Revered Chocolate

Many of us can’t resist the taste of chocolate. How can you stay on a diet when desserts tempt you? You shouldn’t have to when it comes to chocolate. The difference is how it’s made plus the butter and sugar in it. In its unsweetened form, chocolate is an easy, nutritious ingredient to add to many dishes.

If you’re looking for a chocolate treat loaded with antioxidants, cacao is the way to go. Cacao and chocolate may look alike, but they are quite different nutritionally. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans, thus preserving the living enzymes while eliminating the fat. Cocoa powder is made by roasting raw cacao at high temperatures which lowers the overall nutritional value. Cacao is the way to go for your antioxidants and nutrition.  Studies have shown that consuming small amounts of cacao helps control blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improve cardiovascular health, elevate your mood, reduce constipation, and help with blood sugar. Another bonus is that cacao is loaded with magnesium, iron, and zinc. Cacao is healthy because it is minimally processed. It retains its nutrition and isn’t paired with sugar and fat that is common in most candy bars.

Look for bars that have a content of at least 70% of cacao. Moderation is always best. An ounce a day is all it takes to glean the healthy benefits of cacao. Keep in mind, if you sprinkle cacao in your smoothie, that the dairy can inhibit the absorption of the antioxidants from the cacao. Reap the rewards of cacao.dsc_8591

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