chocolate is a superfood
shona hagan visit to chocolate farm and factory, grenada

It’s Xmas so let’s talk about the crazily awesome health benefits of Chocolate. Chocolate is a superfood and that’s not just some trendy label that everyone just blindly follows it actually means something. It’s called a superfood because it really does have superhero levels of nutrition within. Nutrition that genuinely helps us reach and maintain our best health. But there is a but…it’s the cacao in the chocolate that is the superfood rather than the actual chocolate bar itself. Don’t despair…all is not lost… Read on there is hope!

I know you’re busy with all your xmas stuff so heres a brief outline. It’s about a 3.5 minute read.

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cacao tree
cacao fruit
chocolate is healthy
cacao is a superfood

What is Cacao/Cocoa/Chocolate

Chocolate is made from cacao which is grown on the cacao tree the theobroma cacao which translates to ‘Food of the Gods’ a justified name I’m sure we all agree.

Cacao is healthier because it’s raw and untreated so retains its full nutritional profile, but cocoa still retains some good health benefits and therefore so does chocolate.

cocoa sign, chocolate farm and factory grenada

Why We Should Eat It

Cacao is incredibly healthy for you, a superfood in fact. It is exceptional in its health boosting, anti-ageing and disease fighting properties.

Cacao is rich in healthy nutrients including:

It’s thought to improve your health in multiple ways including;

So cacao really is a star, here’s some of its highlights

Contains Mega Doses of Anti-Oxidants

It has one of the best anti-oxidant profiles of any food in the world with 20 times more anti-oxidants than blueberries. Anti-oxidants help fight oxidative stress which is thought to be behind a multitude of todays lifestyle diseases including Depression, Alzheimers and some Cancers. The anti-oxidants alone are enough reason to eat it.

Cacao is the best source but good quality cocoa and dark chocolate also deliver anti-oxidants. In general, the higher the level of cocoa in the chocolate the more antioxidants it will contain.

raw cacao beans, chocolate factory, grenada

Can make you happy and fight depression

We all know eating chocolate makes us feel good and we might hit the chocolate when we are down. Well, it turns out that there is a scientific reason for that.Cacao releases several feel good chemicals in our brains, 2 of which are seratonin and PEA (phenylethiamine).

When you fall in love your brain produces PEA which then tells the body to release feel good endorphins. PEA also metabolises into serotonin which is great for balancing your moods and is known as the happy chemical. So when we eat chocolate our body mimics the feeling of falling head over heels in love and that sense of happiness, wellbeing and euphoria associated with it.

Happy Natural High – There is a venue in Berlin which runs a monthly event on a Sunday afternoon. 200 people drink cacao together, meditate, and then have a six-hour electronic music dance-off, before going home to sleep. How awesome is that? I want to go.

Healthy Heart and Brain

Magnesium, the cacao flavonoids and other important nutrients found in abundance in cacao have been shown to improve heart health and brain functions.

Eating chocolate can lower blood pressure according to research by Harvard University but the chocolate needs to be a minimum of 50% cocoa for it to get results. In the tests it worked better in those who already had high blood pressure.

During a British Psychologists study, eating dark chocolate was shown to improve partiipants mental maths.

Helps you Look Good

Anti-Ageing and glowing skin – contains anti-ageing anti-oxidants, which fight free radicals and protect skin from sun damage so less fine lines, wrinkles and more even skin tone.

There is research suggesting that regularly eating Cacao can help weight loss and prevention of type 2 diabetes. (not the sugary chocolate bars of course)

Those mood enhancing chemicals make you feel good, when you feel good you look good.

More Highlights

Cacao is THE highest plant based source of iron.

Great news for the non-meat eaters out there!

Cacao has more calcium than cows milk.

Again, great news for non-meat eaters and those who are lactose intolerant.

Cacao, cocoa and chocolate are treats and healthy treats are a godsend.

It tastes delicious and is very filling and satiating.

chocolate is delicious, healthy and filling

The Bottom Line

To get the maximum benefits of the superfood cacao, you have to eat it in its raw form as cacao rather than cocoa or chocolate. However, there are still great health benefits to eating quality cocoa and chocolate. The better the quality, the higher the percentage of cocoa, the better the benefits. Also, the higher the percentage of chocolate the lower the percentage of sugar which is of course another huge advantage.

How to take Action

  1. Actively seek to eat more raw cacao, it’s health benefits are off the chart.
  2. Eat good quality cocoa and chocolate moderately as a treat.
  3. Actively seek high percentage chocolate which will also be much lower in sugar.
healthy and loving it online course
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Further Reading

Cacao versus Cocoa excellent article

Amazingly Healthy Food

Click here for the benefits of eating raw produce

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

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I would love to hear your comments, thoughts, suggestion and questions below. x

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