So I know I have done a post about how amazing raw cacao powder is already, but I cant get over it!! It caught my attention again when I was watching a documentary called Food Matters. I am trying to get this super food in my body everyday to help me have a healthy body! Best part it is sooo good! Who doesn't love chocolate?!
|Chocolate Peanut Butter Dip|
Raw Cocoa (Cacao) is the Most Powerful Antioxidant Food!
Raw cocoa has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world!
|Stuffed French Toast|
Cocoa also appears to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. And cocoa is a good source of the minerals magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese; plus some of the B Vitamins.
|Almond Joy Pancakes|
Cocoa has a high content of the "beauty" mineral, sulfur. Sulfur helps build strong nails and hair, promotes healthy and beautiful skin, helps detoxify the liver, and supports healthy functioning of the pancreas.
|Banana Split Pancakes|
Fresh cocoa beans are super-rich in the type of bioflavonoid called flavanols which are strong antioxidants that help maintain healthy blood flow and blood pressure.
|Chocolate Oatmeal Recipes|
When it comes to supplying your body with effective ANTIOXIDANTS, no other natural food can even come close.
Cocoa also contains the amino acid Tryptophan which makes the neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which promotes positive feelings and helps keep us from feeling depressed. Cocoa contains the neurotransmitters dopamine, and phenylethylamine (PEA), and contains anandamide and MAO Inhibitors - which make this heart-healthy food a healthy food for the brain too.
You may also be surprised to learn that dark chocolate can help you lose weight!While you may have been told that chocolate is "fattening", the truth is that the fats found in cocoa butter are actually healthy fats!
Because it has appetite-suppressant properties, cocoa is often added to weight loss products to help control hunger.
|Chocolate Ice Cream|
A List of Healthy Substances Found in Raw Chocolate
Many of the natural chemical compounds in raw cocoa or cacao beans and in organic dark chocolate have been discussed in scientific literature as being pharmacologically significant to health. Here is a partial list of these active substances in natural organic chocolate (and more are discussed below).
- Anandamide (a neurotransmitter known as "the bliss chemical")
- Arginine (nature's aphrodisiac)
- Dopamine (a neurotransmitter)
- Epicatechins (antioxidants)
- Magnesium (for healthy heart function)
- Serotonin (anti-stress neurotransmitter)
- Tryptophan (anti-depressant amino acid)
- Phenylethylamine (PEA) (controls the ability to focus attention and stay alert)
- Polyphenols (antioxidants)
ORAC Score - A Measure of Antioxidant Quality
The current standard for testing and measuring the antioxidant properties of various foods is called the ORAC Score. ORAC is an abbreviation for "Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity" - which is a measure of the amount of free radicals that can be neutralized by a certain mass of a food substance (usually cited as "per gram" or "per 100 grams" of the food substance).
The higher the ORAC score, the higher the concentration of antioxidants present in the food. (Source: US Department of Agriculture / Journal of the American Chemical Society.)
Free radicals are molecules that are missing one or more electrons and are therefore chemically imbalanced with a positive electrical charge. They are created in several kinds of chemical reactions which take place in our bodies, such as when we burn energy by working our muscles. To balance their charge, these radical molecules will seek to attract or "steal" electrons from other molecules - including the molecules which make up the DNA in your body's cells which is the blueprint for producing new cells, and the mitochondria in your cells which create the energy to sustain the cells.
Cells with damaged mitochondria are weak and have lower energy and less resistance to disease. When the DNA of a cell is damaged by the action of free radicals, the result is the creation of imperfect new cells - or even malignant new cells which form tumors and cancers.
Free radicals are the cause of most degenerative diseases, premature aging, and the creation of cancer cells.
Antioxidants are molecules which have one or more extra electrons and are chemically imbalanced with a negative electrical charge, so they can attract and "donate" an electron to a positively-charged free radical molecule, which balances its electrical charge and thus neutralizes it. So that "thieving" radical molecule which is now electrically balanced no longer needs to "steal" electrons from the molecules which form our body's cells.
Thus the more antioxidant molecules we have in our body, the more free radicals are neutralized, and the less damage is done to our cells. By preventing the damage to our DNA and mitochondria, antioxidants can stop and even reverse the aging process, and help prevent all kinds of degenerative diseases and cancers.
Table of ORAC Values for Common Foods
Here is a comparison of the ORAC score per 100 grams for some common foods known to have a high antioxidant level, listed in descending order.
- Unprocessed Raw Cacao - ORAC 28,000
- Acai Berries* - ORAC 18,500
- Dark Chocolate - ORAC 13,120
- Milk Chocolate - ORAC 6,740
- Prunes - 5,770
- Wolfberry Juice - 3,472
- Pomegranates - 3,307
- Raisins - 2,830
- Blueberries - 2,400
- Blackberries - 2,036
- Garlic - 1,939
- Kale - 1,770
- Cranberries - 1,750
- Strawberries - 1,540
- Tahitian Noni Juice - 1,506
- Raw Spinach - 1,260
- Raspberries - 1,220
- Brussels Sprouts - 980
- Plums - 949
- Alfalfa Sprouts - 930
- Steamed Spinach - 909
- Broccoli - 890
- Beets - 840
- Avocado - 782
- Oranges - 750
- Red Grapes - 739
- Red Bell Pepper - 710
- Cherries - 670
- Pink Grapefruit - 495
- Kidney Beans - 460
- Onion - 450
- Corn - 400
- Cauliflower - 385
- Frozen Peas - 375
- Potato - 300
- Cabbage - 295
- Banana - 210
- Carrot - 200
- Apple - 207
- Tomato - 195
- Peach - 170
- Lima Beans - 136
- Pear - 110
While you may have believed that cocoa and chocolate were "bad for you", the truth is that THE RIGHT KIND OF CHOCOLATE provides many health benefits that make it not only "good for you" but better for your body than most of the fruits and vegetables your mother made you eat when you were a child.
If the pharmaceutical industry managed to produce a patented product that offered all the health benefits of cocoa, they would likely proclaim it a "miracle drug"!