant-rated foods. It's rich in the powerful antioxidants resveratrol and epicatechin, in minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins, like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Folate, B2, B5, B6 and Vitamin K. Chocolate also contains brain and heart-healthy fats and other healthy phytonutrients.
- Helps reduce blood pressure
- Provides great energy
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves bone health
- Protects cells from free radical attacks
- Reduces premature aging
- Helps reduce stress
- Improves vascular wall health
- Reduces blood clots
- Can improve both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels
- Improves insulin function
- Reduces platelet stickiness
- Improves immune response
- Improves our mood
- Improves our sleep
- Can improve heart health
How Chocolate Improves Our Mood
Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate a few times a week can help lower your blood pressure, improve blood flow and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots - mood enhancing if you ask me! It also helps increase our uptake of serotonin, which improves our mood. Chocolate has Phenylethylamine (or PEA), a natural chemical produced by our brains to produce endorphins (mood-elevating hormones that are attributed to the feeling of love). This creates a euphoric feeling in our brains and can help with depression, irritability, grief and much more!
Another substance found in chocolate is anandamide. A fatty substance that is naturally produced in the brain, anandamides makes us feel relaxed and improve our mood.
It’s also good when you're sick, if you can't get the rest you need, or your dying of the flu, just try a bit of dark chocolate. The Xantheose, an ingredient in dark chocolate, has been proven to suppress a cough and help with symptoms and inflammation. This effect is attributed to the antioxidants present and likens this food to blueberries, acai berries and other super foods.
Enjoy dark and raw chocolate; it doesn’t take much, just an ounce or two every day to get the desired health benefits and pleasurable relaxation it provides.
As I write this, I'm enjoying a delicious cup of velvety rich dark cocoa. I add a little Ceylon cinnamon, almond milk and stevia, the aroma and taste is bliss!
Enjoy your chocolate!