(NaturalNews) Is raw chocolate good for you? We might all like to think that it`s great for our bodies, but is this true or not? Here`s a quick rundown on the history of cacao and its possible benefits to raw foodists and anyone who is interested in going the whole nine yards to look after their health.
First of all, a little education on the matter...cacao, which is what chocolate is made from, comes from the cocoa plant which is native to the tropical regions of the Americas. The Maya believed that cacao was discovered by the gods, and they would hold an annual festival in celebration of the gift. The use of cacao is described in ancient texts in various mixtures for culinary, ceremonial and medicinal uses. It is thought that the first European to come across the delicious food was Columbus in 1502.
Raw chocolate is an almost complete foodstuff. It is loaded with more than 300 chemically identifiable compounds, and is higher in anti-oxidants than green tea and wine. It also contains protein, fats, calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, and magnesium, which is essential for the correct functioning of the brain. Cacao contains caffeine, which means that a raw chocolate drink or desert will give you a similar kick to that of coffee, but in a healthier and raw way.
One thing to note about cacao is that it seems to affect different people in different ways. It would seem that each individual should try it for themselves and find out how it affects them. Some people claim to have energy and feel great with raw chocolate, and they also say that eating raw chocolate allows them to stay on the raw food diet. Others find that the cacao gives them too much of a kick to the point where they actually feel jittery. So, try it and find out for yourself.
When you try it, some benefits you may experience include:
-Increased sex drive (yes, `they` were right; chocolate is an aphrodisiac). -Short term trials have shown that raw chocolate may be good for the heart, in that it can lower blood pressure and the flavanoids in it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality. -Raw cacao decreases appetite in some people. -Raw chocolate contains chemicals which, when consumed, make us feel happy, so it is great for when you need cheering up.
Bottom line is that having a bag of raw cacao powder or chocolate nibs in the press is a raw foodist`s first line of defense against attacks of the sweet tooth, and it`s really good for you too. A very easy dessert to make includes hazelnut meal, dates, raw cacao powder and coconut oil. All blended up and put in the fridge for a few hours makes a very tasty and filling fudge-like treat.
Matt Monarch has been on a 100% Raw Vegan Diet since 1999; he eats only raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and seaweeds. He is currently the owner of three different health-promoting websites. In partnership with Raw Food Pioneer and Nutritionist Dr. Fred Bisci, Matt has co-created www.TheRawFoodWorld.com, which sells support tools to help people live free of degenerative disease. Matt’s other websites are www.RawSpirit.org and www.LivingNutritionals.com. After eight years eating a 100% Raw Food Diet, Matt has written two books on the subject – Raw Spirit, and Raw Success. In recent years he has spent much of his time touring the United States, presenting well over 200 Raw Food Lectures. He is widely sought out as a speaker and gives talks worldwide on how to live a healthier lifestyle. Matt has appeared as a key speaker at events including The Raw Spirit Festival and many other festivals and expos. He was featured in a Raw Food TV Spot that aired over 15 times on Al Gore’s TV Network, Current TV. This TV spot can be viewed at www.RawSpirit.org. As 6-year owner of The Raw Food World and Living Nutritionals, he is well versed in people's needs and concerns about health.