Chocolate as an anti-aging technique, is this some type of joke? Nope! The facts are in chocolate is bursting with antioxidants. An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. The chemical reaction of oxidation can produce free radicals, which start a chain reaction of cell damage. Antioxidants actually stop these negative chain reactions. Many fresh fruits and vegetables have a high quantity of antioxidants, but pure raw chocolate is chocked full of flavonoids, which are some of the most powerful antioxidants on earth.
There is a trick to the chocolate though, you have to eat it raw. Now you are wondering, what is raw chocolate? Well, it helps to start from the beginning. Until recently I never really took much thought about where chocolate comes from. I just figured it came from the Hershey chocolate factory. But there is in fact a "chocolate tree." The tree was named Theobroma cacao, in Latin that means 'food of the gods.' Well, this 'food of the gods" is actually cacao beans. They grow on the tree. Some people call them nuts, but they are actually seeds. Once you remove the skin you have the cacao or chocolate. Now, before you roast it, process it, and load it with refined sugar -that is raw chocolate.
Heating the cacao beans kills most of the antioxidants and other minerals and vitamins in the chocolate. In order to preserve the nutrients the beans must be dried at a low temperature, typically below 120 degrees. Then they can be enjoyed whole as nibs (the bean with the skin removed), in bits, or as a powder.
Raw cacao has a bitter flavor like dark chocolate. Some enjoy it just like that. Others prefer to sweeten it by blending it with other natural ingredients like fruit or honey. I prefer it mixed into a fruit smoothie with other raw, fresh fruits.
Any way you enjoy it raw cacao is one of the most, if not the most, nutrient rich and complex foods known to man. Loaded with antioxidants, it neutralizes free radicals-rogue oxygen molecules that can accelerate aging and the problems that come with it. So to help you look younger, feel younger, and live longer -eat chocolate it is important to your health. Visit your local health food store and pick up some organic, raw chocolate today!
Carolyn Pennington is the author of this article and editor of http://www.raw-food-for-families.com Raw food for families is a web site dedicated to helping families incorporate more fresh fruits, vegetables, and living foods into their diet. Whether they eat a raw vegan diet or simply want a few tips to add more live nutrients into their existing diet they can help.
For more great recipes to enjoy raw cacao and more nutritional information please visit http://www.raw-food-for-families.com/raw-chocolate.html
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