Get Your Chocolate Fix the Healthy Way!

Post 13 Raw Cacao NibsIf you have been reading my blog, you know that I love to write about superfoods; those amazing wonders in the world of food that deliver a powerful nutritional punch in a very small dose. Today, the topic is raw cacao nibs. If you haven’t had these, you are seriously missing out. You can get your chocolate fix and some healthy benefits too!  Raw Cacao nibs are the seeds from the cacao tree that are fermented and then dried to remove bitterness and to develop the flavor. Now, the nibs are not sweet, but they offer a fabulous crunch and burst of intense chocolate flavor in every bite. And, best of all, there’s no guilt here! The nutritional benefits are legion. Raw cacao nibs are loaded with dietary fiber and are very high in antioxidant flavonoids which absorb and neutralize free radicals in the body. They are also a good source of minerals and trace elements such as iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium and sulphur. Theobromine, which is naturally found in raw cacao is a mild, non-addictive stimulant that is believed to help depression and to cause the brain to produce more of the neurotransmitter called anandamide which, as a result, causes an euphoric sensation, increases concentration and helps to alleviate stress. And it gets better. There are essential fatty acids found in raw cacao that may help the body to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol levels.  It is also believed to lower blood pressure and generally improve heart function. All this and it’s yummy too! What’s not to love? When choosing raw cacao nibs to purchase, you want to look for ones that have been processed below 110 degrees Fahrenheit, have the USDA organic seal (read more about that HERE), and have no other additives or additional ingredients added. Raw cacao nibs can be used in so many ways. Two of my favorite ways to eat them is in my morning steel cut oats cereal and in smoothies. Also, try them sprinkled over fresh berries. So good! Once you try them, you will come up with so many ways to enjoy them, they’re that good. Please comment and share some ways that you use raw cacao nibs.

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