Colorful Cacao Beans
You may have heard some of the recent news reports boasting about the health benefits of chocolate. It has not become a prized resource just recently; this ancient treat has been enjoyed for generations and is part of a rich cultural history in South America — and with some good reason.
Cacao Can Heal
Cacao, the bean from which chocolate is made, has been said to have healing properties as well as benefits for both the heart and brain. Studies have shown that those with high blood pressure can benefit from a daily dose of dark chocolate. Cacao is also rich in antioxidants, which may help to prevent diseases like cancer. In fact, cacao contains antioxidant properties in much higher quantities than common food sources, lauded for being rich in antioxidants, such as red wine or green tea.
Best of all, chocolate is known to make people feel good almost immediately! Studies have shown that pure forms of chocolate (meaning rich in cacao) can provide short-term feelings of euphoria, and an overall feeling of comfort.
Everything in Moderation
With all this good news about chocolate, you might be wondering why you’re not already eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The answer is that while most people can fit chocolate into their daily diet healthily, there are, of course, a few caveats to all that is good about this special treat.
First, to reap the benefits of the nutritious cacao bean, it’s important to enjoy chocolate in moderation, as too much can cause weight gain and an increase in blood pressure. Even pure forms of chocolate are often made with sugar or other sweetening ingredients that can pack on the pounds. Furthermore, it’s important to look for chocolate that is high in cacao, or you’re doing little good. Read the label before you buy — at least 60% cacao is recommended, though higher quality (and more expensive) chocolate varieties also exist. Dark chocolate is generally richer in cacao, and it is also lower in calories than other types of chocolate.
Unfortunately, however, for milk chocolate lovers or those who grab their chocolate at the checkout line, these forms of chocolate have little nutritional value. While it may take some getting used to enjoying a more bitter form of chocolate, many who choose cacao-rich dark chocolate wouldn’t have it any other way.
Raw Chocolate with Best Selling Author David Wolfe
Here is an informative video about chocolate, with David Wolfe who is a best selling author:
- The cacao bean has the most antioxidants than any fruit or vegetable
- Cacao helps regulate your mood and improve cardiovascular functioning
- Cacao can be mixed with goji berries and raw nuts to decrease the bitterness
- A few raw cacao nuts a day will provide you with all the essential oils you need
Adrienne writes for special-interest magazines and has worked on the production of women’s lifestyle channels at AOL as well as at E! Entertainment Television. She graduated from CUNY Baruch, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper The Ticker.