Cacao (raw chocolate) is a superfood. Great news right? Bring on the chocolate! Of course that doesn’t mean we have the green light to load up on M&M’s and Hershey bars. Chocolate has been in the news extensively as a health food because, although it’s true, it’s the news we all want to hear. The stories are often touting dark chocolate, which is a good differentiation, but it’s important to note that the chocolate should be at least 70% cacao. This is more potent than your typical Hershey’s dark chocolate bar. You have to make sure the percentage of cacao is on the packaging so you know what you’re getting.
Why is chocolate good for you? According to raw foodist David Wolfe, cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet, the #1 source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese and chromium. It improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, elevates mood and energy, and increases longevity.
Okay, sold. I’ll enjoy mine!
For some, truly dark chocolate is an acquired taste, as we are so accustomed to chocolates filled with milk, sugar and other additives. I promise, once you change over, your taste buds will adjust and you won’t look back.
My favorite bar is currently Green and Black’s Organic 85% Cacao bar that I buy at my co-op. Delicious. It’s not cheap, but you only need a piece to satisfy you, so it will last awhile. What I like about this one, aside from its rich creaminess, is that it only contains chocolate, cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla. No soy or other additives which many other brands use, even if they are organic and/or fair trade.
I also really like raw cacao nibs (found at my co-op too). They are great to throw in smoothies, chia puddings, or eat on their own. Because they don’t contain sugar, they may taste bitter at first, but they are a yummy way to get the nutritional and taste benefits of chocolate without sugar. These are a great alternative for me, as I like to get some chocolate every day, but I don’t eat sugar every day.
What is your favorite chocolate?