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Healthy Chocolates By Lisa Hauser carole tessier
You can eat it, drink it, dab a little behind your ear….and yes, they’ve even made a movie about it!  The ever-growing chocolate frenzy is not only making inroads in the marketplace as a tasty health-enhancing treat, but also in spas and beauty salons with chocolate-based beauty treatments. Raw unprocessed cocoa, the primary ingredient of chocolate, is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.  It is loaded with antioxidants,  polyphenols, flavonoids, nthocyanins and catechins.  Chocolate on store shelves has lost most of its nutritional value.
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Hmm... chocolate!

The Tasty Secrets of Cacao
You may be more likely to think of chocolate as a sweet candy introduced during modern times, but the scrumptious secrets of cacao (pronounced kah KOW), derived from the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), go back thousands of years.

The ancient Aztecs believed the cacao tree to be of divine origin (“theobroma” means “food of the gods”), and a source of strength and wealth. As it turns out, it’s a great source of nutrition as well.  

More than candy
Chocolate has exceptional nutritional qualities. It not only contains carbohydrates, fats, and vegetable proteins, but also has large quantities of potassium and magnesium, some calcium and sodium, and important vitamins.  

According to researchers at Cornell University, chocolate contains a powerful mixture of health-enhancing antioxidants, protecting the body against cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer.

Delicious pleasures of Chocotherapy

We all know chocolate tastes good, but as it turns out, it also makes you look good. Cosmetic companies, esthetic salons and spas are now prospering thanks to a new trend: chocolate-based beauty treatments. This new craze is better known as chocotherapy. Treatments include: body wraps, massages, facials, hand and feet treatments, and body scrubs.

Chocotherapy delivers the extraordinary physical benefits of cacao, which include essential oils to help moisturize the skin, as well as polyphenols, flavonoids, antioxidants and anti-radicals to help protect the skin from harmful environmental contaminants and damaging UV rays. Research shows too that chocolate has draining, reducing, stimulating and re-mineralizing effects on skin.  

So there you have it…a chocolate offering can prove to be a healthy indulgence and beneficial to both the body and spirit! 

 

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