And Now For Something Completely Different: Chocolate That Heals
By Greg Webster
The chip in the rim of my Durango-Silverton souvenir coffee mug reminds me each morning of how well-loved that gift is. My 12 year-old daughter brought it to me from her life-changing trip to a natural-healing specialist in Colorado.
Lily struggles with Asperger syndrome, an autism-spectrum disorder whose biochemical cause seems to have evaded most medical practitioners except Dr. Shauna Young. Through a disciplined diet combined with targeted nutritional supplements, Dr. Young’s “Spectrum Balance Protocol” has helped Lily develop more age-appropriate behaviors and social skills.* We follow the diet more rigidly at some times than others, but during the “strict” times, it’s a challenge to keep a fun-loving 12 year-old on a regimen that excludes all processed foods and nearly every type of sweet treat enjoyed by most kids her age.
We attribute much of her success in staying on the diet to one particular, delectable and surprising supplement Dr. Young recommends to her patients of all ages. Lily eats chocolate. That may sound strange to anyone marginally aware of health food do’s and don’ts, but the secret of why it works lies in a new-found version of an ancient food used in a time when chocolate was anything but junk.
It Wasn’t Always So
We think of chocolate as a decadent candy, but in the long history of cocoa consumption that is an anomaly. Thirty centuries ago, Mayans imbibed a spicy raw cocoa concoction of a mainstay of a high nutrition diet. It remained a health meal-in-a-cup for over 2500 years until Europeans decided they preferred mixing cocoa with sugar and milk rather than the cayenne and chili peppers that added an energetic kick to the ancient South American brew.
It became standard procedure to separate cocoa powder from cocoa butter (ditching), add chemicals to moderate the bitter taste, and boil the mixture to blend the added ingredients together. Americans did their part by introducing the first milk chocolate candy bar in the 1880’s. So now we think of chocolate primarily as a “sinful delight”.
There have been murmurings in the past ten years or so about the health benefits of dark chocolate, and the rumors are true-to a point. Cacao, from which cocoa is produced, is the ultimate antioxidant food. It far outstrips blueberries, spinach, broccoli, red wine, or any other competitor that has been trumpeted as a great source of free-radical fighting antioxidants. And since eliminating free radicals is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellness, that means there’s a scientifically sound reason the early South Americans knew it was good for them.
Chocolate’s Dark Secret
Cocoa is likely the healthiest vegetable around. For example, 3 ounces of raw cocoa has the same antioxidant content and other nutrients as more than 6 pounds of tomatoes. It’s nature’s most complex superfood, with over 300 identifiable compounds, including most vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and “bliss chemicals” like dopamine and serotonin.
Cocoa is a natural anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancerous agent. And because an estimated 200 or more degenerative diseases start with inflammation, cocoa can help with a stunning variety of ailments.
Various studies have reported that dark cocoa consumption can provide the following benefits:
– Decrease cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels and stopping bad cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to vessel walls.
– Prevent the formation of blood clots, which otherwise can lead to heart attacks and strokes
– Increase the flexibility of blood vessels in order to lower blood pressure and decrease stress on the heart.
– Help the body better utilize sugars, curbing diabetes and decreasing complications suffered by diabetics
– Reduce dental cavities and periodontal disease;
– Improve memory and slow the onset of dementia
– Improve skin quality
– Decrease inflammation associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other inflammation diseases
– Alleviate depression
– Help with weight loss by decreasing appetite
It’s the high antioxidant value of cocoa, and the corresponding ability to eliminate free radicals, that accounts for much of the benefit of chocolate. Free radicals are cellular terrorists-atoms with mission electrons that steal them from healthy atoms. This ongoing process is called oxidation and, just as rust eats into metal, free radicals eat into our cells and destroy the DNA. Free radical damage is linked to more than 100 conditions, ranging from heart disease and arthritis to dementia, diabetes, and even cancer.
These days we are bombarded with more free radicals than ever, thanks to environmental toxins in the air and water, cigarette smoke, pesticides, and processed food, to name some of the worst offenders, but foods risk in antioxidants are an effective weapon against this damage. Antioxidants provide electron mates for free radicals and normalize the chemical situation in the body.
The USDA uses the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale to measure the antioxidant capacity of different foods and it recommends a minimum of 3,000 ORAC daily. The average American diet, however, delivers only about 800 ORAC per day.
