The Health Benefits of Raw, Organic Cacao Nibs & Powder
In my practice,
I regularly design custom eating programs for people who
are looking to overcome health challenges or just maintain
excellent overall health. Almost invariably, I am asked
to include some healthy snack options that will satisfy
cravings for conventional sweets, usually ones that are
coated with chocolate.
requests for truly healthy chocolate treats became frequent
enough that about a year ago, I stopped insisting that the
only way to go was to learn to be happy with an assortment
of fruits, and began experimenting with different varieties
of organic cocoa from all over the world.
The more I researched
and experimented in our kitchen, the more excited I became.
I almost couldn't believe how good the homemade chocolate
treats that were coming out of our blender and food processor
were. I used different types of raw, organic chocolate nibs
and powder to make dairy-free treats like chocolate truffles
(just like the ones you see in the image to your right),
chocolate smoothies, chocolate peanut butter smoothies,
and chocolate ice cream. Every treat that I made was free
of dairy, sugar, preservatives, unhealthy oils, and all
of the other less-than-healthy ingredients that go into
almost a year of testing and preparation, I am excited to
be able to provide through our web site two new products:
Raw, organic cocoa nibs (raw chocolate
pieces), and raw, organic cocoa powder.
I'm excited about sharing these products because raw, organic
chocolate is one of the most powerful, health-promoting
foods that we know of.
are the key reasons why eating raw chocolate is good for
is naturally rich in flavonoids, which are natural nutrients
with antioxidant properties - the same nutrients that
make berries, grapes, and green tea health-promoting
that are abundant in raw chocolate can protect your
cells against damage by free radicals, which can help
to prevent premature aging.
in raw chocolate are good for your heart, as they can
help to prevent stickiness of platelets, which are cells
that play an important role in blood clotting.
can help your body produce nitric oxide, a compound
that promotes a healthy cardiovascular system.
Before you make
conventional chocolate bars a staple in your diet, it's
important to understand that the health benefits of chocolate
are mainly due to its rich flavonoid content. And the
more chocolate is processed, the fewer flavonoids it retains.
Fewer flavonoids translates to less antioxidant content
and less potential health benefits.
If you want to
eat chocolate to optimally support your health, your
best choice is raw, organic chocolate that has no added
ingredients like sugar, milk, and oil. Your next
best choice is dark chocolate with 70 percent or more cocoa
content, but this ranks a distant second to raw chocolate,
since conventional dark chocolate bars are exposed to significant
heat and processing. The worst choices are milk and white
chocolate. Most varieties of milk chocolate have only about
25 to 50 percent the flavonoid content of dark chocolate,
and white chocolate has no flavonoids.
content of different foods is measured by what's called
the ORAC test; the higher the ORAC value for a food, the
greater its antioxidant content. Here is a list of ORAC
values for foods that are known to be rich in antioxidants,
as calculated by the United States Department of Agriculture
and the Journal of the American Chemical Society:
Beyond its value
as a food that is super-rich in antioxidants, raw chocolate
is also abundant in the following health-promoting nutrients:
(3 mg per 100 g) and tyramine (2 mg
per 100 g) - both are capable of creating a mild calming
(0.8 mg per 100 g) - needed for energy production, proper
nerve signaling, optimal bone health, and formation
of healthy connective tissue in your heart and blood
(PEA) - can help to promote mental alertness
and focus. It is also thought to combat feelings
of depression, and is released within your
brain when you are in love.
(131 mg per 100 g) - is needed for healthy bones and
teeth, energy production, and optimal heart, nerve,
and muscle health. Magnesium levels tend to be low during
menstruation, which may explain why some women tend
to crave chocolate on a periodic basis.
my research, I experimented with raw, organic cocoa from
locations throughout South America and Southeast Asia. Ultimately,
I chose the highest quality raw chocolate that I could find
to share with our newsletter subscribers.
Here are some
key details on our raw chocolate products:
Our raw chocolate
nibs are made from certified organic, peeled cocoa beans,
the same beans that are used by makers of fine chocolate.
