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?
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
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.