Let’s talk about the best thing to talk about – Chocolate.
Firstly, there is indeed a difference between chocolate (cocoa) and cacao. Both are derived from the cacao bean, the pods of the cacao tree. These pods were originally valued so highly, they were used in currency in places such as South American river valleys and Native Central and South American.
In the making of any type of chocolate, the beans must first be fermented before they can be processed in anyway. In cocoa, the cacao beans are then oven-roasted, however cacao is produced from simply cold-pressing unroasted beans, meaning that fat is removed while still maintaining the enzymes that are normally killed in the heating of cocoa.
It’s completely true that cacao is amazing for your health when consumed in moderation. The calorie content of cacao is far lower than cocoa, especially if you manage to avoid added sugar and milk versions, such as white/milk varieties. To do this it is best to stick to a minimum of 60% cacao when choosing your chocolate, this percentage indicates how much of the bar, by weight is made purely from products of the cacao bean. This can include cocoa butter which is the fatty portion of the bean and can make chocolate creamier, or also the cocoa solids which are the non-fat section and can be used to add intensity to the flavour. The remaining % can give you a good indication of added sugar content.
Recently more and more people are becoming aware of the immense contribution that gut health plays in our bodies overall health. Getting in your daily cacao, packed full of polyphenols that encourage the growth of good bacteria, while discouraging the growth of bad ones, can help immensely in our quests for a healthy, happy gut.
Dark chocolates stimulate the production of endorphins in our brains, feel-good chemicals that often give us a sudden surge of pleasure. It has been proven that it is the sensation of chocolate that makes it such a common craving, rather than its stimulant compounds such as caffeine and theobromine. The melting point of chocolate plays a huge part in the sensation, as it is one of the few foods that melts at the exact temperature of our mouth, meaning the flavours are released as soon as it is eaten.
Alongside all of these fantastic reasons to stock up on cacao, cacao is also full of antioxidants that can aid in the reduction of blood pressure!
Why not give the recipe below a whirl to fuel your next workout with some added chocolate goodness!
Place 50g of oats in a pan and cover with water
Stir continuously until boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to stir, adding more water if required.
The longer you cook your oats through and the more water you gradually add, the bigger the volume of meal.
Once the oats have expanded and are a thick consistency, remove from the heat and add your AGF Unrivalled Chocolate protein powder (30g) from the latest Bewsh Box and raw cacao powder (1tbsp). Stir until incorporated, add water as required.
Transfer to a bowl and top with whatever toppings you choose, I went for the Cocoa+ chocolate hearts, banana and agave.
Kcal – 619
Carbs – 93g (60%)
Protein – 33g (22%)
Fat – 12g (18%)