Thursday, August 6, 2015

My chocolate cure...

Lately, I've been super tired, and feeling under the weather. I've had a really hard time shaking this crud off, and gaining back a sense of "me". I was starting to wilt, and it was really depressing. Then, I saw an ad for natural cacao nibs, and it touted them as a super food, that could restore, revitalize, rejuvenate... Yeah right... But, I was desperate, so I did some research, and it looked promising. I decided to go for it, and start pumping my body full of vitamins and antioxidants.

You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find raw, natural, cacao nibs, let alone decide on a brand to use. I contacted Pure Natural Miracles, an online store, that specializes in raw, natural, goodness. Soon enough, I had a fresh bag of raw cacao nibs, and a serious determination to feel better.

The bag suggests trying them raw. I love chocolate, so I was down to eat them! I took a small handful and tossed them into my mouth. Instantly I knew something was off. Then, I started chewing. Oh boy, raw cacao nibs are bitter, and having a mouthful of them is an awful experience. But, there was no turning back. I choked them down, and decided there had to be a better way to do this... The bag also suggest additional ways to eat them... I settled on smoothies. I make some awesome smoothies, so I knew I could make it work!

My first experiment was a huge success. In fact, my 3 year old ( who has to have a smoothie any time I make one) loved the smoothie so much, we dubbed it " Maddie's Smoothie." It's seriously good... I'll post my recipe. It's a basic recipe, and I've tweaked it to our liking, so feel free to tweak it to yours!

I've been whipping up a batch of Maddie's Smoothies every day now, for the past week. I love them first thing in the morning, or a pick-me-up between lunch & dinner. Since the first day, I've noticed an increase in energy. In fact, I started to feel a bit more like myself, and not the sick zombie I had become. By day 3, I was feeling renewed. I was in good spirits, and I had the drive and desire to move and be active. Now, 5 days in, I feel awesome! Plus, Maddie has not caught the virus I had. She's been boosting her body with the antioxidant rich smoothies too, and they've kept her healthy! The power of raw cacao is real, and it's a miracle!

So, how does it work? What makes raw cacao so healthful? Its chocked full of amazing vitamins, minerals, and natural boosters.

Pure Natural Miracles states, on their full disclosure of the product;

"Cacao is the Best Natural Food Source of the Following Nutrients:
Antioxidants:Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world.These antioxidants include polyphenols, catechins, and epicatechins, which may have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health and wellbeing. The cocoa flavanols are natural and powerful antioxidants and help to strengthen your body’s own natural defence against free radicals before they can cause any harm. By weight, Cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates, and goji berries COMBINED. 

Magnesium:Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium. Magnesium is one of the great alkaline minerals. It helps to support the heart, brain, and digestive system. Magnesium is also important for building strong bones. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during the monthly cycle. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and is associated with more happiness. Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral on the Standard American Diet (SAD); over 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in Magnesium! Cacao has enough magnesium to help reverse deficiencies of this mineral. 

Iron:Iron is a critical mineral in nutrition. Iron is part of the oxygen carrying protein called hemoglobin that keeps our blood healthy. 

Chromium:Chromium is an important trace mineral that helps balance blood sugar. Nearly 80% of Americans are deficient in this trace mineral. Cacao has enough chromium to help reverse deficiencies in this mineral. 

(The Bliss Chemical) is an endorphin that the human body naturally produces after exercise. Anandamide has only been found in one plant Cacao. Anandamide is known as “The Bliss Chemical” because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means that, when we eat cacao, natural anandamide and/or cacao anandamide may stick around longer, making us feel good longer. 

Theobromine:Cacao usually contains about 1% theobromine. Theobromine is an effective anti-bacterial substance and kills streptococci mutans (the primary organism that causes cavities). Theobromine is a chemical relative of caffeine but is not a nervous system stimulant. Theobromine dilates the cardiovascular system making the hearts job easier. This is one of the major reasons why cacao is an important part of a heart healthy diet. 

Other Benefits

Cacao Also Contains the Following Important Unique Nutrients: 
Manganese:Manganese is an essential trace mineral. Manganese helps assist iron in the oxygenation of the blood and formation of hemoglobin. Interestingly, manganese is also concentrated in tears. 

Zinc:Zinc is an essential trace mineral. Zinc plays a critical role in the immune system, liver, pancreas, and skin. Additionally, zinc is involved in thousands of enzymatic reactions throughout the human body. 

Copper:Copper is an essential trace mineral. In the human body, copper helps to build healthy blood. 

Omega 6 Fatty Acids:Cacao contains essential omega 6 fatty acids. All cooked and processed chocolate contains rancid omega 6 fatty acids (trans-fat) that can cause an inflammatory reaction when one eats cooked chocolate. 

Phenethylamine (PEA):Phenylethylamine (PEA) is found in abundance in cacao. Because PEA is heat sensitive, much of the PEA in conventional cooked and processed chocolate is missing. PEA is the chemical that we produce in our bodies when we fall in love. This is likely one of the main reasons why love and chocolate have such a deep connection. PEA also plays a role in increasing focus and alertness. 

Tryptophan:Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is transformed into important stress-protective neurotransmitters including serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan is heat sensitive and therefore it is cooked out in many high protein foods and in conventional processed chocolate. 

Serotonin:Serotonin is the primary neurotransmitter in the human body. Serotonin is similar in its chemistry to tryptophan and melatonin. Serotonin helps us build up our stress defense shield."

There you have it. Proof. Scientific, truthful proof, explaining why this "super food" is so... Super.

I'm well, energized, and feeling amazing. I owe my health to incorporating raw cacao into my diet, and I highly recommend this practice to any and everyone! Unless, of course, you like to feel like crap. 

My Smoothie Recipe

Sample provided for review

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