When I think of hot chocolate, I think of drinking it after skating and skiing when I was young to get warm. Unfortunately, it was always super sugary powdered mix that makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it.
Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds. The warming treat of hot chocolate, with healing properties to make it the perfect thing to enjoy on a cold winter day.
Cocoa or Cacao?
Easily confused, yet the difference in healing potential and flavour is immense and lies in how they are processed.
Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat.
Cocoa looks the same is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Unfortunately, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.
The good news is that cacao has some tremendous health benefits such as a very high antioxidant value that can:
- Lower insulin resistance
- Lower your risk of stroke
- Protect your nerve cells
- Lower blood pressure
- Boost your mood
- Provide minerals such as magnesium (often those craving chocolate are actually needing this often deficient mineral)
With the chilly weather here to stay for the next many months, the best way to keep warm and support healthy immune function is with a warming drinks, soups and stews.
I’ve put together 5 hot chocolate hacks that support naturopathic healing. They harness the benefits of botanicals we commonly employ in naturopathic medicine to support optimal immune response so that you can warm up, and deliver some valuable nutrients and support to your body at the same time. A lovely win win.