CLICK HERE TO READ MARK SISSON'S ARTICLE ON THE BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE:
Chocolate is a superfood rich in antioxidants, which promotes cardiovascular health, protects the body against toxins, & gives a natural energy boost. Try eating 1/4 to 1/2 of an ounce of dark chocolate right before a workout; many claim to really feel a difference & have better workouts.
It's interesting, too, because scientific studies are slowly starting to come out that it's actually recommended to have a serving of dark chocolate daily, & apparently the amount of antioxidants in dark chocolate is greater than in a serving of blueberries & acai berries combined!
Chocolate is also linked to reducing risk of stroke: Click here for more
Chocolate has many more benefits than solely antioxidants; it's filled with flavanols, polyphenols, magnesium, manganese, fiber, iron, & sulfer, which builds strong nails, hair, & promotes youthful skin. Chocolate also promotes the release of neurotransmitters & increases our levels of serotonin; this is what gives us that happy feeling. It also acts as an anti-depressant & aids in reducing PMS symptoms. No wonder we turn to chocolate so much :-D .
1. Cocoa Beans: All chocolate comes initally from cocoa beans; these "beans" are the seeds of the cocoa fruit that are found inside the cocoa pods grown on the Theodroma tree.
2. Cocoa Nibs: Cocoa beans are separated from their husks & broken into small pieces which are called cocoa nibs - the original chocolate chips!
3. Cocoa Powder: Cocoa nibs are cold-pressed to remove the oils and leave a dense dry mass which is then ground into powder form.
4. Cocoa Butter: This is the vegetable fat cold-pressed out of cocoa beans; it melts at body temperature & has many benefits for the skin which is why many look for this ingredient in lotions. If you see dark chocolate labeled 75% dark, it means the rest is cocoa butter, & chocolate cannot be labeled "dark" unless it's at least 65% cocoa.
Lindt Chocolate is one of the only chocolates I have found to have good ingredients with Chocolate being the first:
Ingredients: Chocolate, cocoa butter, cocoa powder processed with alkali, sugar, bourbon vanilla beans.
Usually you'll find the ingredient Soy Lecithin or another form of emulsifier in chocolate; its purpose is to thin the chocolate and making it easier to work with. Lecithin sticks to non-fat particles, reduces water activity, and maintains an appropriate dispersment between water, fat, and solids in the chocolate.
Ingesting this particular additive isn't the best for your health and best be avoided. While lecithin is a cheaper method, additional cocoa butter can be used instead for a similar effect.
READ MORE HERE:
Soy Lecithin: How It Negatively Affects Your Health And Why You Need To Avoid It
Raw Cacao Nibs
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs from NavitasNaturals:
"Cacao has been enjoyed for its healthful and invigorating properties in South American cultures for thousands of years...
The bean of the cacao plant is the nutritional and flavorful source for all chocolate and cocoa products. Cacao sontains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants and is an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is also known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium and possesses many other essential minerals in significant quantities. Our cacao nibs are dried and milled at low temperatures to protect these nutrients."
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