Prevention of heart disease? Reduction in blood pressure? Positive effects on cholesterol? What miracle food does all of this and more?
According to researchers at Harvard University in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, the Archives of Internal Medicine, and the journal of Atherosclerosis research, these are just some of the benefits of consuming raw dark chocolate.
While a raw food diet may not be on everyone's agenda, the health benefits of consuming raw chocolates are being studied by the medical field. Ulimana, a company established in 2005, has promoted these benefits in their line of raw chocolate products that are not only good, but good for you.
According to their Web site:
"UliManaMana is a made up name whose origins come from the 35,000 year old Huna tradition, a Polynesian/Hawaiian science practiced by the aboriginals of that region. In Hawai'i, this teaching was originally called Ho'omana (to make Mana or life force energy) and means Empowerment. The people who practiced these teachings and techniques knew that all power and all life force emanated from the One, I'o, the source of all life-- the source of all energy.
Uli is the name of the goddess from the Huna science who oversees the feminine domain and is also known as the 'Goddess of Serenity'. Mana means life force energy. When you have a lot of Mana, (as in ManaMana), you are healthy and vibrant. When speaking the name UliManaMana you are asking the goddess Uli for the blessing of life force energy and vibrant health. We wanted the name of our company to mean something positive and uplifting. So say it often as you eat our chocolate and have gratitude for the gifts bestowed upon you."
I had the opportunity to try out several of Ulimana's products and I am sold. The truffle (first picture) was super rich and fulfilled every craving for chocolate I had. I enjoyed the small delicacy over the period of an hour because it was so rich I couldn't eat it all at once!
The second item pictured is the Chia Moon Drop. Containing the recently hyped Chia Seed, known for it's amazing nutritional value, these small cookies pack a powerful flavor punch. With a cashew in the center, the date texture and the flavors of the Chia seed and coconut oil as well as hints of vanilla, this new addition to the Ulimana product line is a keeper! The San Francisco examiner recently published an article about the benefits of the Chia seed that is worth checking out. The Chia Moon Drop is one of the tastiest applications of the Chia seed that I have tried in my search for nutritional superfoods.
Finally, I had the opportunity to try Ulimana's hemp brownie. A sucker for baked goods, I was first impressed at the low calorie content for the rich chocolate treat. After three bites, I was even more impressed that my chocolate craving had been satisfied and I could set aside the second half of the brownie for later! According to Finnish research, hemp packs a nutrtional punch with omega-6 to omega-3 ratios that are optimal for our health. Also high in protein and fiber, more research is being done about this powerhouse that has seen much stigma from it's illegal relative attached to it. While you can't get a drug-high from these brownies, you will be on a healthy chocolate high for sure!
You can order Ulimana products from their online store. The cost for these goodies is higher than a supermarket chocolate bar, but between the quality of products and well as the absolute satisfaction in flavor, it is well worth the investment. Rarely have I found a truffle that satisfies me after only a bite or two! Additionally, Ulimana donates 5% of it's proceeds to various non-profit organizations that are listed here.
Raw Chocolate Truffles: 70 calories/4 grams of fat/1 gram of fiber/1 gram of protein
Ingredients: Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Agave, Organic Cacao Butter, Ground Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Vanilla Beans, Organic Date Sugar, and Celtic Sea Salt.
Chia Moon Drops: nutritional information coming soon!
Ingredients: Organic Dates, Organic Cashews, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Shreds, Organic Agave, Organic Vanilla Beans, and Celtic Sea Salt.
Hemp Brownies: 120 calories/6 grams of fat/2 grams of fiber/2 grams of protein
Ingredients: Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Agave, Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Hemp Powder, Organic Hemp Seeds, Organic Vanilla Beans, and Celtic Sea Salt.