Every once in a while, I get re-obsessed with this mood boosting super-food, and I wanted to share it with you! Before I tell you what it is, here are some of the sweet health benefits:
· Supports nerve and muscle function
· Lowers blood pressure
· Helps keep you ‘regular’ and supports gut health
· Can help with anemia
· Reduces free radical damage, keeps you healthy
· Reduces inflammation
· Reduces cholesterol
· Improves blood circulation
· Protects the heart
Can you guess what it is? Are you afraid I’m about to start talking about a vegetable? something green?? Nope! I’m talking about CHOCOLATE!
The very name of the tree that produces the cocoa bean (Theobroma Cacao) translates to “food of the gods.” Now, your friendly neighborhood Health Coach is NOT telling you to stock up on Hersey’s. No. Processed chocolate and candy bars are loaded with sugar and additives – they are a special treat. It’s funny that we’ve taken something that is actually a superfood, LOADED with nutrients, and turned it into a diabetes-driving candy, but so it goes!
To reap the sweet benefits of this amazing food, stock up on some RAW CACAO NIBS, which can easily be bought at Your Dekalb Farmers Market (if you live in Atlanta) or online.
Raw cacao nibs look like hacked up coffee beans and they have a rich, bitter taste somewhat reminiscent of very dark chocolate. This healing, medicinal food can give you more energy and make you feel GREAT. It has 4 times as many antioxidants as good dark chocolate, and 20 times more than blueberries! I’m completely wild about it, and if you’re not, it’s because you haven’t added it to your diet yet.
My favorite part? Eating raw cacao can make you HAPPIER. That’s right! It includes something called “anandamide”, which is known as the “bliss molecule”. It can boost your serotonin levels and impart a sense of wellbeing. It also produces another chemical in our bodies, “PEA”, which can improve awareness, focus, and sex drive!
There are many ways you can incorporate these little nibblets of bliss into your diet. I like to munch on them right out of the Tupperware, but you can also make this delicious Superfood Toast that is my “camping music festival” breakfast go-to. Even my husband approves- this breakfast is full of protein and healthy fats, and gives you all the energy you need for an active morning outdoors.
SUPERFOOD ENERGY TOAST RECIPE
I don’t measure these ingredients because who brings measuring spoons camping??
Take 1 slice of Ezekiel bread (or some kind of whole grain and seed bread) and top it with:
+almond or peanut butter
+drizzle of raw honey
You can also blend raw cacao nibs into smoothies, add them to your morning steel cut oats (which I highly recommend!) , add them to trail mix, or just press an almond butter covered spoon into the bag of raw cacao for a protein and antioxidant rich “hippie lollypop” snack. YUM!
Since adding raw cacao to my diet, I feel like I have more energy and a happier mood. If you are looking for something to munch on, or the election’s got ya down, give raw chocolate a try! You might find that it reduces your cravings for sweet foods, too!
Chocolate lovers, do not despair. There are still benefits associated with dark chocolate – it doesn’t have to be all raw, all the time. My favorite is Black and Greens 80% - it’s great chocolate at a fair price point. Still try to eat more raw, though, ok? J
Please share with us- What foods boost your mood? If you already use raw cacao, how do you like to eat it? The community would love to hear from you! <3