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Why you should enjoy some healthy chocolate this Thanksgiving (recipes included)

Cacao benefits
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(NaturalNews) Mention chocolate to anyone, especially during the holidays, and they are all ears. Nothing seems to bring on such a feeling of mental euphoria than a good dose of chocolate. However, the benefits of chocolate are hit and miss depending on the source, additives, and processing.

This is why a high quality source of chocolate in the form raw cacao is very important, as it can bring the freshness and health benefits of chocolate products, without the drawbacks.

Raw versus processed cacao

When you are consuming most chocolate products, they have gone through high heat processing that destroys the majority of the cacao's nutrients. In comparison, raw cacao is subjected to very low heat in order to separate the seeds from the cacao bean and is then cold pressed, which leaves the majority of its nutrients intact.

When comparing the antioxidant (ORAC) values of raw cacao powder and processed or roasted cacao powder, the difference is significant and in favor of the raw cacao. Therefore, choosing raw results in higher levels of nutrients and benefits, which is a direct benefit to you.

Healing benefits of cacao

Called "black gold" by the Spanish, cacao has been considered a beneficial medicine as it contains over 300 identifiable chemical compounds and is a very high source of antioxidants. However, these benefits are compromised when cooking, processing, or refining. Also, it has been shown that dairy, which is present in most commercially available chocolate products, actually blocks the absorption of antioxidants in chocolate. However, if you get a good source of raw cacao, you can expect to receive higher levels of the following nutrients:

- Riboflavin, niacin, and folate
- Manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Quercetin, flavonoids, flavanols, xanthenes, polyphenols, theobromine, and anandamide

Due to its antioxidant effects and over 300 chemical compounds, raw cacao can provide some nice healing benefits, including:

- Promotes blood flow and prevents coagulation that can result in heart attack or stroke
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of colorectal and colon cancer
- Helps reduce cell damage
- Helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer's
- Improves sugar metabolism
- Supports weight loss
- Improves cognitive function
- Elevates mood and spirits by raising levels of serotonin, endorphins, phenylethylamine, and anadamide

Even though you may want to indulge, you don't have to overdo it. Just one ounce of raw, pure, unprocessed cacao can provide numerous benefits.

How to get cacao in your diet

The easiest way to get a good quality source of cacao in your diet is to purchase organic, dark chocolate (70-80% cacao) that does not include dairy or soy and uses an unrefined sugar to sweeten. The higher the cacao content, the better.

However, you can also purchase your own raw cacao and use it in a variety of ways including beverages, smoothies, baking, and more. This allows you to use better ingredients in your creation and enjoy chocolate for less cost.

For more easy recipes of more traditional favorites made healthier, check out this Coconut Brownie Recipe, Healthy Chocolate Pudding Recipe & Cranberries - with raw relish recipe.






About the author:
Derek Henry took a deadly health challenge that conventional medicine couldn't solve and self-directed a one-in-a-million health journey that found him happier and healthier than he had been in his entire life. As a result of this rewarding journey, he now spends his time writing, coaching, and educating thousands of people each month who want to enjoy similar results under their own direction.

Find out how you can reverse disease and thrive with a holistic approach.

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