There is great controversy about whether chocolate is truly a health food. You’ve likely heard the word that there are countless raw foodists (+ ancient cultures) who’ve felt the true heart-opening, real metabolism-boosting, serious mood-lifting effects – especially if you’re part of the raw cacao / raw food movement and are into Superfoods. If it weren’t for my personal experience over the past several years or so I may have been a skeptic, at least initially, but instead I owe part of my own healing to raw organic cacao. Let me explain…
Most people have great desires for sugar and fat and reach for a chocolate candy bar which is saturated with refined sugars, trans fats, and pasteurized dairy. The real powerful and sustainable benefits come when raw chocolate, cacao, is consumed. The reason for this is that it’s exceptionally high in nutrition (anti-oxidants!!) and so high in minerals that it has been considered to be a mineral supplement in food form. Dark chocolate is not the same as raw chocolate, so don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re getting loads of nutrition if the label makes claims that it’s high in cacao (aka, 70% cacao). If it’s not labeled RAW, it is a cooked chocolate bar and the source of cacao is likely hybridized anyway (meaning that the cacao bean and its’ tree that it grew on are genetically weak in comparison to an organic heirloom variety). True, there may be some benefits, but we’re in this to reap the maximum levels of nutrition, not just enough to skate by.
At some point in my health journey over the past several years, I was able to eliminate dreadful anxiety, borderline panic attacks, and obsessive compulsive disorder quite unexpectedly with a food I never would have consciously attempted to use as part of a healing protocol. Although there are many things to credit these nervous system disorders vanishing from my life experience, I believe that raw chocolate played a significant role in bringing my depleted body into balance. I wasn’t aware at the time, but I was very deficient in magnesium and chromium (due to food and lifestyle choices).
The pieces all fit into place when I began to understand that magnesium supports and soothes the nervous system, and chromium balances blood sugar and kicks up metabolism – and the degree to which this is true! This is where all my problems originated: my nerves felt frayed (I lived life w/ some degree of fear, nervousness, and unease), I was hypoglycemic with blood sugar inbalances (always hungry, ready to eat anything in sight with major sugar cravings present), overweight (needed to lose 15-25 lbs), my metabolism was sooo slow, and my moods were inconsistent and unstable which ended up in my not liking or loving myself fully. This is who I used to be; I credit reversing vitamin and mineral deficiencies entirely for this miraculous healing (for me, it did feel miraculous). The two foods I believe had the greatest influence on me were Vitamineral Green and Raw Chocolate.
Dosage: How much raw chocolate is appropriate for you? That is something that no one should ever answer for you – only you can feel in your body what it needs. I know from trial and success that I can have a certain amount, yet if I go over by a great deal, it leads to anxiety, OCD behaviors, and that hungover feeling. You just have to know what works for you – maybe it’s little to none, maybe it’s 1-2 tablespoons of cacao powder or nibs, 1 WildBar or Sacred Heart Chocolate bar, or periodic indulgences… this is something that ONLY YOU can decide for yourself. And might I add… if someone makes claims about anything without giving warning or without acknowledging that we are all biochemically individual, disregard their information. We can only tell our own stories and feel the vibe of the food within us.
Check out this article to read about how chocolate is finally now being hailed as a Superfood!
** Questions For You:
What’s your opinion? How does raw chocolate effect you? Have you experienced any benefits or detrimental effects from eating it? I want to hear from you… please share your experiences so we can all learn from one another.