What if adding two or three foods to your plate and cup each day could improve your overall health and happiness? Using food as medicine is a form of Functional Medicine, and it is a foundational aspect of our natural medicine practice. We also work with a highly-respected lab to assess nutritional and gut health. This is a practical and strikingly successful approach to help reverse many illnesses and maintain radiant health!
In this article, we cover the last of my three favorite super-health-shifting foods which are literally Gateways to Better Health and a Happier You. As today’s subject food is consumed, it makes changes in your body which help propel you forward to create a healthier lifestyle by changing your cravings, providing more energy, better immunity, happy emotions, mental clarity…and more!
In the first two articles of this series, we explored the aspects that characterize foods which can make big and/or broad-based changes in our health and happiness. We also dove into how these two types of foods, (cultured foods and raw honey), have almost magical powers. Today, we’re covering the third and final food for this series. This food is a favorite for people around the world. But most have no idea of its super food powers in its “gently” processed form, without fire roasting, alkalizing and unhealthy additives.
Here’s a quick review of the Gateway Foods in this article series (see links at bottom of article):
- Cultured/Fermented Foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, kimchi, pickles.
- Raw Honey – powerhouse of nutrition
- Raw Cacao – an amazing medicine for body, brain, and spirit!
#3 Chocolate (Raw Cacao)
This food is chocolate in its raw form, called “raw cacao”. It is hard, if not impossible to find on grocery store shelves due, in part, to shelf-life issues.
I’ve been a Confirmed Raw Cacao Lover and consumer since 2011, the year I made the delightful discovery that this yummy treat is a nutritional super food and a natural medicine. For example, it has been used for heart disease patients in Central and South America for thousands of years. There is also considerable, modern science validating how it works via studies from venerable institutions such as Harvard and Oxford.
For me, there are over a dozen health issues which were resolved, the main one being the inflammation and pain caused by a whiplash. That accident—just a second in time—was a chronic and painful condition in my life for 30 years. Once I experienced the healing powers of chocolate in its raw form myself (and no longer had to go get my neck “cracked” every month or two), I became a believer!
In the subsequent years, I’ve spoken and written much about the medicine in unprocessed chocolate, aka “cacao” (one is Chocolate As Medicine). In fact, you’ll find a menu button for only “Chocolate” on our Library menu.
Cacao is an ancient medicine from Central and South America. This complex, densely-nutritious and beloved food supplies happy brain chemicals, cardiovascular protection, and relief from inflammatory conditions, as well as helping to regulate blood sugar. These claims are well supported by research. Today I Googled “chocolate research inflammation”, and there were 7,460,000 results!
There are even benefits to our largest organ, the skin! Those who consume it on a regular basis are conferred a level of protection from sun damage. Nearly all the B vitamins are in raw cacao, and the skin loves this! Odd growths on older skin which I call “barnacles” fall off. People who eat raw cacao every day have glowing skin. Cat allergies may even disappear…quite likely due to the vitamins and immune support of histamine.
Raw chocolate satisfies cravings. I’ve seen a 5-pack-a-day smoker drop down to one pack-in only a week–by eating a small piece of raw chocolate three times a day. This is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet! (Yes, spices are higher, but it may be difficult to eat the proper amount. Use them when you prepare your foods, of course!) Raw cacao (chocolate) supplies polyphenols and other protective compounds, vitamins, minerals and hormonal/happy brain chemicals galore. These are what your body and brain crave!
Chocolate is also supportive of your good probiotic bacteria. Some of its slippery fiber is not digestible in our stomachs, but it is a favorite food of key bacteria strains in our guts such as lactobacillus.
Where to Find Raw Cacao
We carry a high-quality, low-cost raw cacao powder at Lotus Blossom Clinic, and we are currently searching for single-serving raw chocolates to carry at the clinic. In the meantime, here are a few companies to consider:
Righteously Raw Cacao and OSOCRA Chocolates are two sources of raw, high-quality cacao edibles. And there is another company we are exploring which combines natural medicines with the chocolate. Stay tuned….we hope to have a company onboard by Fall.
The best of the store-bought chocolates: While these are not “raw” and so are considerably less potent, they are better-than-the-average on the shelf because they are not alkalized: Endangered Species and Lindt.are two such brands.
Finally…some Chocolate Indulgence
Take a moment to explore what happens when you eat chocolate! Enjoy a few minutes of guided meditation on the subject of “Indulgence”, and let a piece of delicious, dark chocolate melt in your mouth. You’ll go on a journey with the chocolate through your body… and find out what happens! My latest recording is about my favorite food, raw Chocolate!
Bringing this raw cacao into your life may bring many happy surprises. Give it a few weeks to kick in. Enjoy a small piece of raw cacao 2-3 x daily to give your body, mind and spirit the extra nutrition and gut support you need to thrive. This food trains your gut to Love the foods that are better for you. Watch your cravings change! You’ll reap the rewards every day of your life in better choices, more energy, and better health!
Other Articles in the series: “Gateway Foods for Greater Health & Happiness”
#1: The Power of Gateway Foods
#2: The Sours and the Sweet
May Food be Your Medicine,
Dr. David and Deb Martin
Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine, including Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Laser Therapy, Energy & Transformational Sessions…and Community Classes & Events both Virtual and In-Person!
We are not M.D’s, Nutritionists, or Dieticians. Vickie Gelardi and Deb Martín are certified in the Conquering Any Disease, a High-Phytochemical Food Healing System, and they work under Dr. David Martín’s directions with his patients, helping them incorporate his dietary guidelines into their lives to improve health.