Chocolate chip Honey Banana Popsicle: – The easiest, simplest Raw Vegan snack Ever!!
All you need:
- Frozen Banana
- cacao Nibs
- Raw Honey
- Bee pollen
Spread the Raw honey on one side of the frozen banana. Top with Cacao Nibs and Bee pollen. Eat.
A great snack or dessert, if you’re in need for something sweet, or for a pre or post gym work out snack, or if you’re feeling a little stressed out…
Here’s the low down on the benefits.
Honey is more digestible than any other sweetener, natural or artificial. It is because it is not only predigested, but it also contains enzymes to help it along. It is easier on the body because of its chemical structure and does not cause a huge insulin rush the same as sugar does.
Antioxidants: Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:
- Promote cardiovascular health – Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins – Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
- Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good.
- Serotonin – Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being.
- Endorphins – Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.
- Phenylethylamine – Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.
- Anandamide – Anandamide is known as the “bliss chemical” because it is released by the brain when we are feeling great. Cacao contains both N-acylethanolamines, believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.
- Essential Minerals: Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
- Magnesium – Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
- Sulfur – Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
- Essential fats – There is a mis-perception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, which may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite.
Important note- to fully benefit from chocolate’s wide array of nutrients, eat chocolate that is as close to its natural state as possible. Whole cacao beans and nibs are best. You lose many of the health benefits when you eat commercially produced chocolate.
Bananas can act as mood enhancers or mild sedatives: Bananas contain tryptophan (although it’s not one of the major sources, a medium still contains about 10.6 mg of tryptophan). Tryptophan is one of the 20 amino acids, which are building blocks of proteins (btw, an incredible number of articles on the internet call tryptophan as a “mood-enhancing protein” and that is technically not correct). Tryptophan helps the body to produce serotonin – which has a calming effect on the brain (creates a stable mood) and acts as a mild sedative. It should be noted that the only way our body gets it’s dose of tryptophan is through our diet – it does not produce tryptophan naturally; bananas is one of the easiest ways to get it.
Taking bee pollen, whether the granules or another form, helps to lower stress levels and enables people to better cope with stress.
This is one of the important health benefits of bee pollen, since controlling stress can impact many other aspects of health. Important vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids are included in bee pollen that aid with mood regulation, which means that stress can be lowered and better controlled when adding these supplements to your life.
Enjoy pleasure seekers xxx
Tuesday’s Tasty Treats are brought to you by ChakraCenter’s raw food extraordinaire, Sarah Hook (see our staff-and-contributors page for details on Sarah and other contributors at Chakra Center).