Tag >> chocolate
 
 
Photo credit: Lee McCoy via Flickr Commons

The concept of using something delicious and sweet to help make medicinal substances more enticing is nothing new (after-all, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down). However, using something bad for you to ingest something healthy seems a little oxymoronic, and it turns out, is also quite unnecessary. The solution? Use raw chocolate. 
 
When it comes to probiotics, it turns out that using chocolate as a delivery medium not only makes them delicious and a joy to consume, but actually improves their viability and efficacy once ingested - the best kind of win-win.

How it Works: The Prebiotic Effect

By now most of us are aware that cacao, the base ingredient in all dark chocolate, is awash with polyphenol antioxidants known as flavonols. These flavonols work hard to fight free radical damage, prevent premature aging, and reduce inflammation. But what many of us don't realize is they also act as potent prebiotics, meaning if you're a probiotic bacteria, flavonols are what's on the menu. Two flavonol compounds found within cacao - known as catechin and epicatechin - aren't readily digested and absorbed by our bodies, yet once they enter the GI tract, they're gobbled up by some of our body's most beneficial probiotic bacteria, including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. 

Choose Raw, Go Dark

Remember, when it comes to the prebiotic benefits of chocolate, it's all about the flavonol content. By choosing raw chocolate that has been minimally processed, and with at least 65% cacao solids, you'll ensure that you're getting the most prebiotic bang for your buck.
 
Our Sunbiotics stone ground raw chocolate is made in a unique nib-to-bar, low temperature method so that all of those vital antioxidants and unique prebiotic compounds are preserved. We then infuse our chocolate with 10 billion CFU's of shelf stable probiotics per serving, and even more prebiotic goodness in the form of organic yacon root. Enhancing your digestion is now a valid excuse to indulge in some dark chocolate - just make sure it's probiotic-enhanced!
 
 

ON SALE!

Shop our SALE SECTION for 25% off our Sunbiotics Chocolate Hearts for both adults and children , as well as 15% off all 3 flavors of our Sunbiotics Probiotic Enhanced Chocolate Bars + More!
 

Written by Mark Malinsky - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager at RawGuru.com


 

 

image credit: Evert Jan 

A Booming (and Growing) Industry 

Do you have a special place in your heart for chocolate? If so, you are in very good company. Chocolate is a multi-billion dollar global industry, and as the health benefits of dark chocolate (think antioxidants and heart-healthy flavonols) get more mainstream attention, consumer demand is growing at an unprecedented rate. By year 2017, the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service expects that global sales will reach $143 billion. While most people consume chocolate without thinking twice about the industry that they are supporting, that innocent looking bar of chocolate may in fact have a (very) dirty little secret….

Starting from the Beginning: Theobroma Cacao


 

It's nearly Halloween and you know what that means - the American populace is drowning in candy, and not just any candy: overly processed, refined sugar-laden, and nutritionally devoid candy with a list of ingredients that are downright...scary (and not in the fun Halloween kind of way)! If you're not actually eating it you're likely still a walking target for marketing- especially at the grocery store as bags of colorful candy literally jump off the shelf at you haunted house-style.

While there is nothing wrong with indulging your sweet tooth in a conscious, balanced way, the issue is in the unhealthy non-food additives and highly processed ingredients that have no benefit (and can actually be quite harmful) to the body. What should you be watching out for? Refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, chemical-based "natural and artificial flavors, GMO-tainted dairy and/or soy/corn products, cacao or cane sugar sourced through unethical labor practices (non organic and non fair trade), and another ingredient you may not even be aware of: confectioners glaze - the main topic of our blog today.

What is confectioner's glaze?

Confectioner's glaze, also known as pharmaceutical glaze, resinous glaze, pure food glaze and natural glaze, is used in the food industry to create that shiny, tell-tale candy-coated sheen. But get this - it also shows up in other, less likely places. Shockingly, it's used in the hardware industry, as an ingredient known as "shellac" - a chemical secreted by a type of Asian scale insect (yes, you read that right), used to seal and varnish floors and also coat over the counter drugs and pharmaceuticals. It was even used to make vinyl records back in the day. Not so "candy-coated" after-all, and definitely not something you want anywhere near your mouth.

