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There seems like no better time than Easter to explore the health benefits that cocoa – chocolate can bring as part of a balanced diet.
When you see a cocoa bean pod opened, it is surprising to realise how far away from the finished chocolate product it looks. The bean contains two significant antioxidants: Epicatechin and Catechin. These have anti-cancer properties, interestingly the same properties found in green tea.
Cocoa Nibs & Powder
The nibs form after the beans are dried, roasted and crushed; they are also high in antioxidants. When these nibs are ground-up, we get cocoa powder. The healthiest chocolate is when these products are unsweetened. Meaning they contain many more times the Polyphenols antioxidants than once it is processed and sugar etc., added.
Shoppers can now find Cocoa Nibs in supermarkets for eating (a bit of an acquired taste) and for adding to recipes. Cocoa powder; can be used in sweet and savoury cooking. Many would use it for making hot chocolate – but a word of warning, milk inhibits the cocoa polyphenols, so making with hot water is a much better option.
The Best Options
Most people find that 70% of cocoa solids hit the sweet spot for health and palatability! The further you go down the percentage scale, the fewer antioxidants you expect.
If money allows, it is good to check the other ingredients. Try and avoid chocolate products containing hydrogenated or partially hydronated oils. Going organic will also reduce exposure to pesticides; the farming process may use over thirty chemicals on conventional crops.
Studies have shown that eating small amounts of dark chocolate regularly; can protect the heart and lower the risks of stroke and heart disease. It works by thinning the blood and protecting the artery walls, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It is similar to what taking a low-dose aspirin would do.
In holistic medicine, chocolate may be to settle an upset stomach and ease coughs. Cocoa contains Theobromine, which is as effective at suppressing a cough as codeine.
In terms of the immune system, those eating dark chocolate benefit from a boost in antibodies and something called T-helper cells that kick start the immune system into action.
Thank you so much Sandra for assisting me connect with my beloved partner. You gave so much detail around things that only I would have known. You are really gifted and I am very much looking forward to speaking with you again. Love and best wishes to you x.
Thank you, Ruth, for being so patient and kind on our call. You touched on things I needed to hear and I was so happy to hear from the one person I was seeking guidance from. I will be back. Your gift has opened my eyes up more than you know. Thank you xx
Thanks so much to John. I've had a few readings with John over this last year and he has really assisted me keep the faith in a situation that has all worked out as he said it would. His advice and insight was spot on and I can't thank you enough x.
Must report an astounding reading from John 5152. While I have been privileged to have received readings for many years and all have been so important this from John was more real than you could ever imagine. Relaying messages and comments that could only have come from those I once knew in life and are clearly unchanged in the other. Good work and so important. John has such an impressive gift.
I have had several readings with Karen, she has an amazing gift, her readings were spot on in every aspect, she is always cheerful and also a very caring person and has supported me with the loss of my husband. At times I was very down but after a reading with Karen I felt very positive. I can't thank you enough Karen you assisted me so much.
I have spoken to Mavis on several occasions and I have found her to be absolutely spot on with her guidance, it’s as though she knows me inside out. Mavis has given me a lot of support and I really enjoy my readings as everything she has told me has unfolded within days of our conversations. Mavis is not just a brilliant psychic she is I feel a friend who is there for me whenever I am worried or concerned about life's ups and downs. Thank you, Mavis you always amaze me, with your fabulous readings. Speak to you soon, xx.
I have spoken to Jasmine many times over the last few years. She feels like a very dear friend and is such a positive person and always uplifts my spirit. She has connected with my mum and dad and brought messages of great comfort. She mainly discusses future events and gives understanding to difficult situations. Jasmine delivers messages in ways I understand. No wonder she is always very busy.
Robbie is attuned to the high-level spirit realms and has a lot of knowledge about esoteric and spiritual subjects including ascended masters, angels and archangels. He connected to me quickly and gave many deep insights. He is also an author – has written a few books on specialised spiritual subjects. I was impressed with his reading. Thank you very much and God bless you. Hope what you predicted comes to pass, Jenny x.
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