Who doesn’t like chocolate? I’m sure most of you have even heard that there are lots of great benefits to chocolate and that it can even make you “fall in love”. Much of this is true, but only applies to raw cacao. So much of the benefits of cacao are destroyed through processing (mainly heating). It’s time to put down that Snickers and pick up some raw cacao! You can buy raw cacao as: cacao beans, cacao nibs, cacao paste, cacao powder and cacao butter. Cacao powder is the most common form you will find. I use cacao powder and cacao butter (the butter is just the fat separated out from the cacao bean and doesn’t contain many of the nutrients but is a great source of fat) every morning as a hot drink I use as a coffee substitute. I’ve talked about it lots but you can find the recipe here. I’m sure none of you need a reason to eat chocolate, but here are some of the benefits to eating unprocessed, raw cacao.
- It’s the #1 food source of Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that we need to have in our bodies to function and many of us are deficient. Magnesium plays an important role in many systems in our bodies. It’s helps with bone health, nerves, muscles, and more. Raw cacao is the highest food source of magnesium- awesome!
- Source of chromium. Another important mineral that most of us are deficient in. Chromium helps with balancing blood sugar.
- One of the best sources of antioxidants. You may have heard that dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants, raw cacao is many many times better. Actually, raw cacao is one of the best sources of antioxidants that you can find, even having multiple times more antioxidants than popular sources like berries (ex: goji and blueberries), red wine, green tea, and many more. Lots of people consume these other things for the antioxidant value and raw cacao blows them all out of the water! Did you need another reason to eat chocolate :)?
- Love releasing chemicals. Raw, unprocessed cacao has a chemical in it called Phenylethylamine (PEA) and is one of the chemicals that is released when we are “in love”. Much of this chemical is missing in processed chocolate because of the heating process.
Raw cacao is one superfood I could have wrote 10+ reasons why you should be eating it. I think because many of us are deficient in both chromium and magnesium it is a good enough reason to be consuming cacao. Being one of the best sources of antioxidants as well as having falling in love chemicals in it are other great reasons for you to go out and buy some nutrient dense raw cacao!
You can find raw cacao in Nutters or at your local specialty health food store. There are lots of endless recipes on the internet and in books for you to try. I have added raw cacao into my everyday diet for the last couple months and I feel great. Try it out and let me know what you think!