Raw chocolate is delicious, there's no (sane) person that can argue with that. (That's a joke...kind of...) But it's so much more than just a tasty treat. In fact, we have such an appreciation for raw chocolate, and the cacao it's made from, that we would go as far as to say it's "essential", and in some surprising ways. Today we're highlighting why raw chocolate makes us glow (literally!).
Antioxidants = Anti-Aging
Every day we're exposed to a myriad of free radicals which can stress us, lead to disease, and prematurely age us. While reaching for the green tea, blending up an acai bowl, or adding goji berries to your trail mix are all wonderful things to do, surprisingly, none of these antioxidant-rich foods hit the same ORAC (antioxidant) value as cacao! Raw cacao is awash with a variety of free-radical squelching compounds including polyphenols, flavonols, catechins, and epicatechins.
Don't get us wrong, we love our green vegetables and all of the valuable minerals - such as iron - that they provide. HOWEVER, we're also not complaining that you can get a solid dose of this blood-building mineral (20% of your RDA of iron per 1oz serving of raw cacao beans) through raw chocolate. Iron aids in our blood's ability to oxygenate our cells and tissues. Healthy, nourished blood with good oxygen levels means better skin tone and a healthy glow - no makeup required.
Vitamin C and Zinc
These two nutrients are known for having an extremely positive effect on our immune systems, and both are found readily in cacao. They're both involved in a variety of metabolic and enzymatic processes and are also very beneficial for the health of our skin. Zinc helps fight infection and can help control, prevent, and heal acne breakouts, while Vitamin C boosts collagen production for better skin elasticity, is a potent antioxidant, and helps prevent scarring.
Raw cacao is one of the highest plant sources of magnesium on the planet. Magnesium does so much more than work with calcium to build strong bones. It is known as the "relaxer mineral" and it helps calm the nervous system, prevents and eases muscular cramps, neutralizes toxins, and buffers acidity - meaning it helps keep us alkaline. Alkalinity and detoxifcation are critical in terms of improving the appearane of our skin. Magnesium is also not the easiest nutrient to obtain these days, and in fact it is said that around 80% of the population may be experiencing a magnesium deficiency.
Sulphur- The "Beauty Mineral"
Sulphur, the mineral responsible for giving natural hot springs that strong, almost egg-like smell, is also found readily in raw cacao (although in a much less smelly format). If you've ever taken a soak in a hot spring that smells strongly of sulphur, you've likely marveled at how soft, glowing, and rejuvenated your skin looks and feels afterwards. Sulphur works the same magic from the inside out, helping to build resiliant, smooth skin tissue that glows from within.
The Bliss Factor
We all know that the best beauty secret of all is a genuine smile that lights up the face. And while happiness has to come from within (not a chocolate bar...) indulging in your favorite raw chocolate treat can definitely help shift your mood. Compounds anandamide and phenethylamine (PEA) found within raw cacao work with with our brain's neurotransmitters to stimulate feelings of love, contentment, joy, and downright euphoria.