Raw, organic cacao powder made with a gut-friendly sugar, like stevia or lakanto, will not necessarily feed Candida, also known as Candidiasis or yeast overgrowth, but can be abrasive to the digestive tract lining.
This is because chocolate contains abrasive ingredients, such as sulfur, phytic acid, caffeine, oxalates, and alkaloids; all which make chocolate an acid-forming and potentially gut-irritating food.
Many people discover late in life that they are sensitive to chocolate; especially if they have a compromised immune or digestive system. A person with leaky gut, colon inflammation, or an auto-immune disorder is much less able to break down the constituents found in chocolate.
If oxalates, sulfur, or other irritating substances in chocolate are not broken down properly then they hang out in the digestive tract and cause immune system to react negatively with allergy symptoms (i.e. hives, shortness of breath, stomach cramps, swelling of lips, vomiting).
If you’ve got a chronic gut issue, best to avoid chocolate for 3 months and go on a Gut Healing Protocol like The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.) and hit the bulls-eye each day to improve your gut/immune health. Stick to snacks for stage 1. Once your health issues ease and you feel ready to re-introduce chocolate, see how you feel.
If you feel in good shape, keep your dose to an ounce and choose organic (more processed cacao = less benefit).
Benefits of Raw Cacao
- Contains flavonoids with antioxidant properties that protect cells and combat free radicals. Flavonoids contribute to heart health; by improving circulation, lowering blood pressure, and reducing plaque that can build up on artery walls. Cacao contains 8 times the amount of antioxidants found in strawberries.
- Contains essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and calcium. Also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B8, and E.
- Contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which affects brain chemistry in a similar fashion to falling in love. Cacao has been shown to increase neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which can elevate mood and lessen depression.
- Contains protein and fiber.
Signs of Chocolate Sensitivity
- Skin Rash
- Chronic Inflammation
May all bellies be happy!