As published with Zhou Nutrition:
Benefits Galore! Chocolate is amazing—who doesn’t love it!
Did you know it is full of health benefits, too?! It is high in antioxidants (which neutralize free radicals) and flavanols (a specific flavonoid that protects against aging and environmental damage). However, most chocolates are so over-processed and full of unhealthy additives that these flavonoids and other phytochemicals are destroyed.
In fact, most candy bars only contain about 15% or less of these healthful flavonols, so it is important to eat minimally processed, dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content.
Flavonols have been shown to protect the heart, reduce inflammation and protect against cancer.
Raw cacao powder has even more benefit with four times the antioxidant activity that dark chocolate has! It also contains a very high magnesium content which helps keep you calm in stressful times, lowers blood pressure, and reduces inflammation from strenuous activity, making recovery time faster. Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and has even been found in studies to improve muscle structure and boost nerve function.
Add 2 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder to your favorite smoothie or mix up this super nutritious, quick chocolate pudding recipe that even the kids will love!
Healthy Chocolate Pudding
1 cup coconut or cashew nut milk
1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 pitted dates, 3-4 drops liquid stevia, or a teaspoon of other sweetener such as maple syrup or raw honey
Blend well and enjoy!
Taub PR, et al, Alterations in skeletal muscle indicators of mitochondrial structure and biogenesis in patients with type 2 diabetes and heart failure: effects of epicatechin rich cocoa. Clin Transl Sci. 2012 Feb;5(1):43-7