The Joy of Raw Chocolate
Good news fellow chocolate lovers – in its raw state, chocolate is actually good for you!
In this article, Galia Orme, founder of the wonderful raw chocolate brand CHOC Chick, shares her passion for this superfood, and tells us why we should all be reaching for raw chocolate in our midlife.
Isn’t this fantastic, or should I say CHOCtastic news? Chocolate, in its most natural state, is indeed good for us and cacao, which is the source of chocolate, is even better.
The humble cocoa bean is rich in nutrients; antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese but much is lost when heavily processed. In its raw state, cacao has more than 300 nutritional compounds and is one of the richest sources of antioxidants of any food on the planet (3 x more antioxidants than green tea and 2 x more antioxidants than red wine).
So, what Is the difference between cacao and cocoa?
Cacao is natural and minimally processed, it’s simply the powder made from grinding the cocoa nibs after the cacao butter has been extracted, which means almost all of the nutrients naturally found in the cocoa bean are retained. Whereas cocoa, which is used in all commercially produced chocolate, undergoes heavy roasting, and often has added stabilisers; refined sugars, dairy, gluten and “bad fats.”
Traditional cocoa also goes through an alkalising process called Dutching (a chemical process invented by the Dutch to reduce the acidic taste). However, studies have shown that 60% of natural antioxidants are destroyed by light Dutching and 90% are destroyed by heavy Dutching.”
Not only is Cacao an incredible source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, it also has many hormone balancing properties which is considered one of the reasons why women crave chocolate during their time of the month and of course during the menopause phases.
Cacao has also been known to improve sleep, promotes lovely skin and protects the body from pollutants, so it really is perfect for women going through hormonal changes. Men go through hormonal changes as they age too (the Andropause), so Cacao really is beneficial to everyone!
As a woman in my 50’s, I’ve been enjoying Cacao regularly since I started my business 12 years ago, I usually have a hot chocolate a day made with our Organic Raw Cacao Powder, make my own chocolates, add a spoonful to stews and chilis and even use our Organic Cacao Butter to fry with, add richness of flavour to recipes and to moisturise my skin, my hair and even down there! It’s been a lifesaver during menopause and there are so many other ways to enjoy Cacao!
There are plenty of other ways enjoy raw chocolate too.
Reducing your appetite. Raw chocolate has appetite-suppressant properties and is often added to weight loss products to help control hunger. My tip it to simply add half a teaspoon of Raw Cacao Powder to a teacup of tepid water 20 minutes before a meal for a delicious, natural way to reduce your appetite.
As an aphrodisiac. One of my favourite benefits, Cacao has long been considered an aphrodisiac and chocolate, as the symbol of sensuality and sexuality is seen as the food for lovers. The ancient Aztecs gave Cacao as wedding presents and other South American civilizations believed that Cacao was the food of the heart. And incredibly, recent research has found that chocolate can be even better than kissing, since when chocolate melts on the tongue it raises brain activity and heart rate 4 x more intensely than the effect found in kissing.
A sense of well being. Long considered a ‘happy food’, chocolate is a popular treat when we need ‘cheering up’, recent research has discovered that cacao contains the bliss molecule Tryptophan and raises serotonin levels, which are scientifically proven to be present in the brains of people when they are happy, more relaxed, playful and creative.
It’s easy to see that Cacao is good for us but what’s even more CHOCtastic is that Cacao can help save our planet!
Sustainably grown Cacao trees can store a significantly higher amount of carbon – up to 150 metric tons per hectare. It’s a simple crop to grow sustainably and like the Cacao we source from Latin America, is generally grown in polyculture plantations that also grow a wide range of other crops together with the Cacao trees. Many of the plantations I’ve visited also grow mangos, oranges, bananas and even coffee in the high-altitude regions.
For me Cacao really is the loveliest superfood on the planet, and I feel extremely fortunate to have been working ethically and sustainably with the incredible cocoa bean for so many years.
I set up my business CHOC CHICK back in 2009 because I’ve always loved chocolate and wanted to create a chocolate company that is all about love and promotes the goodness of Cacao. Ensuring there is no exploitation of people, children and our planet in our supply chain is something I care passionately about and I have travelled regularly over the years to Ecuador and Peru to source our ingredients directly and ethically. CHOC CHICK cacao and chocolates are CHOCfull of goodness and free from dairy, gluten, processed sugar, palm oil, soya, additives and guilt!
Can’t wait to try it? Well, what are you waiting for?
CHOC Chick are offering Midlife Hub members a special 15% discount on all online orders.
Simply use the special discount code CHOCMidlife at the checkout stage and your discount will be applied.
More about Galia Orme, Founder of Choc Chick.
Argentinian born Galia Orme is an award-winning entrepreneur who has taken her passion for chocolate and developed a successful business, CHOC CHICK, offering organic raw cacao ingredients, superfood cacao blends, vegan raw chocolates and cacao snacks, sold in over 800 stores worldwide
Disclaimer: The content of this page is provided for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
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