I know this thread has evolved (ha! get it? ), but I wanted to weigh in and say that in our home, in which my children are given quite a bit of say and respect, one is allowed to eat unlimited amounts of (plain, unsweetened, uncolored, often full-fat and organic, sometimes homemade) yogurt, and fruits and raw vegetables as a substitution for a meal if one is particularly offended by said meal.
If kid seems to need protein, I've been known to suggest a(n) (organic, all-natural, sugar-free, peanut-only) PB sandwich with (sugar-free, whole wheat, seeded and often homemade) bread and a touch of local (or storebought semi-local) honey.
What do I care?
|Thanks for the information you have shared, Calm. Have you seen this article WRT cacao? What are your thoughts?|
The other thing to keep in mind is that he doesn't know why it made him feel bad. Chocolate has made me feel bad, too, but then so have oranges when I overdo it. It was suggested to him that perhaps it was because he over did it but then he retorted with the idea that wheatgrass every day didn't do that to him, but cacao did. This overlooks the important fact that cacao is strong, too strong to be used as a "food".. that is not how superfoods are used. For instance, it contains a 100 000 orac (antioxidant score), where blueberries, a notable antioxidant, tip the scale at 2400. That is a MASSIVE difference, and the constituents of chocolate/cacao are like that all the way through, the magnesium content is huge, the amino acid score... it is serious stuff.
Research is being done on cacao around the world:
Here's one from Japan:
|In this paper the author review the results related to physiological effects of cacao polyphenols which include an antioxidative effect; arteriosclerosis prevention; depression of ethanol induced gastric mucosa damage; and effects on the immune system.|
|Cocoa flavanols, as discussed earlier, limit oxidative stress, and block inflammation, apparently helping improve memory and slowing down the aging process.
Cocoa also demonstrates a significant effect on TNFα (tumor growth factor) which
increases the body’s anti-inflammatory ability. Cocoa flavanols also inhibit the formation of other inflammatory chemicals like IL-2 (interleukin)...
A Finnish study recently found that chocolate preference and consumption in elderly men was associated with better health, optimism, and better psychological well-being.
The researchers found that the intake of cocoa definitely suppressed the toxicological effects of dioxins in the body.
All foods must be respected and eaten in moderation and balanced with other foods, but I suggest cacao be treated with more respect than other things because it is so dense with power. I think it is a great "treat" for kids because not only does it appeal to them, but it has benefits, too, and it won't do to them what cheese or peanuts will. We can put the powder into their smoothies or make raw choc balls and they can get all the benefit and it isn't handing them a brussels sprout... but if they are eating big gloms of it, raw or not they're going to mess up the balance. I don't think I would call that "toxic" so much as "stupid".
But we each have to study foods for ourselves and reach our own conclusions.
If I'm feeling energetic enough and my daughter rejects my dinner, I would much rather she drank down a huge smoothie full of superfoods and fresh coconut milk and two cups full of spinach blended in with a handful of berries and a banana... I mean sheesh, no dinner I can make can compare to the nutrients she gets out of those smoothies and it tastes like heaven. She's better off rejecting dinner!
Carob has no one fighting against it, and is touted in almost as much a way as chocolate is. If there is concern about cacao, go to carob instead, often kids still love it. I don't particularly like the taste and neither does my daughter.