Mama’s Bliss: Raw Cacao by Kari Swenson
It’s been a long day.
You were up most of the night and the nap you were hoping to get when your precious one took theirs did not happen.
It’s 3:00 p.m. and you are now craving something sweet, creamy and chocolatey and at the same time are desiring to put the best things into your body.
What you have heard for so long is that chocolate is evil and the fact that you crave it makes you weak. Well mama’s it’s time you learn the truth.
There are many new studies showing that the health benefits of real true unprocessed raw cacao – the Theobroma Cacao tree chocolate comes from – has a plethora of benefits for your belly, emotions, hormones and your heart.
Cacao is the bean that comes from the cacao tree as football-shaped fruits that grow off of the trunk and limbs of the tree, and the cacao beans are found inside the pods of the fruit. When the cacao is harvested, fermented and dried, they are then cleaned and roasted to transform it into cocoa powder.
According to Dr. Mercola, raw cacao is turning out to be one of the most anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. Our gut bacteria actually unlock dark chocolate’s anti-inflammatory powers making it a powerhouse food for our digestive systems. Cacao has the ability to balance our hormones with its strong dose of magnesium, as well as re-calibrate our emotions and release feelings of euphoria and happiness. And after a night of little sleep, who wouldn’t want a little extra boost of euphoria?
Cacao also brings us phytochemicals that enhances the health of our hearts, balancing blood pressure, lowering high cholesterol and giving us a cardiovascular boost giving us the energy we need to move our beautiful bodies every day doing exercises we enjoy.
Not to mention it is an aphrodisiac boosting both ours and our partner’s libido fire. 😉
Chocolate also contains other potent plant “chemicals,” including anandamide, named after the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and anxiety.
Therefore, chocolate = bliss. Enough said.
Now, not all chocolate is created equal. For the purest form of chocolate straight from the cacao tree, you will want to choose raw cacao powder or nibs to use in your smoothies and baking. This is the least processed form of chocolate and will give you the biggest bang for your buck without all the added sugar. If you are going to choose chocolate that has been processed into its cocoa form, choose organic and at least 70% + and enjoy in small, luscious amounts to minimize too much intake of sugar.
Here are 3 easy ways to indulge in daily cacao bliss:
1. Add 1 Tbsp. cacao nibs to your morning smoothie.You can find these in the bulk section at your favorite natural food market. This will give you a nice boost of energy and mental clarity from the theobromine goodness, a bitter alkaloid with caffeine-like properties, found in the cacao nibs. Best to use in moderation as if you are sensitive to the theobromine it can bring on the jittery effects like coffee can. If you are breastfeeding you will want to also monitor how it’s effecting your little one.
2. Buy raw chocolate bars. These pure bliss delights can be a quick and easy way to get your daily dose of bliss. Look for one’s with over 70% cacao, like Aztec Crunch Raw Bar by Lily’s or Eating Evolved Cacao Primal Chocolate.
3. Get to know Bliss Chocolate Mousse. Make this special treat for an afternoon boost or after dinner delight:
Bliss Chocolate Mousse
• 2 ripe avocados
• 5 Tbsp of Raw Cacao powder (Navitas Naturals is a brand I love)
• 1 Tbsp. of Grade B Maple syrup OR 5 -10 drops of Liquid Stevia – to your liking
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 1 tsp. vanilla
Blend together in a high speed blender. Sprinkle with goji berries or fresh blueberries, raspberries or strawberries for an antioxidant blast of goodness for your immune system.
So, don’t hesitate one moment more. As the saying goes, “If mama ain’t happy, no body is happy.” So, go find your form of cacao bliss and savor every bite. You and your precious one’s will be glad you did.
Kari Swenson MS, CHHC is a Beauty Body Soul Coach and Yoga Teacher who inspires and educates women to love and care for themselves more deeply so they can experience greater joy, vibrancy and peace in their lives.