They're great to eat on their own, or mixed in with
smoothies, shakes, banana-based ice cream, trail mixes,
organic yogurt if you can tolerate dairy, and all sorts
of natural desserts made by grinding pecans, dates,
figs, and other all-natural foods.
organic, raw chocolate powder is made by cold-pressing
the shelled cocoa beans and separating the fiber of
the beans from the natural oil in the beans. The oil
becomes raw cocoa butter, and the fiber cake is milled
into our antioxidant-rich raw chocolate powder. Our
raw chocolate powder is not Dutch processed. It can
be used to impart real chocolate flavor and nutrient-density
to smoothies, drinks, and countless chocolate desserts.
raw chocolate nibs and powder are tested and cleared
for all microbial contaminants by a third party laboratory
before being cleared to share with our subscribers and
Our raw chocolate
nibs and powder are cultivated in Peru and certified
organic, certified kosher, and processed below 118 degrees
Criollo cocoa beans are only partially fermented; they
are never irradiated or fumigated.
our freshly harvested cocoa beans to the processing
facility as quickly as possible, where they are given
a thorough cleansing with purified water. This cleansing
process is extremely important to preventing microbial
contamination, ensuring a safe and clean product.
fair trade purchasing; our Peruvian partners were recently
awarded Fair Trade certification.
order for our raw chocolate nibs or powder comes
with instant access to a downloadable collection
of my favorite simple and healthy recipes
that call for our nibs and powder. Once you learn
how to make my raw chocolate smoothie and raw chocolate
truffles, you may be able to give a big Hershey's
kiss good bye to conventional chocolate milk shakes
and candy bars.
this special collection of raw chocolate recipes,
you have paid for your order, go to our shopping
cart, click on
View Account, sign into your account, and click
on Your Downloads.
If you like to
eat chocolate, then I recommend our raw chocolate nibs.
If you plan on blending raw chocolate into smoothies and
other drinks, then I recommend our raw chocolate powder.
I like to put both nibs and powder into our chocolate and
chocolate peanut butter smoothies - the nibs add texture
that makes the smoothies feel quite substantial as energy
boosters. Most of my recipes call for both nibs and powder.
note that our raw chocolate nibs are fresh pieces of raw
cacao beans, which means that they have a crunchy texture,
much like that of coffee beans, except with a rich, chocolate
flavor. Our raw chocolate nibs do not have a soft, melt-in-your-mouth
texture like most conventional chocolate bars do.
To keep our raw
chocolate nibs and powder as fresh as possible, I recommend
keeping them in your refrigerator or a cool, dry place.
Note: As is the case with all of the products that
we use and recommend through our web site, if you know that
you can make use of our chocolate nibs or powder, I recommend
that you order more than one item at a time. This is because
UPS (for orders in the States) and USPS (for orders everywhere
else) charge one main fee to ship any package, and then
add only modest increments for each additional item. Ordering
more than one item at a time will significantly reduce your
per-item shipping and handling charge. This principle holds
true with any combination of items that you order from our
recommended products section - in other words, if you order
a bottle of our super green food along with a package of
our raw chocolate nibs, then you will save significant per-item
shipping and handling dollars.
Of course, if
you have never tried any of our products and would just
like to give one of them a trial, then it makes sense to
place an initial order for one item to make sure that you
can make use of it.
The modest profit
margins on all of our recommended health products are used
to support the work that we do on our web site - we greatly
appreciate your support.
From People Who Use Our Raw Organic Chocolate Products:
"I absolutely LOVE the raw chocolate nibs. I eat them
right out of the bag, and although not so healthy, when
I do have the occasional bowl of ice cream, I sprinkle them
on very liberally!"
- D. Jarrett, Huntsville, ON
"The raw chocolate powder is fabulous and your recipes
are wonderful. The chocolate balls made with dates are incredible,
especially for holiday get togethers."
- N.Nelson, Glendale, AZ
"We love the raw chocolate powder and use it in smoothies
made with bananas, agave nectar, a little soy milk and some
super green food."
- Kimberly Forzley, Marietta, GA
"Really loved the chocolate powder...very good quality,
great for shakes and baking!"
- K. Mitchell, Nutley, NJ