If you haven’t previously met, let me introduce you now to the mother of all chocolate – true chocolate – the cocao bean!
Truly a superfood, cocao ( Ku-Kow ) has the highest concentration in antioxidants of any food or supplement known to man. You’ve heard that chocolate has PEA ( phenylethylamine ), the love molecule ( read here http://holisticchickblog.com/beauty-products/ more info on PEA ). Let me tell you, the Amount found in commercial chocolate is quite weak in comparison to that in cocoa. In fact, every benefit that makes chocolate beneficial is from the cocao bean, as this is the base from which all chocolate is made.
The cocao bean is converted into the milder tasting ‘cocoa’ that we are familiar with, through a lengthy process of anaerobic fermentation ( meaning fermentation and conversion without oxygen ), diminishing much of the nutritional value. After the process is completed, sugars, preservatives and dairy products are added, diluting the health benefits even further.
The raw cocao bean is highly prized by raw foodists, food purists, herbalists and superfood connoisseurs around the world for it’s incredible healing quality and benefits as a dietary supplement. It truly is an extreme healing food, and makes for a great form of supplementation for athletes and soccer moms alike, providing increased clarity, energy, stamina and faster recovery time.
Pregnant and nursing mothers can safely supplement with this incredible superfood as well. The following is taken from a Livestrong.com article on the cocoa bean –
“According to a 2007 article in ScienceDaily, cocao beans contain a compound called epicatechin. This compound has so many health benefits that Harvard professor Norman Hollenberg believes it should be classified as a vitamin. Epicatechin’s effects might rival those of penicillin and anesthesia, and might help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Epicatechin has a bitter taste, so it’s usually removed from commercial cocoa products. If you want to enjoy its health benefits, you will need to buy whole cocoa beans and grind them yourself.” – Livestrong.comhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/317906-health-benefits-of-cocoa-beans/.
Pregnant women can also benefit from the high iron levels found in cocao, as one teaspoon can fulfill her iron needs for an entire day.
If you caught my article on food energetics http://holisticchickblog.com/2013/05/22/red-salmon-food-energetics/, you are already familiar with the concept that not just the nutritional value, but the actual energetic properties of certain foods are beneficial and even healing for various body parts/systems. What we didn’t cover is that every body part has a different emotional connection, though I’m sure you’ve heard of this before.
It is well known that chocolate ( and now you know – specifically cocao ) can assist in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. For this reason ( and from the first hand accounts of experiences with cocoa ) it is also said by many in the natural healing world that cocao is beneficial for the emotional healing of the heart, as well.
Cocao opens up our heart chakra energies and forces us to feel a deeper connection to the Holy Spirit, and with any hidden emotions that might lay buried. You can see, now, why this is a favorite snack of many yogis! It is considered a ‘transcendence’ food, so be prepared to cry 😉
Note to moms: Start your kids off on this form of chocolate early! Anything that you can get them to eat that will help fill in the nutritional gaps in their diet will be money and time well spent on your children’s health in the long run. It is bitter, but if you introduce it slowly – and without making any faces 😉 – early on in their life, they will eventually grow to like it!
You never know what kinds of healthy foods kids can adapt to when parents put their minds to it! I know, because while I personally eat it for the benefits without really enjoying it, my kids eat it and love it!
Try all forms of cocao, from the ‘cocao nibs’ to the stone ground ‘cocao paste’, as pictured here.
Hope you enjoy…the benefits at least 😉 Happy healthy eating all!