What if I could tell that it’s totally acceptable to eat chocolate every day? And, you would be boosting your health by eating it. Sounds almost too good to be true right? Well, guess what, you can. However, I’m not talking about your everyday chocolate bar that you get from the vending machine or corner store. I’m talking about raw cacao, the superfood. I use this super food a lot in my F.I.T. programs, for two reasons:
1. It provides the body with a high dose of vitamins and minerals
2. It tastes absolutely amazing
What is raw cacao?
Raw cacao is cacao bean straight from the cacao plant. When people talk about chocolate being good for you, they are referring to the benefits of the cacao plant, not the chocolate bar. The difference between cocoa (what’s used for drinking chocolate, baking, chocolate bars) is that raw cacao is extracted straight from the cacao plant using low temperatures, keeping all its vital nutrients intact. Cocoa, on the other hand, is extracted using high temperatures, making it lose most of it’s nutrients. Then adding the cocoa into a chocolate bar with all the other bad ingredients like sugar, vegetable oil, preservatives, cream etc. making this super nutrient dense food, not healthy at all.
Benefits of raw cacao:
- Lowers insulin resistance
- Is filled with antioxidants that help fight against stress and toxins, strengthen the immune system and improve cardiovascular health.
- Raw cacao provides more antioxidants to the body than blueberries and green tea, making it a true superfood. In fact, it has 4 x the antioxidants than normal heat treated cocoa
- It’s a great source of magnesium which helps promote a feeling of calm, and good for bone health
- Good source of sulfur, which is associated with strong nails, shiny, hair and good for liver health
- Is a natural mood booster as it helps to release phenylethylamine, which is the same chemical we release when we are in love
- Helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce cholesterol
How to eat it?
Seeing as raw cacao comes in a powder form, you can use it the way you would normal cocoa powder, so it's perfect for baked treats, desserts, smoothies, and hot chocolate. You can even make your own homemade chocolate with raw cacao, coconut oil and a healthier sweetener like stevia, rice malt syrup or honey. I’ve included a lot of chocolate recipes in my F.I.T. programs to make delicious baked goods and desserts, like brownies, protein balls, and chocolate mouse, that taste just like a naughty treat. I’ve included some links to recipes below:
Do you eat raw cacao? Leave me a comment below with your favourite way to eat it.