boost your immune system

  1. Latest chocolate study isn't so sweet

    You'd have to be nuttier than an Almond Joy to believe chocolate bars can make you healthy -- either that, or an investor in candy companies.

    Not sure which category the researchers behind the latest study fall into, but it would have to be one or the other. How else would you explain their claim that chocolate in any form -- including white chocolate, which technically isn't even chocolate -- can slash your risk of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes?

    Too good to be true? Sorry, chocoholics -- but of course it is.

    The "new" study isn't really a new study at all. It's just a loose hodgepodge of data from seven older studies -- observational studies (not clinical trials) from Japan, Iceland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, and North America.

    Notice something here? Japan, Iceland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany are among the healthiest nations on the planet -- so chocolate eaters there are of course going to be healthier overall, skewing the numbers right off the bat.

    At least three of the studies involved patients on meds along with their candy, and none of the studies distinguished types of chocolate consumed. So sugar-packed chocolate milk, for example, carried the same weight scientifically as a much-better-for-you fine dark chocolate.

    In other words, any conclusions from the analysis in the British Medical Journal are purely coincidental.

    This is exactly the kind of study I warned you about over the summer when I wrote about the health benefits real, raw cocoa -- one of nature's true superfoods.

    Real cocoa can help protect your heart and arteries, boost your immune system, and even fight cancer. But no matter what the new study says, you won't get any of that from a candy bar.

    The only healthy way to get your chocolate fix is to go straight to the source: raw fermented cocoa beans or powder. If you can't eat the beans straight -- and not too many people can -- blend the powder until it's fine enough to dissolve in your coffee.

    For more on real, raw chocolate, read this.

  2. The right way to get your chocolate fix

    I always cringe when I read a news report on the health benefits of cocoa -- the takeaway is almost always "eat more chocolate."

    Sure, go ahead and eat more chocolate -- if you want to kill yourself.

    But if you want the health benefits, you'll need to stick to pure cocoa and get it the same way I do: so raw you have to steal it from a monkey.

    What's the difference? Glad you asked.

    Chocolate is a candy loaded with sugar, soy, and an alphabet soup of chemicals -- and if that's not bad enough, the cocoa used to make it has been treated, processed, and roasted until all the health benefits are literally baked right out of it.

    Any antioxidants that manage to survive this torture are purely accidental.

    Raw cocoa, on the other hand, is fermented and dried -- a process that preserves all the nutrients and gives the cocoa bean (which is actually a seed) 20 times the antioxidant power of blueberries and 120 times the power of bananas.

    It's a nutritional superfood that can protect your heart and arteries, boost your immune system, fight cancer, and prevent diabetes. It's also a great natural libido-booster used as an aphrodisiac for centuries by the indigenous Indians of Central America.

    Now, I'm sure all that has you hungry for some raw cocoa of your own. The good news is that this stuff is easier to find than ever -- you can get whole beans, nibs (chopped up beans), or raw cocoa powder.

    The bad news is that this is definitely not chocolate as you've ever tasted it before. It's got a depth and complexity that rivals wine, and can be an acquired taste for those raised on Hershey bars.

    Some people never acquire it.

    If that's you, don't give up -- try blending raw cocoa powder into your coffee and smoothies for that familiar chocolate taste with none of the added sugars or soy.

    It's so good you won't believe it's not bad for you.

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