21 Jun The Decadent Delights of Raw Chocolate
Winter is halfway done, and while we’re all looking forward to longer days, it seems the icy winter weather will get worse before it gets better. What better way to keep your spirits up and your body healthy, than with the occasional chocolate treat? We’re not talking about those mass-produced, processed and chemical-laden slabs you’ll find on the supermarket shelves; we’re talking real raw, divine food-of-the-gods goodness that has been the stuff of legend since ancient civilization. Raw chocolate is packed with nourishment, and can help you to feel both physically and emotionally better when the gloom of winter is getting you down.
We’re so excited about our latest literature for chocolate-lovers; Naked Chocolate, an exciting and indulgent book by David Wolfe and Shazzie. Plus, our raw, natural and organic chocolate category is always growing!
Naked Chocolate: Read It, Eat It, Love It
Full of Beans: What’s Really in Cacao?
The cacao bean (also called the cocoa bean or chocolate nut) has a mineral-rich composition, which can be broken down as follows:
- 54% fat (cocoa butter)
- 34% oleic acid,
- 33% stearic acid,
- 26% palmitic acid, &
- 6% other fats
- 31% carbohydrates
- 16% fibre
- 1% sugar
- 11% protein (Arginine, Glutamine, Leucine)
- 3% polyphenols (Flavanols, Proanthocyanins)
- 1% minerals (Iron, Magnesium, Potassium)
Benefits of Raw Chocolate
- Flavanols lower blood pressure, improve circulation and promote healthy blood vessels
- The antioxidants and magnesium in raw chocolate support healthy heart function; certain antioxidants also reduce LDL cholesterol and combat plaque build-up in the arteries.
- The antioxidant content also helps to combat free radical damage.
- The fibre in raw cacao stimulates the body’s production of digestive enzymes, supporting healthy digestion.
- Theombromine is a substance found in cacao that helps to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles, and dilate blood vessels, improving feelings of physical and mental wellbeing.
- Theombromine also improves the availability of serotonin and other “feel-good” neurotransmitters in your brain, improving the mood and combating depression.
- The B-vitamins in raw chocolate are also great mood-boosters, combating depression and anxiety.
Raw Cacao vs Chocolate
Ordinary chocolate is made with roasted, processed cacao beans, which are then combined with added sugars and preservatives, leaving the original goodness of the bean by the wayside. All that heating and processing minimises the nutrients found in the cacao; however, raw chocolate is made with cacao beans that are fermented and/ or dried, not roasted, and retain all their original nutritional benefits. That’s why raw, unprocessed cacao-rich chocolate is always better than ordinary chocolate.
Fun Facts: Chocolate as Currency
We all remember those yummy gold-wrapped (and unfortunately not very healthy) chocolate coins we would munch on as kids; but did you know that chocolate was once actually used in place of money? In ancient Mexican civilization, the average daily wage was 100 cacao beans.
A 16th-Century Aztec document listed typical commodity prices of the day; you could buy one large tomato or avocado for one cacao bean, one turkey egg for three beans, a rabbit for 30 beans and a turkey for a whopping 200 cacao beans!
Although we no longer use chocolate as actual currency, it remains a valued and treasured superfood to this day.
Source: Sacred Chocolate