Foods for Recovery: Cocoa

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Chocolate is something many of us love – of course for you, it might be at this stage something you have recently re-introduced into your diet.

Cocoa, a main ingredient in chocolate, is actually incredibly good for us, and I’ve listed it as a recovery food because it does have specific benefits for anybody whose body has taken a bit of a bashing.

Cacao (the proper name for it in its raw state!) contains Polyphenols, which have been shown to protect the heart and maintain healthy blood flow – two crucial things for anyone in recovery. Cacao also has a positive effect on mood – as it boosts two ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain – serotonin and dopamine. You may have heard of serotonin, as some anti-depressants are known as SSRIs or ‘Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors’. Recovery can be tough (I don’t need to tell you that!), so any mood-lifters will understandably be a welcome boost. Cocoa has also been said to help with digestive complaints as it encourages the growth of good bacteria in the gut – another welcome recovery benefit.

Cocoa powder can be used in a hair mask to help hair loss – and you’ll probably already know that raw cocoa butter is great for moisturising skin and hair.

Raw, organic Cacao is the best form of cocoa to use as it is not roasted, therefore retaining the antioxidant qualities better – however I do sometimes use Bourneville or Green and Black’s.

A great, simple way to use cocoa is to mix it with almond butter and a little agave, sweet freedom, maple syrup or honey, then roll in coconut.

You can find more yummy high-cocoa recipes here in my book:

Don’t fancy making anything from scratch? Try OMbar – read my review here.

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