Deliciously Dirty Little SecretNov 30, 2020
Let me fill you in on a secret…the delightful and delicious secret benefits of chocolate!
Chocolate has been enjoyed by people for thousands of years, although not in the form many of us are used to: milk chocolate in candy bars, often accompanied by nuts, caramel, and other treats. No, the way to reap the health benefits of chocolate—and I’m going to reveal those secrets here—is to eat dark chocolate that contains at least 60 percent cacao.
Cacao is not the same as cocoa. Although all chocolate foods are derived from cacao seeds, cacao and cocoa are different. Cacao is a pure form of chocolate that is very close to a raw, natural state. Even though both cacao and cocoa both have nutritional value, cacao is far superior.
For example, cacao has more magnesium, which is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, stronger bones, less chance of developing cardiovascular disease, and a healthy nervous system. It also is a super source of flavonoids, antioxidants that fight inflammation. Cacao provides a lot of iron, which helps the body carry oxygen molecules throughout your body.
Introducing chocolate’s benefits
Chocolate has always been my go-to food, especially when I’m stressed. You can probably relate: in times of stress, happiness, sadness, celebration—many of us turn to chocolate because it puts a smile on our face. But chocolate isn’t just delicious!
I had no idea I was getting more than the comfort food benefits of chocolate whenever I ate this super food, yet I now know there are many health advantages. All the more reason it’s the one food you and I can keep returning to again and again with a clear conscience!
You see, new scientific research is showing us why chocolate does the body good. For example:
- Cocoa contains lots of magnesium, a mineral known for its ability to calm the nervous system. Guess what? Most of us are deficient in magnesium, so dark chocolate is a good source to turn to.
- Cocoa has a significant amount of the amino acid called tryptophan, which is the same “sleepy” ingredient found in turkey.
- Cocoa does NOT contain caffeine, although many people think it does. In fact, cocoa relaxes your nervous system
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that can help fight heart disease. But let’s face it: we really like the happiness factor, because chocolate has the ability to make us feel cozy and good. That’s because chocolate contains the same happy chemicals our bodies create naturally; namely, serotonin. This neurotransmitter is also credited with helping you sleep.
Here’s another secret: chocolate also contains another chemical called phenylethylamine. This special factor is what our brains make when we fall in love. Could this be a reason why so many people “are in love” with chocolate?
Okay, enough dirty secrets. Let’s look at a delicious secret—one of my favorite recipes using chocolate. This recipe is just like a smoothie and it’s filling, full of fiber, and contains healthy fats.
This recipe provides super nutrition in a glass and is the perfect mid-day pick-me-up snack. And because it is low in carbs, you won’t crash soon after eating it. Instead, you’ll be full of nutrition, energy, and smiles! As an extra added bonus, kids love it.
Chocolate Dirty Secret Dessert
- 4 medium avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1 small ripe banana
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- Handful raw organic spinach leaves
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 4 dropperfuls liquid stevia
- Unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk
- Place all ingredients except the milk in a blender or food processor.
- Add enough milk to cover the ingredients.
- Blend until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides of the container.
- Add additional milk as needed until you reach the desired consistency
- Serve immediately. You can keep any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Loving chocolate is a good thing as long as you focus on the dark chocolate with a cacao content of at least 60 percent and you eat it in moderation. Blessings to all chocolate lovers!