+ a history of chocolate & the health benefits
HERE'S THE SCOOP:
The Olmec, one of the earliest civilizations in Latin America, was the first to turn the cacao plant into chocolate. They made a drink with cornmeal, chilies, water, and chocolate during rituals and used it as medicine. Centuries later, the Mayans praised it as the drink of the gods. Cacao shells are full of protein, fiber, minerals, and bioactive compounds. They make up the outer barrier that protects the cacao pod, which is the product used to make chocolate! While cacao shells are not actually chocolate, they do have a bitter/toasted and decadent taste to them much like dark chocolate.
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- Raw cacao is full of antioxidants called flavanols. Eating foods rich in flavanols has a variety of health benefits for your body!
- Many scientific studies show that flavanol-rich foods might help lower your blood pressure and may lower your risk of heart disease.
- A specific flavanol in cacao called epicatechin may support brain health, including cognition, blood flow, and decreasing risk of dementia.
- Research shows that eating dark chocolate can reduce stress, which boosts your overall mental and physical health. (But we all knew this one 😉)
loose leaf blends with cacao shells