Though dark chocolate does harbour some great benefits it also contains a large amount of fat and sugar. According to raw food expert Jessica Fenton, the real benefits of chocolate lie within the beans of the cacao pod before it begins the process which turns it into our favourite foil wrapped treats.
Raw cacao powder has almost four times the antioxidant levels of regular dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries and a staggering 119 times more than bananas.
According to experts, raw cocoa beans which are fermented and then dried have a far higher antioxidant content than those which have been roasted.
It is these antioxidants which help to neutralise the negative effects of free radicals on the body, and research has shown that a diet rich in them can help to protect against heart disease and cancers.
In addition, cacao not only boosts antioxidant levels but also contains a third more important nutrients than roast cocoa. It is also a source of the chemical phenethylamine (PEA), otherwise known as the love chemical as it is released in high quantities when we are ‘in love’.
To experience the benefits of raw chocolate try some cacao nibs which are small chunks of the crushed dried beans and can be purchased from most health food shops.
View the original Daily Mail article.