If You Love Chocolate, Here’s The Shocking Truth You Need to Know



You might have heard me recommend cacao nibs, and it might have crossed your mind that if cacao nibs are alkaline, all chocolate must be okay. After all, it all comes from the same source, the cacao tree. And it all has that delicious, chocolatey taste.

But beyond that, the differences among chocolate products will shock you. They range from mildly alkaline to highly acidic.

And especially at this time of the year, when chocolate is everywhere, it’s worth it to your health to know what you’re really eating.

To explain why chocolate products can be so different, let’s back up. When determining how acidic or alkaline any food is, there are 2 specific factors:

  • Sugar content – the higher this is, the more ACIDIC a food is. This is why oranges are acid-forming, whereas lemons and grapefruit are not (they are ALL citric acids and acidic OUTSIDE of the body, but once metabolized, the sugar content determines if they become alkaline-forming, or acid-forming). They all have a lot of minerals, but oranges also have a lot of sugar.
  • Mineral content – the higher this is, the more ALKALINE a food is. This is part of the reason why meats, dairy products, and processed foods are acidic. Even though they are low in sugar, they are also low in minerals.

How does this relate to chocolate products?

A food like raw cacao nibs is very low in sugar and very high in minerals. So you know that means it’s an alkaline food.

A milk chocolate bar, on the other hand, is very high in sugar and low in minerals. So of course it’s highly acidic.

The distinction goes far beyond that, however.

The following nasty stuff is often added to the chocolate that we eat as part of the Standard American Diet (or SAD as I like to call it):

  • Sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil or other oils (Omega-6 fats)
  • Emulsifiers like soy lecithin – these are all acidic and should be avoided
  • Milk and/or milk fats, which are also acidic

Compare those ingredients to the ingredients in raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder, or I should say ingredient. The brand of cacao nibs I buy only contains one: certified organic raw cacao.

So when I’m talking about the benefits of cacao or cocoa, I’m talking about the unsweetened kind without any other nasty ingredients.

Here are the 7 reasons raw cacao and unsweetened cocoa is so amazing:

There’s a reason why the people in its native growing zone in Central and South America have celebrated the beans and seeds of the cacao plant for thousands of years.

  1. More Magnesium than ANY OTHER FOOD 
Cacao and unrefined cocoa are the highest whole food sources of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the American diet.
Magnesium helps you sleep, prevents stress, relaxes muscles and the nervous system, improves digestion, and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system.

2. More antioxidants than ANY OTHER FOOD
You know how people often tout dark chocolate as being “good for you” because of all of the antioxidants? Raw cacao has almost 4 times the amount of antioxidants that dark chocolate contains.
This super food dwarfs antioxidant-rich foods and beverages like red wine, green tea, blueberries, and even goji berries.
The antioxidant content of cacao  and unrefined cocoa benefits the cardiovascular system and fights free radicals that lead to cancer. Cacao and cocoa contain antioxidants in high amounts such as epichatehins, chatechins, resveratrol, and procyanidins.
  1. Highly nutrient dense

The nutrient density of cacao and cocoa benefit every function of the body. One of the many cool facts about these foods is that, in addition to being the highest whole food source of magnesium, the same goes for chromium! This is why cacao keeps insulin levels at bay, and is safe for diabetics to eat.
Cacao and cocoa contain 300 different healthy phytochemicals, including:
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins B 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Carotene
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Sulfur
  • Iron – a great plant-based way to prevent anemia
  • Chromium
  • Phosphorus
  • Protein
  • Amino Acids
  • Enzymes (including catalase, lipase, and amylase)
  1. Multiple heart benefits
The benefits of cocoa and cacao on cholesterol levels and blood pressure have been established for years. They have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries, which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. They also prevent inflammation associated with heart disease.

Now emerging research is showing a link to lower death rates due to heart disease. A researcher at Harvard Medical School named Nolan Hollenberg conducted a study on hereditary genes in search for a gene that protected against heart disease. His research led him to the Kuna tribe of the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama. 
In San Blas, Dr. Hollenberg found that the Kuna people had extremely low mortality rates due to heart disease and diabetes. He also found that heart disease rates increased among Kuna natives who left the San Blas Islands for the mainland, meaning there was no protective gene in Kuna DNA.
Further research gave Dr. Hollenberg the reason for the vastly better cardiovascular health among the Kuna tribe. He found that a main staple of the Kuna diet was an average of 5 cups of homegrown raw cacao a day. This homegrown cacao was shown to be a good antioxidant as it contained a high amount of flavanol, which you can also benefit from when eating cacao or cocoa.
  1. They make you feel good!
Cacao and cocoa stimulate the release of the “feel good” brain chemicals, endorphins, serotonin, anandamide, and phenylethylamine. 
  1. They help you lose weight.
Cacao and cocoa are rich in fiber, so they aid digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer. That leads to faster, easier weight loss.
Amazingly, they also prevent diarrhea, so these excellent sources of fiber keep your digestive system moving at just the right speed.


So how do you get these great benefits?

You can eat cacao or cocoa in several ways to benefit from them, as long as you eat them in their purest form (ie. not sweetened or combined with other nasty ingredients).

You can snack on raw cacao nibs, add them to a trail mix, and use them in recipes. Nibs are simply cacao beans that have been separated from their husks, roasted or raw (latter ideal), and broken into pieces.

They can be exchanged in recipes easily, so throw them into smoothies for a chocolaty treat and use them in any way you would use cocoa products.

Cacao and cocoa are also available in ground form in products like our Alkamind Organic Daily Protein in creamy chocolate flavor. It supplies a full serving of organic plant-based protein from the best possible sources, and it also tastes delicious!

This is the best tasting and most alkalizing plant-based protein powder you’re going to find, with a whopping 20g of protein, and only 120 calories. Use as a total meal replacement, a healthy snack, or as a recovery shake after a hard workout.

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Excellent information. I use raw, organic cacao twice a day as my wake up drink and my settle in for the night drink. I make it with no added sugar, just one packet of stevia and salt to mellow the bitterness. Sometimes I crave a third cup but thought I might be over doing it…looks like I’ve been given the green light to indulge now that I know it’s as good for me as it always makes me feel!


Brilliant! The more I know the better I feel! Thank you!

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