Conscious candy to the rescue!

Rawmio's mission has always been to create completely decadent and bliss-inducing chocolate treats that ANY chocolate connoisseur will love, not just those that prefer healthy options. Rawmio chocolate is made using artisan, old-world methods of chocolatiering, such as low temperature stone grinding, which preserves the vital nutrition found within raw cacao. In case you weren't aware, cacao is LOADED with antioxidants and minerals! Rawmio's ingredients are always organic and fair trade, with their cacao coming directly from small farm cooperatives in Peru, and coconut sugar coming from sustainable farms in Bali, where workers are paid fairly. And it's not just the planet, farmers, and workers who benefit, your body does too through Rawmio's commitment to pure, whole food ingredients and simple formulations that are packed with nutrition.


Chocolate tumbled bliss

You can now enjoy chocolate coated yumminess without the harmful ingredients like confectioners glaze! Rawmio's timeless technique of chocolate tumbling allows each crunchy sprouted nut, chewy cherry, crispy nib and scrumptious macaroon to be perfectly coated in a candy shell-like coating of raw chocolate - no glazes required.

Pictured: Rawmio's Chocolate Covered Sprouted Hazelnuts and Macaroons














Chocolate will never cease to be a fantastic option not only for lovers but also for people in
pursuit of long-term health benefits in late years of their lives. In reference to a research that was presented at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), raw chocolate from cacao powders contain plenty of antioxidants , including epicatechin and catechin, coupled with small amounts of fiber. Also, the gut bacteria are capable of breaking down and fermenting components in raw chocolate to produce anti-inflammatory compounds that are essential for your health. Here are the best 9 health benefits of raw chocolate:

1. Healthy Brain Function

Researchers from the University of Nottingham discovered that consumption of chocolate can help in sharpening the mind and improving cognitive skills. Professor Ian Macdonald, the study author, said that chocolate is rich in flavanols, which promote the flow of blood in critical areas of the brain that determine performance and attention over a short period. Macdonald also said that consumption of flavanol-rich chocolate was associated with increased grey matter flow for up to three hours.

2. It Promotes Cardiovascular Functions

Studies have shown that moderate consumption of dark or raw chocolate can lower blood pressure while reducing bad cholesterol levels by nearly 10%. This is because raw chocolate contains antioxidants like flavanoids commonly found in green tea and red wine. Also, raw chocolate is an excellent source of potassium and copper, two minerals that are essential in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. However, chocolate is high in calories, and excessive consumption should be avoided.

3. Colon Cancer Prevention

About Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, a new animal study suggests that raw chocolate consumption may help in colon cancer prevention. Individual ingredients (flavanoids) in raw chocolate help in elimination of unhealthy cells from your body through a process called apoptosis. Through this process, flavanoids can help in destruction and removal of cancerous cells along the digestive tract, especially the large intestines.

4. Reducing Cholesterol

According to researcher Mee Young Hong, PhD, associate professor of exercise and nutritional sciences at San Diego State University, eating raw chocolate can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. In Hong’s study that involved 31 men and women, she found that participants who took dark chocolate lowered their bad cholesterol by nearly 20% and increased good cholesterol by about 20% compared to those who ate white chocolate.

5. Decrease Menopause and PMS Symptoms

Most women crave for chocolate before and during their menstrual periods. About Dr. David Wolf, this is mainly because of the much needed magnesium contained in chocolate. Dr. Wolf says that women experience a decline in magnesium levels in the body during menstruation which contributes to increased premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopausal symptoms . Raw chocolate helps to supplement magnesium deficiencies during the menses cycle, lowering the effects of PMS for therapeutic results. Plus chocolate regulates hormonal imbalances to reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms.

