Since I’ve been making my own chocolate and raving about it, there have been questions about the difference between raw cacao and cocoa. One is far more potent than the other.
First, the bad news. That Dairy Milk chocolate bar in your fridge (or most other chocolate you find in stores) is not what studies are referring to when they talk about all of the magical benefits of chocolate.
They are talking about raw cacao: Raw cacao is made by cold pressing raw (un-roasted) cacao beans. Omitting the heat makes for live enzymes.
Cocoa powder is made of the same thing, it’s only the process that’s different. Cocoa is roasted at high temperatures and roasting the beans changes the molecular structure and not only lowers the enzymes but the nutritional value too. This makes regular chocolate and the cocoa we buy in the supermarket less potent, far less potent. If there’s dairy in your chocolate bar (that’s most bars out there unless vegan), studies have shown that dairy actually inhibits the bodies absorption of antioxidants from raw cacao. If you do buy chocolate, your best bet is a low temperature roast if it’s not raw. Chocosol and Giddy Yoyo are good brands that you can find at your local health food store, coop or local farmers market. Or you can try your hand at making your own. My absolute favourite recipe is this one here.
Raw cacao is known for many benefits. Raw cacao;
Is rich in minerals (that are great at easing PMS symptoms and cramps) magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.
- Boosts your mood: Did you know that the same brain chemical that we release when we feel deep love, phenylethylamine, is found in chocolate?
- Protects your body against toxins: The word antioxidant is something you hear quite often but it’s true when we’re talking about raw cacao. Raw cacao is a powerful antioxidant. Free radicals damage the body and antioxidants repair that damage, it may also reduce the risk of cancer. Per 100g, cacao has more antioxidants than blueberries, goji berries and even açaí berries.
- Is protection for your nervous system: The antioxidant resveratrol (found in red wine) crosses the blood-brain barrier to help protect the nervous system.
- Reduces blood pressure; risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and lowers insulin resistance.
I don’t know about you but I’d definitely take raw cacao and it’s benefits over regular store bought chocolate anyway. The refined sugar content and the milk (that I don’t even drink anyway) on-top of the lack of nutrients definitely don’t do it for me.
Once you’ve made the switch, try this recipe I put together. It’s quick, easy and 4 ingredients – all of which do wonderful things in your body!
Sending oodles of love!!