The store bought treats with 70% or more cocoa assist with weight loss but there are homemade versions that are fast, easy and delicious. The treats I’m talking about come from the world of raw foods. Next week’s blog will cover the topic of raw food for those whose interest is peaked.
Dark chocolate is extremely effective as an appetite suppressant. Shape Magazine lists dark chocolate as one of the top 25 natural appetite suppressants.
A study cited by Pubmed indicates that simply smelling dark chocolate (85% cocoa) will suppress your appetite. Both eating and smelling dark chocolate can change the gastrointestinal hormones causing a feeling of fullness. The cocoa butter content also assists you in feeling fuller longer.
In studies of both men and women the results were the same. Those people that ingested or smelled dark chocolate, ate less calories.
I personally discovered this while eating unrefined cacao beans. I prefer cacao nibs with the outer shell removed but both gave me a slightly euphoric feeling and made me less hungry.
Because both unrefined cacao and dark chocolate are bitter many people will not try them. There are a couple of ways to get around this. Eating dark chocolate with a cup of unsweetened coffee will bring out the sweetness of the chocolate. Even better if you drink the coffee black since dairy tends to defeat the antioxidant and heart healthy benefits of the chocolate.
If you want to go with unrefined cacao and feel it is too bitter, try the Fruity Cacao available from Sunfood. They are also available from Amazon. The beans are softer than the regular cacao beans and there is a sweetness to the fruit that is left on them that makes them very tasty. I recently introduced a couple of friends to fruity cacao and they were instantly hooked.
Coconut oil is not stored in the body as fat. It immediately converts to energy boosting the metabolism which in turn burns fat. Not only does coconut oil cause the body to use up its calories but it also causes the body to burn up calories from other foods as well.
Coconut oil is converted to ketones in the body which not only convince the body to release stored fat, but also feed the brain.
Despite all the bad press and things we have been taught about nutrition, the world has changed. Dark chocolate and coconut are included in the modern “healthy diet” and for more reasons than just weight loss. I for one am happy to embrace the change.
I am including my raw food pudding recipe here for you.
Banana Coconut Chocolate Pudding
This recipe is good for raw food diets and paleo diets as well
3 overripe bananas
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
¼ c shredded coconut
2 Tbsp Cocoa powder
1 Tbsp ground almonds
Almond milk to thin.
Put all ingredients except Coconut and Almond milk into food-processesor and blend on high till mixed together. Add coconut and blend for another 30 seconds or 1 minute (depending on how smooth you want it). Add enough almond milk to thin mixture to a very thick pudding consistency. Place in a container or individual dishes and refrigerate. Note depending on the consistency you may need to bring the pudding to room temperature prior to serving.
**Note this pudding is very thick and rich. You will find that a little goes a long way.