7 Amazing Benefits Of Raw Chocolate
The Cocoa Tree
All types of chocolate originate from the beans of the Theobroma cacao, also known as the cocoa tree. This is an evergreen tree that ranges from 13–26 ft tall and can only grow in rainy tropical areas, usually native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. The bark of the cocoa tree is extremely porous and light.
The leaves can measure 9x4 inches and are dark green in color. The flowers of the cocoa tree are small and odorless. Unlike most flowers, they grow directly from the trunk of the tree or directly from the branches.
When the cocoa tree is in bloom, the trunk and branches are covered with a multitude of beautiful tiny cocoa flowers. When the Theobroma cocoa tree is not in bloom, there are numerous pods that are produced. These pods are first green, then finally dark red or purple when ripe enough to be harvested. Inside of the pod is a thick and solid pulp that contains cocoa beans. The pulp is then fermented until it liquefies enough to expose the cocoa beans for removal and to start the beginning process of creating chocolate.
The cocoa beans are then dried, cleaned, and can be slow-roasted. The shell of the bean is removed to produce cocoa nibs, which are then ground to create a cocoa mass. Once the cocoa mass is processed by heat into liquid form, it is then called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be used as-is or cooled and separated into two components: cocoa solids (cocoa powder) and cocoa butter. Those are the raw ingredients for other products and also the base from which all chocolate is made from. The different types of chocolate are:
- Dark chocolate contains cocoa mass and cocoa butter with little to no sugar.
- Milk chocolate is a combination of blending cocoa liquor with cocoa butter and adding milk powder, or condensed milk, and sugar.
- White chocolate contains only cocoa butter with sugar, milk solids, milk fat, and lecithin which is a fatty emulsifier.
- Raw chocolate is simply made from unroasted and sun-dried cacao beans and cold-pressed cacao butter. Diary and soy are not added therefore it is considered vegan and gluten-free!
What type of chocolate do you prefer?
Raw Chocolate is Always the Healthiest Chocolate
Since only raw chocolate is produced by a low-heat or "cold" production process to avoid roasting, this may help to preserve vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals which are naturally present in raw cocoa. All raw forms of chocolate contain vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are resourceful like Copper, Manganese, Sulfur, Zinc, and Niacin.
Unlike non-organic and processed chocolates, raw chocolate does not have any contact with pesticides, fillers, and preservatives.
7 Amazing Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Aside from the well-known health benefits, there are some health benefits that many people are unaware of or unfamiliar with. Raw chocolate is taking on the spotlight. The list below will explore the top 7 most amazing benefits because there are more benefits than people are aware of. New studies and research is always being conducted on this topic, which furthers the health benefits that are currently known. The most amazing benefit is that it's really healthy and eat it can be eaten every day!
1. More Calcium than Cow's Milk.
That's right! Even though raw chocolate is dairy-free, there is more calcium than milk in raw chocolate. That is because it is a plant-based food. Cow's milk contains only 60mg of calcium per 100g vs 125mg per 100ml. An increased calcium amount means a decreased risk of osteoporosis with stronger bones and teeth, while also possibly reducing obesity and preventing colon cancer.
2. Raw Chocolate is a Natural Anti-Depressant.
Raw chocolate, or cocoa, is a great source of four scientifically proven chemicals:
These chemicals affect neurotransmitters that are associated with feelings of wellbeing and happiness which can even alleviate depression.
3. Raw Chocolate is Great for Teeth.
Raw chocolate is an excellent source of polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that can neutralize oral bacteria. Microorganisms in the mouth can cause bad breath and turn sugar and starches into harmful acid. The oral bacteria is called oral streptococci, which produces acid that eats away at tooth enamel. The flavanols found in raw chocolate prevent the bacteria from turning into damaging acids by acting as a type of antibacterial compound called CBH. Some dentists believe that CBH is even more effective than fluoride at protecting teeth. CBH was proven to help harden tooth enamel, making your teeth less susceptible to tooth decay. Also, the cocoa butter coats your teeth and prevents plaque from sticking to them. Antioxidants in dark chocolate have been shown to fight periodontal disease. Raw chocolate may actually help prevent diseases, cavities, and tooth decay instead of causing it all!
4. Loose Weight With It.
Raw chocolate can help aid with weight loss in a few different ways. First, as a moderate snack daily, it can help to reduce cravings and help to avoid eating such foods that are high in sugar and low in nutritional value. The best way to follow a weight loss regimen or plan is to enjoy a sweet treat once per day in a moderate size serving. Raw chocolate is the best option because it will satisfy and is healthy at the same time. Next, thanks again to flavanols, this chocolate treat has been found to help also decrease body fat in as little as 1 week's time. New studies show that eating a diet high in healthy fats, which DC contains, can rev your metabolism to burn body fat and calories. Since it reduces cravings and unhealthy food habits, it can control appetite too. Raw chocolate is also filling because of all the fiber it contains. One 3.5-ounce bar of 70% dark chocolate contains around 16% of your daily recommended intake. That is enough fiber so the feeling of being full lasts longer.
5. It Improves Beauty.
Raw chocolate also helps to disarm beauty’s arch-enemy, stress. By reducing stress hormones, there is less collagen breakdown in the skin, resulting in fewer wrinkles. The flavanols have certain effects on the skin:
- It helps skin protect itself from UV damage for fewer wrinkles.
- Fights free radicals for reduced sunspots.
- Increases blood flow for an all-natural glow.
In one study, flavonols in raw chocolate even improved skin's hydration and thickness, which are both extremely important for young-looking skin.
6. Your Skin Will Glow.
Raw chocolate is incredible for vibrant, healthy skin because it contains flavonoids that work to increase blood flow to the skin’s surface. This increased blood flow will promote cell regeneration which is necessary for glowing skin.
7. Overall Beneficial.
Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants found in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate, and wine. They have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation, better blood flow, lower blood pressure, and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Raw chocolate is one of the richest sources of polyphenols. It’s especially abundant in flavanols, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Processing and heating cocoa can cause it to lose its beneficial properties. It’s also often treated with alkaline to reduce bitterness, which results in a 60% decrease in flavanol content when other chocolate types are made. So while cocoa is a great source of polyphenols, not all products containing cocoa will provide the same benefits.
More Amazing Benefits About Raw Chocolate
Raw Chocolate Recipes
- Raw Cacao Nibs - Nature's Raw Chocolate
Raw cacao nibs are just one example of the raw food ingredients that are becoming increasingly popular among a wide variety of people. Raw foods are associated with a number of health benefits, and many people claim that eating a diet that is high...
- Sweet and Spicy: How to Make a Simple Raw Chocolate ...
You can make this cake fully raw, or you can use some canned fruit if you like. Either way, it's still the best simple, homemade chocolate cake. Try it and enjoy.
- Raw Chocolate for a Valentine Treat With Only Three ...
This raw chocolate recipe has only three ingredients. If you wish to decorate, use the additional three ingredient cashew cream frosting.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Cristale Adams