If you’re like most people, you love good chocolate, but you have a guilty twinge when you indulge. Good news! Chocolate doesn’t have to be a vice! In fact, raw cacao has abundant benefits when you use it topically or incorporate it into your diet. In this way, chocolate can in fact make you more beautiful inside and out.
Antioxidants Pack a Powerful Punch
Raw cacao, or unprocessed chocolate is packed with antioxidants. These powerful compounds quench free radicals, which contribute to premature aging through inflammation and oxidative stress. Cacao used topically in all-natural organic beauty products or as a dietary supplement should be a part of your beauty routine. In fact, cacao may have more power to fight aging than wine, green tea and berries combined! Feeling a little less guilty?
Take Your Vitamins!
Cacao is a vitamin powerhouse, rich in magnesium, vitamin C and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, and is part of the reason citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables are so good for us. However, the other nutrients found in cacao are equally important.
Omega-6 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatory molecules, and combat premature aging, autoimmune response and many other inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and vascular diseases. Getting plenty of essential fatty acids from vegan sources will go a long ways towards protecting you from inflammatory diseases.
Magnesium fights acid buildup, helping to restore your body’s pH balance. It also neutralizes toxins, quiets nerves and builds strong bones. Fortunately, raw cacao is one of nature’s best sources of magnesium.
An Enzymatic Reaction
Raw cacao is also rich in MAO enzyme inhibitors. These molecules inhibit breakdown of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. The result is that we feel better mentally and emotionally. Ever wonder why you crave chocolate when you’re depressed? This may be part of the reason why! Just make sure that any cacao you take is from a vegan source and is sugar-free; the animal products and sugars found in many chocolates on the market can end up doing more harm than good.
Studies have shown that the flavonoids in chocolate can help protect your skin from UV damage. Compounds in raw cacao also increase the blood flowing to your skin which aids in healing – and a beautiful healthy glow! Finally, cacao improves skin hydration. This is why so many products tout cocoa butter for skin nourishment.
Guilty pleasure? No! Raw cacao should be a part of every healthy beauty routine! Just make sure that you’re buying from a reputable merchant, so that you can assure what you’re getting is pure, organic raw cacao, minus any adulterated crap.