How can chocolate be healthy?
People think that chocolate is bad for their health, but this is simply untrue! It’s the sugars and other fillers that are mixed with the cacao which makes modern chocolate bad for one’s health; cacao itself is extremely healthy. This is why we were so happy to find Lulu – Lulu’s Chocolate only uses organic cacao, organic vanilla bean, and a tiny bit of organic coconut sugar, giving it a low glycemic index (1 serving = 1.3 grams of sugar the entire bar = 5.2 grams of sugar. Whereas a normal chocolate bar contains around 50-60 grams of sugar).
Cacao Pod Growing:
Photos by Rodrigo Flores on Unsplash
Cacao Beans Inside:
Cacao beans dried and fermented:
Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash
Where does Lulu’s Chocolate come from?
Lulu’s cacao is organic, fair trade, wild-Ecuadorian grown, “tended by nature”, and picked by hand. Lulu’s Chocolates has partnered with Living Wise Organics to obtain cacao harvested by an indigenous Ecuadorian farming collective. They of course pay the collective living wages, and additionally they introduce them to more efficient farming methods and help them gain access to the equipment they need to make many forms of chocolate (such as cacao butter, nibs, powder, and paste). Fair treatment and the ensurement of their cacao being sold at good prices allows the farmers to continue to focus on farming. As Lulu said herself, “We are all about building good win / win, long term relationships so everyone can thrive.”
But, scientifically, how is chocolate healthy?
Chocolate makes you fat? Cacao actually helps with weight loss! Many weight loss products utilize cacao due to it’s MAO inhibitors which curb the appetite. Additionally, cacao is high in protein, healthy fats, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Finally, it’s high fiber content promotes proper digestion and can help with managing the symptoms of conditions such as IBS – so stay hydrated to enjoy the digestive benefits and cleansing effects that cacao can provide!
Chocolate for diabetes? Flavonoids, a phytochemical also found in hemp, can help increase the body’s insulin sensitivity – therefore reducing the risk of developing diabetes!
Chocolate in for inflammation? Again, flavonoids can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Since 80% of age related diseases are caused by inflammation, such as cancers, arthritis, and alzheimers, maybe it’s time to send some chocolate to grandma. Some even speculate that inflammation can be linked to depression! Who said chocolate can’t make you happy!
Chocolate for the heart? Cacao is packed with potassium, which is very helpful in decreasing the risk of heart disease because it can help lower inflammation throughout the body and it’s stress on the blood cells.
Chocolate rots your teeth? Research has demonstrated that theobromine, a compound found in cacao, is actually able to re-mineralize and harden tooth enamel. Enamel is what protects the teeth from developing cavities.
Chocolate causes acne? Researchers have also demonstrated that cacao has no correlation with acne or breakouts. In fact, cacao is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and zinc, which are all beneficial for preventing breakouts!
And the cherry on top? Chocolate contains organic cannabinoids!
Chocolate contains the cannabinoid, anandamide. It is fitting that this cannabinoid was named after the Sanskrit word for bliss, Ananda, as cannabinoids stimulate bliss through our neurological pathways! Anandamide is able to stimulate our cannabinoid receptors, regulate the systems of the body, and create homeostasis at a cellular level. Just as CBD supplies our endocannabinoid system – chocolate does as well!
Understanding the real health benefits behind chocolate, it’s sad to think what a bad wrap corporations have given to this wonderful bean. It’s time to embrace cacao by eating real and responsibly manufactured chocolate that is good for your mind, your body, and your sweet tooth!
Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash
An Article By Evie Louise
Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.