Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Power of Raw Chocolate

Raw chocolate is a whole world apart from the cooked chocolates you find in candy bars, cakes and cookies. Raw chocolate is also known as Therobroma Cacao, which literally means "Food of the Gods."

Did you know that there is over 25,200 antioxidants in every spoonful of raw chocolate powder? Unlike their processed cousins, raw chocolate has many health and nutritional benefits.

Although organic dark chocolate has some similar effects, they lose most of their health benefits through the cooking process. This leaves raw chocolate with 367% more antioxidants than even the very best cooked versions.

According to Navitas Naturals: "Cacao contains many chemicals that enhance physical and mental well-being, including an incredibly rich supply of magnesium. The Cacao bean also contains more antioxidant favonoids than Red Wine, Green Tea and Blueberries."

Cornell University food scientists found that cocoa has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times those found in green tea. However, they did the testing using cooked cocoa. If you considered it with raw chocolate powder, you would end up with 14 times more antioxidants than Red Wine and 21 times more antioxidants than Green Tea. That is a huge difference!

Italian researchers found eating 100 grams of dark chocolate each day for 15 days lowered blood pressure in the 15-person study. Who would have thought that eating chocolate would lower blood pressure? Sounds pretty good to me.

The University of L'Aquila team also found the body's ability to metabolize sugar - a problem for people with diabetes - was improved. This is believed to be due to the antioxidants found in the dark chocolate. What is great about the raw chocolate is the fact that it is sugar free. There is no processed junk in it so as a diabetic you can enjoy your chocolate again!

Some of the great things you will find in raw chocolate include: Anandamide, Arginine, Dopamine, Epicatechins, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Calcium, Serotonin, Tryptophan, Phenylethylamine (PEA), Polyphenols, Histamine, Tyramine and Salsolinol.

These supply the body with valuable minerals as well as chemicals which are natural anti-depressants. No wonder we crave chocolate when we are stressed? The chocolate helps us to feel better through the chemical reaction in the brain.

Raw chocolate actually makes you happier through its high levels of Phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a neurotransmitter that actually gives us a pleasurable feeling in the brain. PEA is also great for enhancing feelings of love, this is probably the reason why chocolate is so popular for valentines day.

So now us chocoholics have an excuse to get our daily dose of chocolate for better health and feel great about it at the same time. Add some raw chocolate powder to a smoothie with frozen bananas and some water or milk and you have an instant guilt free and healthy chocolate milk shake!

I did research online and found the best deal for buying raw chocolate powder to be from Navitas Naturals.

I really like Navitas Naturals Raw Chocolate Powder because they are also certified organic and the powder is processed at low temperatures to protect the nutrients, vitamins and minerals naturally found in raw chocolate.

Navitas Naturals Raw Chocolate product label