How to Reap the Superfood Benefits of Cocoa Powder
Let's talk about cocoa powder. It's an airy-light, finely ground form of unsweetened chocolate that's mixed into recipes to achieve a deeply rich chocolatey flavor. You can also find cacao powder, which is an even more raw form and lauded by chocolate purists everywhere. Either way, powdered unsweetened chocolate is considered a superfood-- which means that it is rich in compounds that are beneficial to a person's health. Cocoa delivers a blast of iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc--all of which are key to the vital functions of the body. And of course, chocolate also offers a healthy rush of endorphins. Adding a spoonful of cocoa to a glass of milk, smoothie, or dessert is an easy way to reap the benefits. But recent news reveals that some party-goers have found another way of collecting the benefits of cocoa--by snorting it.
Weirded out yet? All I can think about is how many times someone would have to use one of those Neti Pots to clear the chocolate out of their nose. Here's the nitty gritty of why people are doing this... because believe it or not, there are actual reasons. It may have all began with Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone of The Chocolate Line when the Chocolate Shooter was born. The cocoa creation began as a fun addition to a Rolling Stones party in 2007, and has since continued to be a popular offering among the rest of his chocolate confections. The device works like a catapult and flings a small amount of cocoa underneath the nostrils where it can then be sniffed for an instant invigorating effect. The powder settles in the olfactory region of the nose where it provides a further chocolate tasting experience for those into that kind of thing. Now, this isn't exactly comparable to people doing lines of cocoa at the club, but it at least provides some basis of an explanation.
According to this report made by Oxy, patrons at a dance club called Lucid in Berlin (which incidentally does not allow drugs or alcohol on its premises) enjoy cocao powder in multiple forms for the subtle rush it gives them. "First comes a surge of endorphins into your bloodstream, which increases acuity and fuels you with feelings of euphoria. Then there’s the flood of magnesium, which relaxes your muscles and de-tenses your body."
Makes sense... after all, the ancient Mayans enjoyed and even worshiped Cocoa for it's feel-good properties. The good news here is that despite some folks' decision to treat it like a different, similarly named powder popular for inhaling, cocoa powder is perfectly legal--remember you can buy it at the grocery store. Better news is that you don't need to inhale the stuff or take it in capsule form to experience its positive impacts.
Clearly, there's a reason we crave chocolate--it's chock full of beneficial compounds, contributes to a good mood, and tastes amazing. Really, I think we can all take a message from this rising club craze--they're simply spreading the gospel of the potency and power of chocolate. With cocoa, a great place to start getting those good-feeling and great-for-you benefits for yourself is to whip up some of these dark chocolate desserts that also highlight other superfoods with antioxidant qualities, such as coconut oil, raspberries, and avocado. You'll be vibing in a cocoa-induced bliss in no time [no techno music required].
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And of course, a plate of tantalizingly delicious fudge brownies never hurt anyone either...