Chocolate seems to get a bad press, viewed as a ‘negative food’ and best avoided. However, some of the longest living peoples have consumed copious amounts of chocolate, so what is the real deal? In reality, chocolate in its raw form can offer a truckload of health benefits.
1. Antioxidants – Raw chocolate has the highest amount of antioxidants from any wholefood. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
2. Magnesium – The magnesium content of raw chocolate is the highest of any wholefood. Many people are deficient in magnesium, and the mineral is important for the health of your heart, muscles, cardiovascular system, and digestion.
3. Chromium – The chromium content of raw chocolate is the highest of any wholefood. Chromium is important to regulate blood sugar, so good for people with blood sugar issues including diabetics.
4. Phytonutrients – Raw chocolate is said to be the most complex foodstuff due to its excellent phytonutrient profile, including dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters. These two neurotransmitters can help lift your mood. Phytonutrientsare biologically active chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants.
5. Nutrient Rich – Raw chocolate is good for your overall health due to its excellent nutrient profile, including magnesium and chromium. Other nutrients include zinc and iron, two nutrients which people can be deficient in. The nutrient profile of raw chocolate benefits every function of the body.
It appears that all of the bad things commonly attributed to chocolate bars can be attributed to the dairy, sugar, and other fillers, not the chocolate itself.
However, you can get the health benefits of chocolate by eating chocolate in its raw form. You can buy raw chocolate bars in health stores – ‘Conscious Chocolate’ is a popular one. Other ways of including chocolate is by buying raw chocolate in nib or powder form. With the powder you can make hot chocolate, and you can eat the nibs on their own. The nibs are very intense so you only need to eat a few at a time.
Enjoy your chocolate!