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Raw Cacao health benefits and composition

Chocolate’s OriginsChocolate lovers, rejoice. When eaten in moderation, semisweet chocolate chips containing 70 percent cacao may offer more health benefits than you’ve ever dreamed possible. These tasty morsels can offer a quick pick-me-up, lower your blood pressure, control appetite and improve blood circulation. In short, indulging in healthy semisweet chocolate chips can keep your brain sharp, your blood flowing and your heart healthy.

Cacao trees (Theobroma cacao) originated in South and Cacao pod from the Theobroma cacao tree. Photo Central America. The soft white meat that encompasses the cacao beans was eaten and enjoyed by members of the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs. Along with the modern discoveries of chocolate’s benefits, the healing leaders of these tribes used chocolate to treat fever, shortness of breath and weak hearts. A paste made from the beans was also used to help patients consume less appealing medicines. It was later discovered that chocolate had an accelerant effect on the medicines taken, a fact well known among apothecaries today. It wasn’t until 1828 that chocolate became a popular treat among the Europeans.

Antioxidant Protection

Semisweet chocolate contains an impressive oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value of 18,053 micromoles in 100 grams. These powerful antioxidants are responsible for protecting your body from oxygen free radicals that cause you to age. The flavonoids in semisweet chocolate help protect your low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from oxidation, thus preventing the dreaded “bad cholesterol.” Interestingly, according to Harvard University, when chocolate is combined with dairy milk, these antioxidant benefits are prevented. Traditionally, semisweet chocolate does not contain any milk, but manufacturers may hold artistic licensing on this tradition, so read the label before consuming this tasty treat.

Heart Health

Chocolate is packed with polyphenols, including catechins and procyanidins, which have been proved to inhibit LDL oxidation and atherogenesis. A study published by “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” concluded that taking 26 grams of cacao powder and 12 grams of sugar per day for 12 weeks, suppressed LDL oxidation. This suppression enabled the good high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations to increase, thus resulting in an overall cholesterol level improvement.

Brain Health

Because chocolate is rich in flavanols, which help increase blood flow, your brain benefits immensely. According to the”International Journal of Medical Sciences,” the gray matter in your brain increases in function for two to three hours after consuming chocolate. These high levels of tryptophan, phenylalanine and tyrosine are amino acids that supply you with nitrogen-rich compounds — the basic building blocks for proteins. Because two of these amino acids act as precursors for adrenaline and dopamine, chocolate induces feelings of pleasure. So, adding a small handful of semisweet chocolate chips to a steaming cup of hot coconut milk may be just what you need to keep your brain sharp, healthy and happy.

Pain Management

Combine this treat with a glass of red wine, and you have a powerful antioxidant combination that provides a polyphenol called resveratrol, which has been proved to be effective in reducing inflammation. Because chocolate is also high in magnesium, your overly tight muscles may thank you as well.

Moderate Doses

Indulging in a small handful (approximately 15 grams) of semisweet chocolate chips containing 70 percent cacao offers a multitude of health benefits, but it is an indulgence. Moderation is the key. Some people have negative reactions to chocolate and may be on medications that contradict the consumption of chocolate, so check with your doctor before exploring this type of treat.By Rowena Portch

Composition

Good Cause Wellness states that the cacao nib, or peeled cacao bean, has 130 calories in a one ounce serving, of which 110 calories come from fats. There are 12 grams of fat per serving, of which 7 grams are saturated fat. There are no trans-fats or cholesterol in raw cacao beans. Dietary fiber amounts to 9 grams and protein to 4 grams.

Other Nutrients

Raw cacao beans are rich in antioxidants, which lower free radicals, which are chemicals that can alter or damage the body. According to Good Cause Wellness, the beans provide some iron and calcium, but are particularly rich in magnesium. There are 76 milligrams of magnesium per one ounce serving, or 272 milligrams per 100 grams of the beans. By W D Adkins

Nourishment for body, mind and heart

Food today has become a commodity, no longer serving its true purpose of nourishing body, mind and soul, of providing nutrients for healthy growth and renewal of our cells, tissues and body—not to mention the influence of a healthy body on the mind.
Advertisement is commonly used as an enticement to convince the buyer that the foods offered consist of healthy ingredients while attractive, “make believe” packaging seduces the consumer to consume more.

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Planting pond edges

David, our volunteer from Spain, started mulching the edges of one of our ponds with cut dried grass planting according to permaculture principles, first low plants, watermelon, then tarot, and then bananas.

Permaculture style pond

Francisco, our Portuguese volunteer and Kadek, our Balinese gardener, refining our compost. This compost was produced in the 18 days system to be turned over every 2 days and produces the most marvelous compost to be used for compost tea and our seedlings.


SONY DSC Greatest compost ever

 

 

Planting

At Jiwa Damai we are planting the seeds in our nursery in our especially prepared compost after the 18 day method which our portuguese  volunteer Francisco took great long care  to turn it over every two days . The result then allows for a wonder nourishment and  growth of the seeds which, after germinating  are then set into small pots made of leafs to continue to grow and then planted in the garden

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Volunteer Corner

We’ve decided to provide our volunteers with a nice corner for themselves when they want to retreat. (If we don’t have guests they are welcome to use the lounge., but when we have larger groups the lounge is used for workshop space.) We are building a cupboard, refining the floor space, building a sofa and hanging two hammocks. This is an area where one can relax and make a cup of coffee or keep and eat snacks from the small fridge.

volunteer area

more volunteer area

We have a lovely group of Russian resident kids, coming once a week for several weeks to learn about plants, planting and compost making, they will emulate in their own garden. Age range from 4-8 years and extremely interested in everything. A pleasure to see this.

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