Tag Archives: cacao

The health benefits of cacao

One of the most popular trees on the planet is cacao, the plant species from which cocoa is derived. While some might think cacao and cocoa are one and the same, they’re not. Cacao is the tree, while cocoa is the dry, powdered product made from it. Cocoa is best known as the main ingredient for an all-time favorite confection worldwide — chocolate.1

A cacao pod is a dark brown ovoid fruit containing about 60 seeds, better known as cacao beans.2 The flavor is dependent on the fermentation of the cacao beans. During this process, compounds found in the beans react with each other, producing the well-loved flavor of chocolate.3

Aside from their flavor, cacao beans were prized for their medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties, and they were traded like currency by South American civilizations. For the Aztecs and Mayans, cacao beans were so important in feasts and celebrations that they were usually put at the center.4

Today, in the dawn of superfoods, cacao has earned its title as a “superfruit” due to the surplus of flavonoids and polyphenols it contains.

Health Benefits of Cacao

There’s been plenty of discussion about free radicals and antioxidants, but some are unsure of what these terms mean regarding our health. Exposure to radiation, cigarette smoke, pollution and certain medications may all release free radical activity in the body; however, they also can be produced by factors like mental stress, infections, cancer and aging.5

Antioxidants in the foods you eat may help reverse this process by zapping harmful free radicals, helping fight off disease.6 This is where cacao comes in. Compared to other foods, it is well-equipped with phenolic antioxidants, be it catechins, epicatechins or procyanidins.7 Its beans are also rich in magnesium, copper, potassium and calcium, which are known to help lower the risk of hypertension and heart disease.8

Aside from these benefits, cocoa may help alleviate the symptoms of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia through its beta-phenylethylamine (PEA) content. PEA works as a neurotransmitter and may improve serotonin concentrations in the brain by interacting with trace amine-associated receptor (TAAR).9

For those who think chocolate must be bad for you (it has to be if it tastes so good, right?), rest assured that there’s roughly 1 gram of sugar in a half-cup serving of raw cacao. However, this doesn’t apply to some store-bought chocolate because of all the flavor additives that mask the powder’s bitterness.10  

READ MORE

https://foodfacts.mercola.com/cacao.html

Photo: pixabay.com

5 powerful cancer fighting foods

NaturalHealth365) The American Cancer Society estimates that over 1.7 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2019.  And, while Western medicine remains focused on toxic therapies to ‘treat’ cancer … there are many cancer fighting foods that deserve our attention (and respect).

Based on real scientific evidence, these anticancer foods have been shown to prevent and even stop cancer in its tracks. Want to up your ‘anticancer game?’  Keep reading for some intelligent food choices to help avoid cancer cell growth.

Cancer fighting foods that destroy cancer cells without harming the body

Red frill: One of the spiciest mustard greens you’ll taste, this brassica’s robust flavor boasts two essential cancer-fighting compounds, sinigrin and gluconasturtian.

In a study featured in the Oxford Journal, Carcinogenesis, researchers demonstrated that sinigrin had powerful effects against bladder cancer tumors. In another similar study, sinigrin was shown to inhibit the proliferation of liver cancer cells.  Try adding red frill to a salad or lightly steam, then add organic olive oil and fresh garlic. (yummy!)

Romanesco: This fractal-shaped brassica contains DIM or di-indolemethane and sulforaphane, two anticancer compounds that have been shown to assist in preventing and fighting estrogen-driven cancers. In a recent study on the biological effects of phytomedicines, DIM was shown to selectively inhibit cancerous stem cells.

The study went on to report that DIM helps overcome chemoresistance of cancer stem cells to cytotoxics and was effective when used alone or in combination with other therapeutics. This beautiful Italian broccoli/cauliflower variety offers a nutty flavor and pairs well with healthy oils such as coconut, olive and ghee.

Did you know?  The liver is the most important detoxifying organ in the body.  When the liver can’t effectively neutralize and dispose of toxins, they accumulate in the body.  Two essential nutrients for healthy liver function are milk thistle and glutathione.  These two ingredients – plus much more – are now available in an advanced liver support formula.  Click here to learn more.

Blast away cancer cells by eating berries

Golden berries: An often overlooked cancer, golden berry showed promise killing atypical cells involved in oral cancer. Golden berries contain 4β-hydroxywithanolide E, the compound the study found to selectively and efficiently kill cancer cells.  Golden berries can be eaten by the handful or added to salads and smoothies.

Superfood powders are great anticancer foods.

Cacao: The journal of Nutrition and Cancer recently reported that polyphenol-rich cacao should be on your colon-cancer prevention checklist. This Mayan super food has been used for ages to promote longevity and enhance immunity and can easily be added to nearly any food in its powdered form.

Turmeric: Well tolerated in very high doses, countless studies highlight turmeric’s multi-faceted ability to effectively minimize the risk of a wide range of cancers such as genitourinary, gastrointestinal, gynecological, hematological, pulmonary, thymic, brain and breast.  Turmeric can be added to your regular juicing routine, smoothies, fish dishes and to any vegetable dish.

Are you ready to build the anticancer living kitchen?

Hundreds of studies have now demonstrated the preventive and healing properties nature’s superfoods offer us. We now know that these foods not only offer nutritive properties, but detoxify the body of cancer-causing agents.

So, learn how to create your very own ‘living kitchen’ and fill it with whole superfoods – as a solid anticancer strategy against the carcinogens we’re exposed to environmentally every day.  Invest in a good juicer and blender; clean out and organize your kitchen to make it enjoyable to prepare food and get the best quality ingredients possible.

Don’t wait for tomorrow, get started today.

About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, personalized medicine and epigenetics, food science and sustainable living.

Sources for this article include:

Cancer.org
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov

SOURCE:

https://www.naturalhealth365.com/cancer-fighting-foods-3018.html