Featured Food: Cacao

I know what you’re thinking, cacao, as in chocolate? Yes I know after a week’s worth of post encouraging you to cook with lard and creamy butter, now I am recommending chocolate! Of course I am not talking chocolate bars here, that are weighed down with sugars and other fillers (like insufficient dairy), but the heating damages some of its wonderfulness. I am talking raw cacao nibs, butter, and powders. Last week while I was on www.livesuperfoods.com, I had the cacao butter in my cart, just to remove it, then add it back in, then remove it. I decided I needed to do more research before I got some. Now I see how silly I was because there are wonderful benefits to cacao. The crazy thing is that they haven’t even come close to discovering all of the benefits or chemicals found within (an untapped goldmine). So what are they?

  • Antioxidants: it has off the charts levels of different antioxidants including oligomeric, procynanidins, resveratrol, and polyphenols like catchin and epicatechin. This of course means that it is great for overall health because antioxidants decrease inflammation (chronic levels of inflammation is what leads to diseases). Like I said they haven’t even tapped in to all of antioxidant potential that it has.
  • Phenethylamine is a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of love (hmm….)
  • Tryptophan (a commonly deficient amino acid)
  • Serotonin
  • Assortment of vitamins and minerals: A, B 1,2,3,5,6, C, E, magnesium (the highest whole food concentration), copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, phosphorus, chromium
  • Enzymes like lipase, amylase, and catalase
  • soluble fiber
  • saturated fat
  • amino acids
  • promote weight loss
  • prevent cavities
  • regulate blood sugar
  • benefits the whole cardiovascular system

Wow, bet ya didn’t know all of that was coming did you. I’ve gotten raw cacao nibs the last years to bake with, but I find I like them in trail mixes or shaved over a berry salad with a drizzle of honey. Mix powder with a little coconut milk for chocolate milk for your youngster (or Goat’s milk!). There are all kind’s of options available and who doesn’t want to eat chocolate? Look in the health section or specialty stores like whole foods or online (like the livefoods site linked above). For more on our programs check out www.bodychange.net.

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