Chocolate IS good for you…..conditions apply!
Most people have quite a relationship with chocolate. We eat it when we want to celebrate something or when we are feeling down. We use chocolate to tell people we love them or to say that we are sorry.
We also describe it as one of life’s guilty pleasures because traditional chocolate is high in sugar and saturated fat. Not to mention the hidden nasties that popular chocolate bars can contain like palm oil, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
But before you despair there is a satisfying and healthy alternative! Chocolate that is raw and organic with no added sugar provides health benefits and gives us a nutritious and yummy way to fill the space that removing the traditional chocolate left for some of us!
Firstly, this type of chocolate which is made with cacao (the raw form of what turns into cocoa after it has been heated and processed) contains the valuable mineral magnesium. This vital mineral helps our nervous system to function well, keeps our bones healthy, and is important for cardiovascular health. Magnesium helps guard against muscular cramps. It has been said that the reason why women crave chocolate before their period is to boost their magnesium intake. However you need to choose the type of chocolate that actually contains the magnesium for this to be effective!
Raw organic chocolate is also brimming with antioxidants. These help the body deal with free radicals that cause stress, ageing and illness. They form a key part of any good healthy eating plan and are high in other foods such as fruits and vegetables, red wine and green tea.
Cacao is found to be high in the amino acid arginine. This amino acid is vital for helping our tissues grow and repair. It is another factor important for cardiovascular health as it helps to decrease blood pressure. Without getting too technical, arginine helps the body synthesise a chemical know as nitric oxide. This chemical is what helps to decrease blood pressure. This clever chemical is also important for regulating the neurotransmitters in our brains like serotonin. This means that it can balance out our brain chemistry and make sure we have the right levels of feel good chemicals that help prevent anxiety and depression.
Phew! That’s quite a lot of information. But as you can see, raw organic chocolate is worth the hype that it has been receiving lately. By replacing the sugary, processed chocolate with a food that tastes great and works hard to keep you healthy you are setting yourself up for a long and happy life.
Leading up to Christmas, there will be lots of sweet treats around. Why not make your own guilt free chocolate?!
If you don’t have time to make your own, the brand of raw organic chocolate that we love most is Loving Earth. Being an Australian company and supporting sustainable farming, we love to support businesses like theirs. You can find their chocolates online, in most health food stores & soon right here at Mura.