Chocolate to reduce wrinkles?
May 6th, 2021
Want a perfect excuse to buy chocolate for Mother's Day - or any day really!? Science tells us that the properties contained in chocolate can reduce wrinkles. Who are we to argue with science, right?
Cocoa is deeply embedded in Mexican history dating back to both the Mayan and Aztec civilizations where it was mostly consumed as a beverage. Historically, it was dubbed 'dark gold' as it was revered as a gift from the gods and besides being consumed was also used as both currency and a unit of measurement. The Mayan and Aztec people also enjoyed its invigorating properties and how energetic it made them feel. Now we know that not only does cocoa taste great and make you feel great, but it can help you look great too!
Raw cocoa has a host of antiaging benefits due to its high content of antioxidants and polyphenols. In fact, it is one of the highest plant sources of polyphenols which has been proven with research to enhance the health of our skin and its ability to fight free radicals and thereby protect our skin from premature aging.
So, what are polyphenols? They are a group of various naturally occurring compounds that are synthesized solely by plants and elicit strong chemicals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In fact polyphenols are a main contributor to the antioxidant activity of fruits, even more so than Vitamin C. Plants contain high levels of polyphenols as these chemicals act as protective mechanisms against organisms and UV light radiation from the sun. When ingested, these compounds provide our skin with a photo-protective barrier which in turn reduces the incidence of damage to collagen and elastin. This results in slower ageing of the skin and fewer wrinkles. As an added bonus, the polyphenols in cocoa have also been demonstrated to improve the skin's density, thickness and hydration levels of the skin, leading to a plumper and more youthful looking face!
Cocoa beans, fresh from the pod, are exceptionally rich in flavonoids, even higher than the green tea or goji berries. However, during the processing of conventional chocolate, the high antioxidant properties is hugely reduced. This means that most of the chocolate sold at stores has been stripped of most of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging properties and benefits.
The traditional way of eating raw cocoa, like the Aztecs and Mayans did, hold the promising benefits intact. Let's compare raw cocoa powder to a bar of dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains 5x more polyphenol content compared to milk chocolate and raw cocoa contains almost 1000x more polyphenol content compared to dark chocolate! That's a ton of polyphenol in that 'dark gold'!
Below is a recipe I have prepared for you. It uses cocoa in its raw form, so you can eat your way to youth!
Takes 30 min. Makes 40 pieces
2 cups pitted dried Dates
1 cup Coconut Oil
¼ cup Almond butter
¼ Maple syrup
¼ Raw Cocoa powder
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
Optional ½ cup whole almonds
Chop the dates and soak them in boiling water to soften for 15-20mins.
Strain the water and place in a blender.
Place the coconut oil, cocoa, almond butter, and maple syrup in a pot and heat only until all ingredients are well blended. Place into the blender with the vanilla extract.
If you choose to add almonds, first crush them or roughly blend, and add to the rest of the mix for added crunch and flavor. It should all blend into a smooth, thick paste.
Line a container with wax or cooking paper and pour the mix into the container.
Freeze for an hour before slicing into bite-sized pieces and ENJOY!!!