To make the chocolate that we all know and love, raw cacao beans are roasted to form cocoa, which is then combined with sugar and fats until the beans are unrecognizable. The high heat during the roasting process reduces the levels of antioxidants in the cacao, minimizing the powerful health benefits found in the unprocessed, raw cacao. To receive the greatest benefits from cacao, look for ‘raw’, non-roasted cacao beans or cacao powder.
- Magnesium, and other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese
- Polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E
- Essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat
These nutrients found in raw chocolate have been linked to a number of health benefits:
1) Raw chocolate can lower blood pressure & improve circulation
Flavanols, theobromine, and other components found in cacao may lower blood pressure and enhance circulation by promoting dilation, strength, and health of blood vessels
2) Raw chocolate can promote cardiovascular function & health
The antioxidant power of flavonoids and essential minerals and vitamins found in cacao can support healthy heart functioning5 by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing plaque buildup on artery walls.6
3) Raw chocolate Can Neutralize free radicals
High levels of antioxidants protect the body from a buildup of free radicals from sun exposure, pollution, cigarette smoking, etc., which may damage healthy body tissue giving rise to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
4) Raw Chocolate can improve digestion
A sufficient amount of fiber delivered with each serving of cacao supports digestion while cacao stimulates the body’s production of digestive enzymes.
5) Raw chocolate can enhance physical and mental well-being
There are many components of cacao including alkaloids, proteins, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic, lipase, lysine, and theobromine, that all work together to improve physical and mental health. For example, theobromine helps to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles, and dilate blood vessels, giving the body a boost of energy; “bliss” chemicals found in cacao help to increase circulation and availability of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in brain, improving mood and combating depression.
- 1 bar raw homemade datk chocolate
- 1/3 cup homemade peanut butter
- 1 sliced banana
- coconut flakes
- Melt 2/3 of the chocolate over low heat.
- Pour some chocolate on the bottom of the mold.
- Cut banana into slices and place one slice on each mold.
- Spoon peanut butter into each one and pour on the rest of the chocolate.
- Garnish with a coconut flakes.
- Refrigerate until they’re solid, take them out of the molds, eat!