The number of health benefits now associated with the cocoa bean are really quite impressive, including benefits to your heart and blood vessels, brain and nervous system, improved insulin sensitivity, and even possibly slowing down the rate at which you age. Cacao’s benefits are related to compounds naturally occurring in the bean, including epicatechin and resveratrol- both powerful antioxidants.

Epicatechin is thought to help shield your nerve cells from damage.

Besides epicatechin, cacao is also high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system.

A 2012 group study found that eating chocolate could slash your risk of cardiovascular disease by 37 percent and your stroke risk by 29 percent. Another 2012 meta-analysis (group study) this one in the UK, found that cocoa/chocolate lowered insulin resistance, reduced blood pressure, increased blood vessel elasticity, and slightly reduced LDL.  Isnt this great! Chocolate does all this!

Positive health benefits science suggests are conferred by the cocoa bean:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-diabetic and anti-obesity
  • Neuro-protective
  • Slows progression of periodontitis
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Improves gastrointestinal flora
  • Improves exercise endurance
  • Anti-thrombotic
  • Cardio protective
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • May help extend lifespan
  • Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
  • Improved liver function
  • Reduces symptoms of glaucoma and cataracts
  • Protects against preeclampsia in pregnant women

Chocolate is full of Nutrients and health benefits

Magnesium – Cacao is to be the number one source of magnesium- an alkaline mineral.   In fact if you are ever craving chocolate, this can be a good indication you are deficient in Magnesium!
Iron, Chromium, Manganese and Zinc, Copper and Vitamin C.  Not just minerals, but amino acids- Cacao is high in Tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to that mood enhancing amino acid called Serotonin.  Serotonin makes us feel great!  Fibre- so much soluble fibre- the kind that helps to relieve constipation.   And contrary to popular opinion, cacao is a poor source of caffeine.

What to Look for When Selecting Chocolate

The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value. Ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should be consumed raw (cacao). When selecting chocolate, you can optimise its nutritional punch by looking for higher cacao and lower sugar content. In general, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao.

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