It’s tough to resist the urge to treat yourself to something chocolatey with Halloween just around the corner! Unfortunately, conventional chocolate is full of tricks: added sugars, artificial flavours and colourings, and ingredients that commonly cause inflammation and digestive discomfort, like dairy and soy. Raw organic cacao products free of refined sugars are a great alternative with loads of health benefits! Below we explore 4 benefits of this superfood.
- Enhances mood
Raw organic cacao naturally contains mood enhancers anandamide and phenethylamine. The former is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that has been called the “bliss molecule”. It not only elevates feelings of happiness, it has also shown anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. While anandamide is present in all chocolate, raw organic cacao is ideal because it is less processed than the average chocolate bar, contains less sugar and is a more concentrated source of beneficial compounds.
Phenethylamine (PEA) triggers the release of endorphins and stimulates dopamine. Endorphins are natural stress and pain fighters and work to help us feel more alert, focused, and calm. PEA is heat sensitive, so its health properties are not lost in raw cacao products! Dopamine is important because it plays a key role in motivation. Dopamine deficiency can lead to apathy, procrastination, lethargy, and more.
- Great source of magnesium
Raw cacao offers one of the highest concentrations of magnesium of any natural food source. Why is this important to know? Because magnesium serves hundreds of functions within the human body and is the second most abundant element inside human cells. Women ages 19 to 30 should aim for 310mg daily, and pregnant women within that age bracket should aim for 350mg (click here to review the full chart of daily recommended amounts). What better way to contribute to your daily intake of this vital mineral than through a chocolatey treat? Below are a few of the many important ways magnesium supports good health:
- Supports healthy immune system*
- Maintains strong bones*
- Regulates blood glucose*
- Can aid in weight loss
Because of its mood boosting effects, raw cacao can help curb overeating caused by anxiety and depression. Most significantly, raw cacao provides chemical compounds that boost serotonin levels. Raised serotonin levels send signals to the brain that help reduce appetite and stimulate feelings of satiety.
Making the switch from conventional chocolate to raw organic, sugar-free cacao products also helps reduce insulin resistance in those with impaired glucose tolerance, thanks to its antioxidant properties. Insulin resistance is a hormonal issue that can affect anyone, for a number of reasons; those afflicted may experience difficulty losing weight. Raw organic cacao products with no added sugar will not cause a spike in glucose levels like conventional chocolate does; in fact, it can actually stabilize blood sugar. Put simply, it is safer, healthier choice for insulin resistant chocolate lovers looking to indulge.
- Protects heart health
Clinical studies have shown that the frequency of heart and stroke in humans declined with increased consumption of cacao foods. This is due to many factors, including cacao’s antioxidant content which supports healthy heart functioning by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow and reducing plaque build-up on artery walls.
Raw organic cacao is scary good for you! It contains more than 300 compounds beneficial to health and can improve physical and mental wellness. Why not treat yourself this Halloween? All raw organic chocolate products on SALE NOW at 15% off at RawElements.ca!