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Medicinal Foods

Eastern Health Description

Raw cacao beans have the highest amount of antioxidants as almost any food on the planet. One cup of crio bru has 150 times the antioxidants as one cup of pure pomegranate juice. Which makes it great for brain function, skin, immunity, basically any cellular function in your body! The real show stopper in cacao beans though are 3 chemicals that really get the body going.

The first one is theobromine a natural stimulant and a relative of caffeine but unlike caffeine it is non addicting and has a mild onset, which is longer lasting and wont give you that jittery amped feeling. It can also help boost your metabolism and prevent fat absorption by blocking certain enzymes.

The next is a chemical called anandamide which is produced in the body after exercise but also present in cacao beans, and this is gonna give that little endorphin boost that is usually present after exercise.

Next is the love chemical phenylethylamine which is produced in our body during periods of falling in love this chemical actually increases focus and alertness and is also found abundant in the the cacao bean!

Lastly cacao beans contain serotonin a primary neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the mood, appetite, and sleep.

Western Health Description

Antioxidants: Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:

Promote cardiovascular health - Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins - Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.

Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good.
Serotonin - Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being.

Endorphins - Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the runners high a jogger feels after running several miles.
Phenylethylamine - Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.

Anandamide - Anandamide is known as the bliss chemical because it is released by the brain when we are feeling great. Cacao contains both N-acylethanolamines, believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.

Essential Minerals: Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.

Magnesium - Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.

Sulfur - Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
Essential fats: There is a misperception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite.

Important note- To fully benefit from chocolates wide array of nutrients, eat chocolate that is as close to its natural state as possible. Whole cacao beans and nibs are best. You lose many of the health benefits when you eat commercially produced chocolate.

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