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Chocolate is good for you

Dark cacao chocolate

Yes, you can include organic dark chocolate as part of your everyday diet and feel good about it - unprocessed and unsweetened dark cacao (50-90%) has been linked to numerous health benefits.

Why cacao and not cocoa?

Cacao is the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa. Dutch processing was created in the early 1800s to minimise bitterness and create a more mellow flavour in chocolate but, sadly, it also removed a lot of the goodness, losing 60-90% of the inherent antioxidants in cacao.

In addition, non-organic cocoa (and non-organic chocolate) has also been intensively treated with pesticides and fumigation chemicals. In contrast, raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans ensuring that no nutrients are lost by heat treating. As a result, raw cacao maintains its high nutritional profile, making it a “superfood” loaded with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

What does cacao contain?

As one of the richest sources of polyphenols, unprocessed cacao is especially abundant in flavanols that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The flavanols are thought to improve nitric oxide levels in the blood, which can enhance the function of your blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. Flavanols also support neuron production, brain function and improve blood flow to brain tissue, which may assist in preventing age-related brain degeneration.

Cacao is rich in B group vitamins, known for helping cognitive function, energy levels and overall cellular health. It is a great source of magnesium, a very needed mineral in the body and one that is quite easily depleted. Magnesium is necessary for calcium absorption, energy metabolism, protein synthesis, neurotransmitter function, as well as strong teeth, bones and healthy muscles.

Cacao can also exert positive effects on mood by reducing stress levels and improving calmness, contentment and overall psychological wellbeing. It contains tryptophan (our precursor to serotonin) and phenylethylamine (PEA), which can release endorphins, our feel-good, happy hormones! It’s also a well-known aphrodisiac, making cacao an all-round feel-good food.

Cacao contains theobromine, kind of like caffeine but a little less intense. Those sensitive to caffeine may tolerate this better. Theobromine can help to support cognition and may also support sleep quality and cardiovascular health.

🍫 So enjoy your chocolate – the darker, the more bitter the better, with least amount of sugar. And remember, organic!🍫



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