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Raw Chocolate for your Valentine

Valentine’s Day usually means one thing: chocolate. Significant others, flowers and romance (or lack thereof) as well, but mostly chocolate. Instead of devouring down a whole heart-shaped box of those sweet little pieces of heaven and feeling bad about it later, why not switch to a super-tasty healthy alternative of your favorite Valentine’s guilty pleasure? Just switch out your processed cocoa for raw cacao.

The Difference

Cacao beans can go one of two ways. In one pathway, they are roasted and ground to produce cocoa. After more processing, the cocoa is

Raw chocolate can help you lose weight, fight cavities and regulate blood sugar. Photo via

turned into the main ingredient of the chocolates we all know and love.

But, when the cacao beans are dried at a low temperature, they become raw cacao beans. They can be eaten whole, or as broken pieces called nibs. They can also be ground to produce raw cocoa powder, which can then be made into chocolate bars, truffles, etc.

For some, the taste of raw chocolate may be like discovering layer after layer of pleasure; for others, it may be more of an acquired taste. It tastes similar to dark chocolate with its bitter twinge, so if you like dark chocolate, you will love raw chocolate.

More importantly, the difference between raw and processed chocolate is the impact on your health.

With processed chocolate, all of the bad health effects are actually not from the chocolate itself; it is the dairy, sugar and other fillers that are added to the chocolate that make it so unhealthy. The added ingredients can lead to things like cavities, weight gain and diabetes.

On the other hand, raw chocolate has a myriad of healthy benefits.

The Benefits

Raw chocolate is jam-packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry from 2003 found that cocoa has the highest antioxidant activity among black tea, green tea and red wine, and it also had the greatest potential for health benefits. As a source of antioxidants, raw chocolate gets rid of the free radicals that can injure the cells and tissues of the body, decreases inflammation that can come along with diseases like arthritis and prevents blood clots. It can also cut down on the bad cholesterol that can clog up your arteries.

Eating raw chocolate can lead to weight loss, prevention of cavities and regulation of blood sugar – the opposite effect on the body than does processed chocolate.

Raw chocolate is also full of magnesium, which contributes to muscle relaxation, better sleep, improvement of bowel flow and relaxation of the heart and cardiovascular system.

The Chef

After Hadara Sapir, Dr. Aaron’s favorite Amazonian, started her raw food diet, she started thinking to herself, “What can I have for dessert if I can’t have raw fruit?” Bam. Rawclates was born. Sapir now makes raw chocolate bars and truffles that are filled with superfoods and come in flavors like chai with turmeric caramel and wild blueberry lavender.

Sapir said it is important to show people that they can have delicious chocolate that is nutritious, too.

“Chocolate should be used in a healthy way because it’s so healthy for your brain and for how you feel. Like, it releases endorphins. So, why not accompany those complementing ingredients with ingredients that are also healthy for you?” she said. “Why would you eat a chocolate bar that’s full of sugar and you’re trying to do it for antioxidants and then you’re taking in sugar which is a known depressant?”


So this Valentine’s Day, get your significant other (or significant self) some raw chocolate to get all of the health benefits and none of the guilt and shame.

Check out this article to learn 5 ways to add raw cocoa powder to your diet.

Click here to order some of Sapir’s raw chocolates. Or you can always come by the Health Center and browse the stock straight from Sapir herself! For the month of February 2015, you can get free Rawclates as part of a massage or chiropractic special. Visit our events page for more information.

Have you tried raw chocolate? Let us know about your experience with it in the comments below!

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