Chocolate in its purest form is always a safe bet. This is because it is a rich source of antioxidants and contains more than 300 nutritional compounds. Its health benefits traces back to the ancient times of the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs who consumed it as the divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. Way back then, raw cacao is hard to produce and is quite expensive, making it an important mode of payment.
Today, people are rediscovering the wonderful properties of chocolate as a super food. The key ingredient in chocolate – cocoa beans – is where the case for the existence of healthy chocolate begins. In fact, the natural and unprocessed form of chocolate is touted for its nutritional benefits ranging from improving brain function to protecting against cardiovascular disease to alleviating stress. It also improves the insulin sensitivity that can help prevent diabetes, and helps you lose weight.
Theobromine, known as the chocolate molecule, is one of the primary compound found in cocoa. Medically, theobromine is used to treat high blood pressure, as a diuretic to treat edema, and as a heart stimulant. This caffeine like compound acts as a mild stimulant and is also believed to treat depression by producing more anandamide, a neurotransmitter that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and anxiety.
Additionally, cocoa offers great benefits if it is raw and organic. This magical bean contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulphur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. The precise blend of all these elements combined serves to trigger naturally occurring phytochemicals that have miraculous benefits throughout the body, such as lowered LDL cholesterol, and reduced cancer risk.
Chocolate in its raw form has a positive impact on well being, combined with its distinctive flavour. However, an important thing to consider is not to over-indulge in this sweet treat. It is rightly said that everything in moderation and quality over quantity is the winning formula. In fact, a little of the real food of love- chocolate, red wine are good health choices for any occasion.
In order to include chocolate into part of a healthy lifestyle and to reap the natural benefits of cocoa beans, make sure to choose the raw cacao powder of good quality and don’t be deceived by those brands claiming to be raw. The raw cacao powder comes in dark brown colour and has a bitter taste.
This superfood can be incorporated in many different ways. Studies found that raw cacao mixed with dairy inhibits the absorption of nutrients. To get the most benefits of raw cacao, try mixing your cup of raw cacao with coconut milk, soymilk, rice milk, or plain water and enjoy.
At the end of the day, there‘s hardly a reason to deny chocolates. Live the bliss or give it to someone you love.
Enjoy the choco-facts in the following infographic :