6. It Improves Digestion

There are healthy bacteria that live in your large intestines that ferment both the antioxidants and fiber found in raw chocolate. Chocolate delivers high amounts of these helpful microbes that improve digestion. According to Andrew Marten, co-founder of Ohso, a company based in Britain that manufactures cocoa brands, the friendly bacteria help in positively influencing gastrointestinal functions to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. In fact chocolate delivers higher amounts of healthy bacteria than yoghurt and milk drinks, he added.

7. It supports Weight Loss

A new study shows that eating chocolate can help you to stay slim. According to the U.S. study, regular consumers of chocolate tend to have less body fat than those who don’t. Researchers suggested that calories contained in raw chocolate increase metabolism, which prevents storage of fat. According to Dr. Beatrice Golomb, study leader from the University of California at San Diego, the composition of calories in chocolate determines the ultimate impact on weight. Chocolate also reduces appetite and lowers food cravings.

8. Increases Energy, Alertness

Apart from being packed with calories for energy production, chocolate is also loaded with anti- inflammatory compounds and magnesium, which can make you feel less pain when working out. It boosts your energy levels and alertness to make exercising more enjoyable. Caffeine in raw chocolate has stimulating effects that can make that extra mile seem like a short jaunt.

9. It Promotes Healthy Blood Flow

About a small study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, chocolate may help improve vascular health by increasing the flow of blood. Patients above 70 years suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD) who took dark chocolate managed to walk longer distances (11%) than their counterparts who didn’t. According to study author Lorenzo Loffredo from the Sapienza University of Rome, they noted significantly improved blood flow in participants who ate chocolate.

Conclusion

The health benefits of raw chocolate may be numerous than what has already been discovered. Many studies have shown how chocolate bars and candies can improve the quality of life at present and in the future. However, chocolate should be consumed in moderation as there is nothing right in too much of anything.

References:

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-news/can-chocolate-really-help-for-weight- loss43751.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_chocolate

Author Bio:

Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert. She has written various articles on Beauty and
Makeup. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to research about Solvaderm Skin care routine. She is always excited to share her ideas related to Beauty care and Makeup Tips.

Connect with Vaileria on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.



 


Raw treats and desserts seem to be getting better and better these days! Creativity is really shining through and higher quality ingredients are more available now than ever, making the way for tasty raw versions of dessert classics. ChocAlive truffles are no exception. They are absolutely wonderful gourmet truffles and will be loved by everyone, whether they are crazy about raw chocolate or just love a scrumptious sweet treat.


The thing i love most about these truffles are their consistency. The center is perfectly smooth, silky and melt in your mouth. I tried the Speciality Sampler pack which included 6 truffles all together: 2 dark chocolate, 2 coconut and 2 chocolate chip truffles. My favorite was the coconut flavor, the delicate crunch of dried coconut shavings pairs so well with the rich texture and sweetness of the chocolate. These are very dense truffles, so after eating 1 or 2 your sweet tooth will be satisfied. They are definitely a dessert to savor and share with a friend. Another idea is to keep them in the fridge so they are nice and solid, and cut into tiny pieces to top a bowl of raw granola with vanilla bean almond mylk. Break all the rules, have nutrient rich, antioxidant power house chocolate for breakfast!

The ingredients are pretty simple. They are made from raw organic Ecuadorian cocoa powder and cocoa butter, raw organic coconut butter containing both the oil and fiber, organic sun dried dates, raw organic Mexican agave nectar, and unrefined sea salt. This is the base of the truffle. Other ingredients vary depending on what flavor you choose. They come rolled in almonds, dried coconut shavings,  crunchy cacao nibs, walnuts, pistachios and there is even a Mint Chip flavor with organic peppermint extract in it. Yum!  All the ingredients are raw and organic, sweeteners are whole and unrefined, and they are vegan and gluten free. The ChocAlive company is also totally beautiful and dedicated to the health and well being of their customers wholeheartedly. This is why we at RawGuru are so happy to be able to offer them to you!

Try sharing these with a non-health food interested friend or loved one. They will not believe that these truffles are actually as good for the body as they are delicious!

 Order ChocoAlive! Organic Raw Truffles today!