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.