Why Raw Chocolate Is Wholistically Delicious
by Harlan Sparer, DC
Our fascination with Chocolate as a race began in Central America with the Olmecs. It spread through Mayan and Aztec cultures to Europe and then the world.
This amazing substance is rich in nutrients, including Antioxidants, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, and Pantothenic acid. Sadly, most of these nutrients are reduced in effectiveness and absorbability as nutrients when altered by the heat and chemical treatment subjected to them by modern commercial chocolate manufacturers.
Whenever chemical bonds are heated and subjected to reactive chemicals, they can be altered and rendered unusable and possibly toxic. A perfect example is how cooking oils are degraded by heat. Cocoa butter, the essential oily part of the whole cacao bean, is altered and partially removed by the use of heat and pressure in the industrial process. Hence, the essential beneficial aspects of the whole raw cacao bean are degraded and deleteriously altered by the many processes it is subjected to when commercially and industrially produced.
Bovine milk is often added as well, with the concomitant intermediate substances produced. Because bovine milk is best suited for baby cows, its combination with chocolate at a heated temperature is a recipe which will not be in its essence beneficial for the human body.
Raw chocolate is high in Phenylethylamine. This marvelous substance is bioavailable in good quantity when chocolate is not heated and mistreated. When there is a deficiency of this substance in a person, depression is often found. An excess causes no apparent side effects. It does not produce tolerance either. Thus there is a biochemical reason why chocolate consumption has a substantial effect on depression and naturally makes us feel good.
Raw chocolate also contains the naturally occurring nerve hormones Anandamide as well as Anandamide breakdown inhibitors. Daniele Piomelli at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego discovered this in 1996. Anandamides stimulate the receptor that is also sensitive to THC. While the Anandamides do not have the same effect, there is a feeling of improved mood created by the Anandamides and the breakdown inhibitors. This combination causes the Anandamides to last longer, extending their effects. Heating these substances causes a breakdown of them.
The beauty and wonder of raw chocolate now becomes evident. It is typically organic. Its essential nutrients are typically never heated above about 100 degrees. It is low in caffeine and often sweetened with a low glycemic impact. It is brimming with nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial, not to mention its rich and variegated flavor, often augmented by natural spices. Thes Phenylethylamine and anandimides contained in it serve to relax us and make us feel good. Extensive testing over the years has repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of these substances to the emotional well being of people. It often lifts the spirit and puts us at ease from the mélange of benefits it offers.
February is often a month of Chocolate loving for many. Why not seek out some nutritious raw chocolate or learn to make it for someone you love. It is a great way to nurture yourself rather than engaging in the self destructive act of eating sugary processed chocolate candy.
More on this tasty subject in my recipe book.