Top 3 Anti-Breast Cancer Benefits of Dark Chocolate

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Plus, how to make this delicious treat into a daily dose of breast cancer prevention!

We’ve all heard that dark chocolate can be good for you. But what’s the science behind that claim, and how do we maximize the advantages?

There are many many benefits of the mighty cacao bean, but let’s talk about the 3 most impressive points and how they help prevent breast cancer:

#1 – Antioxidant powerhouse

We hear the word ‘antioxidant’ so often, but some of us wonder, why are they so important? Cut an apple and leave it out on the kitchen counter – it turns brown. Squeeze lemon juice over it, and the browning is significantly reduced or eliminated. This is the power of an antioxidant. It prevents the cells from oxidizing, or in other words, dying. The same thing happens in our bodies, which is why foods containing antioxidants are so valuable, especially for fighting breast cancer.

Cacao beans contain more antioxidants (polyphenols and/or flavanols) than many other well-known superfoods like blueberries, acai berries, green tea, and red wine. Studies show that these antioxidants might inhibit breast cancer cell growth and proliferation, as well as promote cancer cell death.

#2 – Fiber booster

Did you know that just one tablespoon of powdered cacao provides 2 grams of fiber? That’s pretty impressive coming from something delicious and chocolatey! Fiber removes excess estrogen, improves gut health, enhances heart function, and stabilizes blood sugar – all of which support weight management which is associated with breast health.

#3 – Stress reducer

Wondering why so many people reach for the chocolate at the end of a long day? Studies show that cacao may soothe moods associated with anxiety and depression. And since current research also suggests a link between stress and breast cancer, a daily dose of pure cacao could be just what we need.

How do we take advantage of all these benefits?

  • Choose the right product. Follow these guidelines to help you select from the many brands of boutique dark chocolate bars and powders on the market:
  • First of all, the words cacao and cocoa are often used interchangeably.
  • Powdered 100% cacao is the most pure form because it has been separated from cocoa butter (the fat) of the cacao bean. Powdered cacao is great for use in recipes like the one below.
  • If the label says ‘processed with alkali’ – pass. This process is also known as ‘Dutching’, and it removes most of the antioxidant content.
  • When purchasing the solid variety, look for a bar that contains 70% or higher cacao solids. Check the ingredient list and pass if it has added milkfat or oils.
  • Going a little out of your way to find a fair trade, organic brand is well worth it – the practices used on unregulated cocoa bean farms are less than desirable.
  • Don’t be fooled by products pretending to be ‘dark’ chocolate like ‘Dove Dark Chocolate’ and ‘Hershey’s Special Dark’. These products have very low cacao content and lots of added sugar and fat. Instead, try a dark chocolate bar made by my favorite brand, ‘Hu’, made with just 3 clean organic ingredients – organic fair-trade cacao, unrefined organic coconut sugar, and organic fair-trade cocoa butter.

New to dark chocolate?

Just like coffee, dark chocolate is an acquired taste. We add milk (fat) and sugar to cut the bitterness of both products. You wouldn’t switch to black coffee overnight, and the same is true with switching to a darker chocolate. Start with 70% and work your way up to a higher percentage – the higher cacao percentage means there’s less room for other stuff. And remember, including pure powdered cacao into recipes, like A Date With Chocolate below, is such an easy way to add daily breast cancer fighting power to desserts and other meals!

A Date with Chocolate
Serving size: 1

1/2 small frozen banana
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
1 date, pitted

Optional toppings:
1/4 cup fresh raspberries

Place the banana, cacao powder, milk, and date in a high-powered blender and puree until smooth. Dress with the topping, if desired.

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