Originally published November 11 2008
Improve Your Health and Well-Being with Raw Chocolate
by Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) Kit Kats, Snickers, Cadbury. We all know that chocolate is bad for us right? Wrong!
Chocolate is actually one of the healthiest foods on the earth! Research is continually proving that chocolate is actually a super food. The problem is that most chocolate has been highly processed and heated, stealing all the nutrients.
Further, Many ingredients are added to chocolate which have a negative impact on our health. Sugar, for example, destroys the immune system, and causes diabetes, premature aging and other serious health complaints. Studies show that adding milk to chocolate cancels out all of the goodness. In addition, researchers have found that commercial chocolate can be contaminated with extremely high quantities of the toxic metal lead.
You may be asking yourself what is left if you can't have milk chocolate, dark chocolate or any sort of processed chocolate. Fear not, the absolutely delicious raw chocolate is taking the world by storm. You don't need to avoid chocolate this holiday season because you can have raw chocolate.
Raw chocolate is chocolate that has not gone through any sort of heating or processing, so all of the nutrients are still in tact.
So What are the Nutrients?
Chocolate contains more magnesium than any other food. Magnesium is the number one mineral deficiency in the west. It is the most powerful stress relieving mineral. It also relaxes the muscles and builds strong bones and teeth.
Chocolate is also power packed with antioxidants, which protect us from aging and disease. The following is a list of the foods with the highest ORAC values (the number given to foods based on their antioxidant activity):
•Unprocessed Raw Cacao - ORAC 28,000
•Acai Berries - ORAC 18,500
•Dark Chocolate - ORAC 13,120
•Prunes - 5,770
•Goji Berries - 3,472
•Pomegranates - 3,307
•Raisins - 2,830
•Blueberries - 2,400
Amazing! You can see that even heated dark chocolate has a high antioxidant level. Unfortunately, most dark chocolate has sugar added to it.
Chocolate is actually higher in the antioxidant resveratrol than red wine. The media have been giving red wine a lot of attention over the last few years because it is rich in this antioxidant, which is know for protecting cells from free radical damage and inhibiting the spread of cancer. It is also know to your lower blood pressure and normalize your anti-inflammatory response.
Chocolate is also rich in sulphur, which is the beauty mineral. Sulphur is essential for gorgeous skin, lustrous hair and strong nails.
Chocolate is one of the only sources of PEA, which is a compound that increases the serotonin levels in the brain, which increases joy. No wonder people are so attracted to chocolate!
More Benefits of Chocolate
Chocolate may help prevent cardiovascular disease in diabetics because of their high levels of flavanol. Research has shown that people with diabetes that drank flavanol rich cocoa for one month showed dramatic improvements in their blood vessel function. In fact, the improvements they noticed were as high as those found in taking drugs. Chocolate is an amazing super food for keeping your heart healthy and for improving elasticity in your blood vessels.
Chocolate helps people to feel amazing. Besides PEA, the rich creaminess of chocolate has been known to boost sex drive and make us feel alive. And the good news is that it doesn't have to contain milk, sugar, aluminium, or any other ingredients that may have a negative impact on our health. Raw chocolate can be combined with other super foods so that we can indulge our sweet tooth and improve our health at the same time.
Even the biggest sweet tooth junk food eaters enjoy raw chocolate.
How to Get Raw Chocolate
Some health food shops are beginning to sell raw chocolate, and you can also order it online.
Better yet, you can make your own vegan raw chocolate at home. There are so many different recipes out there that combine different super foods. Here is one of the most basic for you to try out:
Raw Cacao butter
Raw Cacao powder
Agave Nectar (yes…only four ingredients, but you won't believe how it tastes!)
Put boiling water in a bowl. Put the cacao butter (how ever much chocolate you intend to make) in another bowl, then set that in the bowl with the boiling water. This will ensure that the cacao is not heated above 116 degrees f, which is the point at which the molecular structure begins to change. Thus, if it is heated to a temperature under 116, it is still considered raw.
Make sure that you break the cacao butter down into tiny bits; otherwise it will take ages to melt.
Once the butter is melted, pour in half the amount of chocolate powder. So if you melted 2 grams of butter, put in 1 gram powder.
Now put in that same amount of mesquite. Mesquite meal is a traditional Native American food that has been used as a staple food for centuries by desert dwellers. This high protein meal contains good quantities of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, and is rich in the amino acid lysine as well. It has a sweet taste that will give your chocolate a kick.
Add as much agave nectar as you want. Agave nectar is an incredibly delicious natural sweetener that will NOT make your blood sugar levels spin out of control. It is actually the same plant that tequila comes from.
Now take a rubber ice cup tray (you can use a plastic one, but it can be difficult to get the chocolate out of) and load it up with chocolate. Put it in the freezer, it should be ready to eat in about 30 minutes.
About the authorSheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.
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