Studies have shown that the more the ORAC value you take in throughout the day, the healthier you will be. Dr. Richard Cutler, past Director of the Anti-Aging Research Department of the National Institute of Health in Washington, DC notes that “the amount of antioxidants that you maintain in your body is directly related to how long and how healthy you will live.”
Cocoa is nature’s highest-scoring ORAC food in its natural form. It delivers a variety of vital flavonoids (antioxidants) in a form that helps the body put them to good use.
To give an example of what just one of several important cocoa flavonoids do: The epicatechin has been shown to boost nitric oxide levels in the blood which, in turn, relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing stress on the heart. To highlight its importance, Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says in Chemical and Industry, “We all agree that penicillin and anesthesia are enormously important. But epicatechin could potentially rid of four of the five most common disease in the Western world.” For more health information and testimonies about healthy chocolate, see www.PatentedChocolateResearch.org.
So What’s the Catch?
If the rumors about the health benefits of dark chocolate are true “to a point,” what is that point? It’s this: Most commercially produced dark chocolates are still cooked and then laden with less-than-healthy additives. As with any vegetable, the hotter and longer you cook them, the less nutrition-especially antioxidant value-is left. Roasting and sustained high temperatures (processes most large chocolate companies follow) notably decrease the beneficial amounts of flavonoids in cocoa. Heat-processing cooks out more than 80 percent of its antioxidants and nutrients. On top of that, some combination of wax, fat, fillers, and sugar are usually added. This is even true of most chocolate bars found in health food stores.
Chocolate products with the highest flavonoid content are those that use blanched, unfermented, sun-dried, non-roasted, and cold-pressed cocoa. In fact, cocoa that has undergone these processes boasts of 4 to 8 times the levels of antioxidants and nutrients than cocoa produced with standard processing. And there’s really only one source of truly good-tasting raw chocolate that delivers the full benefit of cocoa.
The MXI Corporation of Nevada created a patented cold-pressing process for making dark chocolate. Not only is the chocolate raw, it is enhanced, not with unhealthy fillers, but with acai berry(the second highest ORAC food on earth), blueberries, grapes, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Then it’s sweetened with low-glycemic raw cane crystals to take an edge off the natural bitterness of coca, and the process delivers chocolate that is naturally caffeine-free. Three one-ounce servings is roughly the nutritional equivalent of 1-1/2 pounds of spinach.
Because Beeyoutiful is committed to researching and delivering only the best available health supplements and because MXI network marketing system is the sole source for this truly healthful and delicious raw chocolate, Beeyoutiful offers the chocolate outside of its normal channels of website and catalog sales. Marketed in several forms under the brand name Xocai (“show-sigh”), it is available through Beeyoutiful’s MXI distributorship. You’ll find details in how to order in the accompanying sidebar.
So, yes, Lily eats chocolate on her diet. Dr. Young advocates the raw Xocai version as a fun and nutritionally supercharged supplement to her autism recovery protocol. But you don’t have to have an autism disorder to benefit. It’s a delicious and healthful addition to any diet.
We’ve made a series of brief videos about our experience. Check out YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=styo8tiaXcc (“Autism Recover Story Part 1”) and www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDjPeynOmio&feature=related (Autism Recovery Story Part 2)
Greg Webster is a free-lance writer, homeschool father of eight, the co-founder of New Vantage Books custom publishing company, and bronze executive with MXI Corporation. But he is best known as husband of Nancy Webster whose health and nutrition articles appear in every issue of Beeyoutiful’s catalog.
Side Bar Ordering Information:
Making Chocolate the Order of the Day
One of the questions often asked, a bit cynically, of network marketers is: “Are you trying to sell me the business or your product?” In the case of Beeyoutiful and Xocai (“show-sigh”) Chocolate, the answer is emphatically: “We are selling the product,” There is a business component, for sure, that some people use to offset the cost of buying and using the chocolate and that some develop into an ongoing home business, but buying Xocai through Beeyoutiful means, first and foremost, buying healthy-really, really healthy-chocolate. While MXI Corporation offers nearly a dozen different formulations of Xocai, the five that Beeyoutiful recommends are:
– Power Squares
– Xobiotics (with probiotics added to the chocolate)
– Omega Squares (includes Omega-3 fatty acids)
– Activ liquid chocolate
Each packaged in amounts that provide the recommended intake for one person for one month. To find out about pricing and ordering, call Beeyoutiful’s customer service at 1-800-556-0967. [For product and ordering information, go to http://www.BeeyoutifulChocolate.com]