I’m always looking for “sneaky” ways to incorporate super foods into my food and drinks. Well if I’m being honest, I’m also always looking for reasons to enjoy more chocolate, so this drink is a great way to achieve both of those goals. The combination of almonds and chocolate offer a wealth of health benefits. The addition of mushroom powder also gives your immune system a great boost.
Benefits of almonds:
Cancer fighter-Gamma tocopherol ( a type of vitamin E) is a potent antioxidant, that can fight oxidative stress and free radical damage which are linked to cancer. Studies link higher vitamin E intake with lower rates of prostate and colon cancer.
Constipation– Almonds are rich in fiber. Fiber is beneficial in helping to prevent constipation.
Weight loss-Almonds contain monounsaturated fat will helps to curb appetite and can prevent over eating. This study shows that people who consume almonds at least twice a week are more likely to remain at their ideal weight, rather than those who rarely or never consume almonds.
Lowered Cholesterol– Almonds have been found to have a consistent LDL-C-lowering effect in healthy individuals, and in individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes
Diabetes– Almonds are high in healthy fat, protein, fiber and magnesium. Magnesium is also needed for more than 300 bodily functions including controlling blood sugar levels.
Blood pressure– Magnesium deficiency is linked to blood pressure problems. Almonds are high in magnesium and may be able to help reduce blood pressure issues.
Heart Health-Some of the ingredients in almonds such as arginine, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium are important nutrients for heart health.
Nutrient Rich-Almonds are rich in fiber and protein. They also contain vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin, manganese, copper, calcium, iron and phosphorous.
Brain health– Almonds contain L-carnitine and riboflavin two ingredients that positively affect brain activity and actually help prevent with cognitive decline.
Alzheimer’s– Several studies link lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease to high vitamin E consumption., as well as less cognitive decline with age. Thankfully almonds are high in vitamin E.
Immune system– Almonds contribute to the body’s alkalinity and have high levels of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals in the body. Research also shows people whose intake of vitamin E is high are 30-40% less likely to suffer with heart disease.
Gut Health– Almonds and almond skins are rich in fiber and other components that have potential prebiotic properties. This study showed significant increases in the populations of Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp.
Benefits of Chocolate
Gingivitis– Oxidative stress affects the progression of periodontitis. Cocoa is a rich source of flavonoids with antioxidant properties, which could suppress gingival oxidative stress in periodontal lesions.
Improved Immunity– Drinking cocoa activates natural immunity and enhances vaccination-induced immune response, providing stronger protection against influenza virus infection and disease onset
Sexual Function– Chocolate is viewed as an aphrodisiac. It is linked to improved virility and fertility.
Heart health benefits-This study found that eating as little as half an ounce of chocolate a week reduced cardiovascular mortality by 50%. In addition, chocolate consumption appears to lower cardiovascular disease risk, in part through reducing BP. The inverse association may be stronger for stroke than for myocardial infarction.
Increase Lifespan-In this fruit fly study, moderate consumption of cocoa increases lifespan.
Metal Chelator-Cocoa acts as a heavy metal chelator.
Reduces Stress-In this study, daily consumption of 40 grams of dark chocolate reduced the urinary excretion of the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamine.
Inhibits Cholesterol Oxidation-This study found that cocoa powder and dark chocolate prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, while also increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol
Improves Cognitive Performance–Partaking in flavonoid rich foods such as wine and chocolate ( a mere 2 ½ ounces of chocolate) resulted in improved cognitive test results in elderly patients.
Cancer Inhibitor– Although the research is limited this research shows that cocoa is capable of inhibiting prostate cancer.
Liver Cancer-This study shows that cacao liquor has the potential to decrease the severity of chemically induced liver cancer.
Protection Against Tooth Decay– Cocoa butter may provide some protection against tooth decay and dental disease. Studies from England, Japan and the U.S. show that chocolate is effective in fighting cavities, plaque and tooth decay.
Cardiovascular Health-Consumption of cocoa reduced a broad range of risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes– Insulin resistance was improved by the consumption of cocoa, due to significant reductions in serum insulin. In addition these studies show that dark chocolate may be helpful in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Improve Liver Enzymes–This study shows that chocolate consumption may improve liver enzymes and protect against insulin resistance.
Spiced Chocolate Almond Milk with Medicinal Mushrooms
2 C. Almond milk
3 Dates, pitted
1 T. Cacao powder
1/4 tsp Maca powder
1/4 tsp. Lucuma powder
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. 24 Mushroom Blend
Add almond milk to your high speed blender.
Add in remaining ingredients and blend till smooth.
Some of the items used in this recipe: