Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Super - Food: Raw Cacao

We know it as chocolate mostly, and mostly we all love it. But every single diet, wheatear it is for weight loss or just being healthy - forbids chocolate. Have you been wondering why is chocolate bad for you, or better, how can you consume it and still gain the health benefits from it? Well, the answer is not in chocolate, but in raw cacao.

The Cacao Bean is the dried and fully fermented fatty bean of Theobroma cacao, native to South America. It is used as the base for chocolates, cacao powder, cacao butter and other cacao based food like the mole sauce. Because of its nigh nutritional value, raw cacao has many health benefits. Here they are:
·   Antioxidants Abundance: Raw cacao contains 10% antioxidants of its full nutritional value. This has an excellent effect on the cardiovascular system and aids the whole body health in general, as antioxidants play the main role in anti-aging processes. What you should direct your attention to, is when daily milk is added to cacao, it blocks absorption of antioxidants in the body, hence canceling its effects.
·   Brain Function Boost: Raw Cacao is the No. 1 food source for magnesium. This is way it has a great effect on the brain – the brain needs magnesium to build the protective membrane for the nerve fibers, called myelin. With the amount of magnesium that raw cacao supplies, the brain gets a boost and can build the myelin safely, so the nervous system functions perfectly. This helps in stopping or minimizing confusion, irritability, muscular restlessness, attention deficiency and weak concentration.

·   Diabetics Deluxe: Raw Cacao in its right form, with no added sugars or dairy is 100% safe for diabetics. In fact, raw cacao raises the blood sugar in the body on a minimal lever, and raises insulin sensitivity. So people with diabetes can enjoy chocolaty deserts and get better at the same time.
·  Enhanced Energy: If you didn't already know this, raw cacao is a powerful aphrodisiac. It works on the energy level, physical endurance and strength, as well as on excitement and has a positive influence on the sex drive. These same effects are found in chocolate, except the extra calories it has – no need to address that.
·   High Happiness: The most well known hormone, which affects our good moods, our happiness and laughing – serotonin, is produced by the amino acid tryptophan. You can guess already - raw cacao has high levels of this amino acid. So, raw cacao makes you happy and keeps you smiling.  
·  Vitamins Vault: Raw Cacao contains high levels of sulfur, which helps in forming strong nails and hair; high levels of iron which carries oxygen throughout the body; calcium for the bones, and magnesium we mentioned before for brain function.
·   Weight Loss Watcher: The best asset of raw cacao is appetite suppression – make food taste great and decreases our appetite. It doesn't get better than that! 

Although it has tons of pros, raw cacao can have some cons as well, if not consumed in moderation. Because of its energy boosting abilities, it can affect the sleep, especially if it is consumed late at night.

If you want to experience all of these benefits, make sure you eat cacao raw, not cooked, heated, melted or prepared in any other way. Every thermal processing of cacao causes blocking of its effects and loss of the key nutrients. So, look for some raw food recepies and just indulge. 

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