I’m continually learning about nutrition and the benefits of all kinds of foods that I’ve always loved, but never got in the habit of eating regularly. Some of the SuperFoods I’ve listed recently are also some of my favorites. I’ve always loved blueberries, spinach and of course, chocolate.
I recently watched a documentary called, Food Matters. According to David Wolfe, a well known raw food advocate, raw cacao is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. He lists all sorts of benefits, but what I recall are the antioxidants, iron, calcium and magnesium as the highlights. Livestrong.com also lists the benefits of raw cacao beans and they report that they are particularly high in magnesium. Magnesium, according to Newsmax.com, is an essential mineral for staying healthy and is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Multiple health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
But, before you run out and start gorging on chocolate bars, Mr. Wolfe also mentioned that many of the nutritional elements are lost if the cacao bean is heated higher than 118 degrees. So, what’s a chocoholic to do?
Well, I found a raw cacao powder that is low-temperature milled, so all those healthy nutrients are still intact. And, what did I do with it you might ask? Well, I added it to my super healthy, green smoothie in the mornings. So, here’s the newest recipe:
1/2 cup frozen banana slices
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup almond milk
throw those in the blender to and you’ll have a nice fruity ice cream
a couple of hands full of spinach
2T Flax Seed Meal
1T Chia seed
2 1/2 T Nutiva Raw Cacao powder
I also add a little water to help the blending process.
Let me just share some nutritional info with you here:
Fat 13.98gm (but, these are HEALTHY Omega 3/6 fats! You want this kind!)
Sodium: 255 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 47 gms
Dietary Fiber: 19.9 gms (yes, you read that right, 19.9! That’s 80% of the recommended amount in one smoothie)
Protein 13.3 gms
Vitamin A 162% of your recommended daily allowance
Calcium: 64% of your recommended daily allowance
Vitamin C: 51% of your recommended daily allowance
Iron: 34% of your recommended daily allowance
The recommended daily allowance is based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. I’m currently aiming for 1600-1800 calories a day, so these percentages are even higher for me.
The other benefits of this smoothie are:
- A high protein and fiber count, help slow down the release of the carbohydrate into your blood stream. . that means, LOWER BLOOD GLUCOSE! (Your diabetes may vary) I will usually spike up to 220 or so, but it comes right back down, immediately. By the time I test at 2 hours post, I’m back down in the 120’s.
- These are all complex carbohydrates, no simple sugars or refined grains. As I mentioned above, some days I spike, but other days I just float along at around 140 and then drop slowly. You know, you can do the same thing, every single day and get a different result. All I know is I don’t hover around 280 for 4 hours after breakfast anymore.
- This is raw, living food, liquefied and easily digested. It gives your digestive system a bit of a break when you swallow food that’s already broken down into usable parts.
I’ve never seen one meal SO high in nutrients, AND, it’s CHOCOLATE YUMMINESS! I’d also like to note that my nutritional calculator isn’t even tracking the antioxidants, minerals or other nutrients in these foods and that makes this an even better way to start the day. I have one of these smoothies every day on the way to work. I make it in a blender cup that holds about 3 Cups and I fill it to the rim! The protein and fiber make you feel full and satisfied and I’m not constantly looking for something to eat.
I want to encourage you to try this Magic Morning Mixture and see what you think. Leave a comment and share your own recipe. What are some of your ideas for using raw cacao to start your day? A day without chocolate is like a day without sunshine.