Chocolate is probably one of my favorite things to write about. Like most people, I absolutely love it, although I do actually know someone who does not like it! Imagine… Seriously though, the health benefits of chocolate are many, and like most things, the less processed it is, the better.
The raw cacao bean is a true superfood. It is actually a seed from the fruit of a tree and it is complex. It has over 500 chemical compounds, including theobromine, which is a cousin of caffeine, and phenylethylalanine, which are compounds that are released in our bodies when we fall in love. The association between chocolate and love is no accident. It truly does contain feel-good chemicals.
Cacao is one of the highest sources of magnesium around so it’s great for the bones as well as muscle relaxation, digestion, and heart function. It is also a source of tryptophan, which is the starting material for serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter, so it’s a valuable food source for the brain. It’s also loaded with antioxidants to protect your cells from the oxidation of living…
To reap the benefits from raw cacao, simply add the beans, nibs, or raw powder to smoothies, yogurt, salads, or other raw dishes. You can even eat the beans whole. This recipe for raw protein balls can incorporate raw cacao powder as well.
Now that I've got you interested in eating chocolate in the raw, a great resource for additional information on cacao is David Wolfe’s book Superfoods. You’ll also find some great recipes inside using raw chocolate!