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Why raw cacao is your best friend this V-Day (and every other day)

Lover of all things health and wellness, Katie Bressack is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach who traded in corporate stress for green smoothies and yoga while living in NYC.

I love chocolate and chocolate loves me! My love of chocolate wasn't always mutual, as it used to give me headaches and terrible sugar cravings. My love of chocolate isn't the type of chocolate you are probably thinking of, it's not the peanut M&M's (my old vice), it is the real raw form of chocolate, raw cacao.

Raw cacao contains compounds that actually increase our state of desire and bliss, which is why chocolate has become the symbol for love especially on Valentine's Day!

Did you know that real chocolate actually has no sugar in it? Most of the chocolate that we have been eating over the years is just dairy and sugar, and that is why we end up feeling cranky, moody and tired after eating too much of it. We are suffering from the "Sugar Blues," the inevitable crash after that moment of euphoria from eating chocolate. You may have made the switch to dark chocolate, but this still doesn't have all the health benefits that raw cacao does. When buying chocolate bars, make sure that there is at least 70-80 percent raw cacao as the main ingredient.

Raw cacao contains iron, magnesium, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C and fiber. It also contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world, which is a great anti-aging tool. You can buy it at your local health food store or a store like Whole Foods. I like the Navitas Natural brand, which you can find in a powder or nibs to use for hot chocolate, pudding, macaroons or any of your favorite chocolate treats. The taste is bitter, so it does take some time to get used to eating since our taste buds tend to crave the sweeter version of chocolate.

Women tend to crave chocolate the week before our period. This is because the week before our period the iron and magnesium levels in our body drop rapidly, causing our mood and energy levels to drop too. When you reach for a Snickers bar, your body is adding excess sugar which actually makes PMS symptoms worse. By eating raw cacao you can actually avoid your usual PMS symptoms and you will never gain weight or break out from eating this amazing superfood.

Chocolate also helps us cope better with stress. Many of us are low in magnesium levels and often mistake a headache or loss of appetite as a result of our stressful day, instead of what might be missing in our diet. One of my favorite ways to add in more magnesium is by eating more raw cacao.

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching and the gift of choice being roses and chocolate, treat your loved ones to a very healthy and delicious treat that will help improve their mood, increase their energy levels and not give them the sugar blues. This Valentine's Day, try making my quick and easy raw chocolate macaroons recipe.

Raw chocolate macaroons recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups raw coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup raw coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Add everything to a bowl and mix.
  2. Use a spoon to drop onto a plate and roll into small balls.
  3. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. Take out and enjoy.
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