Pure chocolate comes from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao plant. This plant grows naturally in South America, regions of Africa and the West Indies.
The cacao bean is the seed of the fruit and is often thought of as a culinary nut. Cacao is a superfood that is rich in antioxidant phytonutrients. Using raw cacao in the form of powder, bars, nips, etc. is a fantastically healthy approach. When cacao seeds are roasted, they lose some of their nutrients and this processed form is called cocoa.
Cacao and cocoa are both high in flavonoid polyphenols such as epicatechin which have powerful antioxidant effects. The less processed the cacao is the more bioavailable the flavonoids are. Cooking and processing destroy the valuable antioxidants in the chocolate. The addition of milk (milk chocolate) inhibits the polyphenol absorption.
Cacao/Cocoa also contains theobromine, which is a bitter alkaloid that is similar to caffeine. Theobromine has powerful vasodilating effects and has been used in the treatment of swelling and edema (fluid collection in the body). Theobromine is also used as a diuretic and a natural cardiovascular stimulant that enhances oxygen flow to various regions of the body. This improved blood flow also stimulates cognitive function and improves memory. Theobromine also helps stimulate production of the healthy HDL cholesterol.
Although theobromine and caffeine are very similar alkaloids, it is not addictive like caffeine and coffee. It has a lesser impact on the central nervous system than caffeine. Theobromine does stimulate cardiovascular function to a greater degree than ca caffeine.
Most chocolate is grown over on the west coast of Africa. But small batches of chocolate also come from the jungles of Peru. And the difference is incredible.
Peruvian cacao is not only sweet like regular milk chocolate… It’s also one of the healthiest and highest antioxidant foods on the planet. Which is what gives us this unique Peruvian chocolate that not only tastes delicious, but can also promote healthy blood sugar levels, reduce free radicals and fight inflammation.
Health Benefits of Raw Cacao
Reduces appetite and helps in weight loss
Helps with cardiovascular health
Dilates blood vessels and reduces blood clotting
Assist in regulating heartbeat and blood pressure
Reduces the risk of stroke and the risk of heart attack
Helps to protect from environmental and metabolic toxins
Acts as anti-depressant and balances the mood
Balances the brain chemistry
Builds strong bones
Helps to reduce PMS symptoms and regulates it
Helps to increase focus and alertness
Detoxifies the liver
Helps with healthy pancreas function
Facilitates antiaging and rejuvenation