I just received the best bit of news that any chocolate addict could hope for as the holidays approach … chocolate is a fruit! I knew my mom was onto something when she reminded me to eat plenty each day! It’s true! There are many health benefits from eating the right chocolate as part of our daily diets. The holidays are looking brighter (or shall I say, sweeter)!
Many of us chocolate connoisseurs know that chocolate comes from cocoa beans. But today’s Chocolate Fun Fact is that cocoa beans come from the fruit of the cacao (ka-kow) tree, and they are superfoods! In their raw form, the beans have – are you ready for this? – THE HIGHEST ANTIXODIANT VALUE of all natural foods.
More Chocolate Fun Facts:
- Raw cocoa is a rich, natural source for magnesium, which our diets are often lacking.
- The antioxidant epicatechin has beneficial cardiovascular effects on health, reducing blood pressure, increasing vascular function and reducing the risks of heart attack, blood clots and strokes.
- Antioxidants found in cocoa beans, such as procyanidins and flavanoids, have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cocoa is an excellent source of sulfur, which detoxifies the liver, supports a healthy pancreas and produces healthy hair, nails and skin.
- Helpful neurotransmitters are contained in cocoa, such as dopamine (an anti-depressant and beneficial in the treatment of ADHD) and MAO inhibitors (anti-depressants).
- Cocoa generates serotonin, the neurotransmitter that can act as an anti-depressant, reduce PMS symptoms and make us happy. (This one is no surprise to me!)
- Cocoa stimulates the secretion of endorphins, which make us feel good! (Again, no surprise here!)
- The fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats, containing oleic acid, the monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil and proven to raise good cholesterol. (I knew those fats were calling my name for a reason!)
So how do we eat daily chocolate in a healthy way? We look for cocoa in its rawest forms: Cocoa Nibs (dried, raw cocoa beans), Cocoa Powder, and Dark Chocolate. The Mayo Clinic recommends choosing dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 65 percent or higher.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well now for me, a piece of Hebert All-Natural, 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate bar a day will keep the blood pressure, the aging, the LDL cholesterol, the toxins, and the holiday blues away.
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