Hearts and Chocolate .. “Heart Blood”
Happy Valentines Day!
Did you happen to read my previous post on Raw Cacao? Check it out for what Cacao is and where to find it.
I wanted to continue on Valentines Day with my love of Cacao and it’s benefits for all. Cacao is the number One Superfood. So we all know that chocolate is a big Valentines gift.. why? Well it makes us feel good and makes us happy! Why? – read on!
More than anything else cacao ( raw chocolate) supports the heart , in a literal and metaphysical and spiritual sense. Aztecs called cacao ” yollotl eztli” which means heart blood !
Cacao supports a healthy cardio system: It opens the heart, returns you to a natural state of feeling (awareness) . Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants in the world ! Including polyphenols and catechins.
By weight, cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranetes and goji berries combined.
Cacao is the # 1 source of magnesium, when the body has enough magnesium veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax! Resistance is decreased and flow of blood oxygen nutrients flow through the body easier. A deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with heart trouble but that immediately following a heart attack, if you do not have sufficient magnesium you will have more injury to the heart.
Cacao contains “bliss chemicals ” – such as Anandamine – the endorphine we naturally produce after exercise. We produce it when we’re feeling great! Also tryptophan which is a powerful mood enhancing nutrient as it produces serotonin. Enhanced Serotonin diminishes anxiety.
TAKE AWAY: if you want to be heart healthy, happy, calm and get great nutrients into your body, along with anti-oxidants. Eat Cacao! – Not Chocolate (that is altered and has little benefits ) Best bet is 100 % Raw Cacao – or Dark chocolate – as close to 100% that you can get .. at least 80% .. and a little goes a long way! Read on for ways to cook with cacao!
The higher the cacao – the more health benefits. Adding sugar and other products removes nutrients.
You can find Raw Cacao at your natural Foods Store ( PCC, Whole Foods, Madison Market) Near the bulk foods – already packaged in a bag – I like TerrAmazon Organic Cacao Powder. About $5 for 4 oz . Also find Cacao Nibs in the baking aisle
Chocolate Del Diablo
(Serve warm. Makes 4 cups)
1 pint of warm almond milk (or milk of choice)
4 tablespoons of chocolate powder (crushed raw cacao beans or nibs)
2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch each of mace, nutmeg, and cinnamon
Blend all ingredients in a blender and serve immediately.
Makes about 30-40 pieces
2 cups of cashews, soaked
1 cup of dates, soaked
1 cup of raisins, soaked
1 cup of chocolate powder (crushed cacao beans/nibs)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of golden flax seeds, ground
1/2 cup of carob powder
Add all ingredients into the food processor, except the ground flax seeds. Process until very smooth. Add the ground flax seeds and process again until you can’t see the flax.
Scrape the mixture into a _ inch-deep tin (with greaseproof paper if you wish), and spread it evenly. Freeze for two hours. Cut into 1 inch squares and freeze for a further hour before removing and eating.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
Yours in Health,
Breanne Curran CHC, NS, NSCA CPT