by Michele Ciancimino
You read that correctly…if you haven’t heard the good news, some types of chocolate can be a part of a heart-healthy diet.
You’re welcome! Lol
Raw cacao is the main ingredient used to make dark chocolate and it’s full of heart-healthy magnesium, antioxidants, and plant-based polyphenols. Raw cacao is different from the cocoa powder you typically see in the stores. Cocoa powder is chemically processed and roasted which destroys a lot of the antioxidants and nutritious plant compounds. In fact, this “Dutch processing” or “processed with alkali” can destroy 60 to 90% of the nutrients! There’s more! Non-organic cocoa and chocolate are also treated with toxic pesticides and may contain GMO (genetically modified) ingredients.
RAW CACAO HAS SO MANY HEALTH BENEFITS WHEN UNPROCESSED:
- 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries
- Has the highest iron content of any plant food
- More calcium than milk
- Elevates the mood with happy brain chemicals like serotonin
TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CHOCOLATE, FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:
- Always buy dark chocolate (not milk chocolate)
- Buy chocolate that is organic
- Make sure the percentage of cacao is 65% or higher
- Low in sugar and other added ingredients
Try raw cacao powder for this delicious and healthy breakfast or snack recipe to support a healthy heart:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
½ mashed banana
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp honey
Mix all ingredients in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator overnight.