If we were to conduct a giant survey, where women everywhere were asked to tell us their favorite dessert, we are fairly certain we know what the verdict would be: chocolate would be on the top of that list, if not in the #1 spot. Chocolate has a sweet spot in the hearts of women everywhere, and it turns out the body might be on to something; those cravings are happening for a reason. Cacao is actually full of compounds that have a very positive impact on women's bodies and their health in general. As Mother's Day rapidly approaches, we felt like this is the perfect opportunity to highlight our top 6 benefits of cacao, specifically for women.
Image credit Rog01: Flickr Commons
1. Nature's Hightest Source of Magnesium
Magnesium does a world of good for our nervous system - helping to foster a sense of calm and relaxation throughout our bodies. Magnesium helps ease muscle cramping (including menstrual cramps), helps regulate digestion (it's a natural remedy for constipation), and it's also vital for healthy bone density.
2. Boosts Serotonin Levels
Let's get real: some days (especially those days) just call for a little extra dose of bliss. Cacao contains anandamide, also known as "the bliss molecule", a chemical which helps boost serotonin levels inspiring a sense of overall well being and even euphoria. Serotonin levels have been shown to plummet for many women around their menstrual cycles, which explains those PMS-related mood swings.
3. It's an Aphrodisiac...
Another compound found within cacao known as PEA, or phenethylamine, triggers the release of pleasurable opium-like neurochemicals within our brains known as endorphins. The result of PEA in the brain has been said to simulate that "floating on cloud 9" feeling we get when we're falling in love, which definitely does a world of good for the libido.
4. Contains Sulphur for Naturally Glowing Skin
Sulphur, the same mineral found within a rejuvenating natural hot springs, is also found readily within cacao. Sulphur is neccesary for healthy and shiny skin, hair, and nails, and has a smoothing and softening effect. It's one of the top "beauty minerals".
5. Helps Regulate Appetite and Inhibits Fat Storage
Cacao is one of the most chemically complex foods on the earth. One such group of naturally occurring chemicals known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs for short, are powerful anti-depressants, and have also been used in weight loss supplements to regulate the appetite and inhibit weight gain. Making yourself a plant based protein shake with cacao in it pior to or following a workout is a great option, as MAOIs also help boost metabolism and prevent the storage of fat.
6. It's Anti-Aging
The wealth of antioxidants and polyphenols found within cacao means it's one of the best foods to consume for free radical protection and inflammation curbing. When adequate antioxidants are present in the body, it can quickly repair cellular damage, whether it's damage caused by inflammation, exposure to environmental pollution and toxins, a day at the beach under the hot sun, or "a little too much fun" during a girls night out.
These health benefits lie in the cacao, so when looking for the maximum benefitical compounds, choose raw cacao powder, raw cacao nibs, or minimally processed stone ground raw chocolate (like Rawmio!).
Head to our retail site at www.rawguru.com and receive 20% off all our Rawmio chocolate treats in honor of Mother's Day with code MOM. Enjoy!