There are many stereotypes about fats in general, let alone saturated fats. We talk with a lot of people who are concerned with fat content because of the misconception that fat contributes to weight gain. We'd like to clear that up that not all fats are created equal, In fact, coconut oil is profoundly healthy for you and actually contributes to weight loss, not weight gain. In the last years it has become even more popular because of its treatment for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Here are 4 reasons to add more coconut oil to your diet.
• Increases your metabolism & promotes a lean body and weight loss
Coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCT's which are fats that are easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy, like carbohydrates without the inulin spike, BOOSTING your metabolism and helping your body USE FAT FOR ENERGY as opposed to storing it. HENCE, becoming leaner)
• Supports your immune system - Nearly 50% of the fat found in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is considered a miracle compound because our bodies convert lauric acid into monolaurin which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties.
More information can be found here
Part of our mission at 7a foods is to hand select quality foodstuffs for our store. In staying true to our mission, we’d like to bring Not Your Sugar Mama’s into the spotlight and talk a little about raw chocolate and the women who make it.
Growing up, Bennett Coffey came to the Vineyard every summer. Lucky for us, Bennett made the island her permanent home three years ago. Since then she has earned a living teaching sailing and yoga, gardening, catering, and a one-night-gig working at a fine dining restaurant where she was not asked back after one too many wine glasses were broken.
From 2008-2009 Bennett attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. During her time there an alumnae gave a lecture on the benefits of raw chocolate and passed out free samples. Bennett was hooked. “They were delicious,” she remembers. “And I felt different after eating it.”
It turns out, chocolate, when not mixed with dairy and sugar, is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet. It is also remarkably rich in magnesium, which balances brain chemistry, combats depression and builds strong bones. Eating chocolate in it’s raw form diminishes appetite, enhances relaxation and promotes better sleep. Upon learning all this, Bennett wanted to share the good news, that chocolate can be good for you!
Bennett began by making chocolate for family and friends as gifts. The positive response from those lucky taste-testers prompted Bennett to try out new recipes, experiment with different ingredients and ultimately secure a commercial kitchen space, and then, with the help of a friend, Kyleen Keenan, Not Your Sugar Mama’s was born.
Recently, Bennett and Kyleen opened a small chocolate factory in the Tisbury Marketplace (next to Rocco’s pizza). Don’t worry if you cannot get to Vineyard Haven because Not Your Sugar Mamas is currently sold in 50 locations in the New England Area, including 7a Foods.
Cheers to healthy chocolate and stay tuned to the 7a Foods blog for more profiles on our specialty products and the great people who make them.
Look for Not Your Sugar Mamas chocolate bars in our refrigerator!
How do greens affect your body? Read this fresh article to find out!
As a member of my college’s Cross Country team, it didn’t take me long to discover the correlation between diet and athletic performance (try eating a heavy turkey dinner before banging out a 5K against D1 running machines… not the best combo.) Eating light in the form of a primarily raw diet, however, gave me the energy and competitive edge I needed to win races and achieve incredible sustained endurance.
Most recently one of the foods I’ve found to b
e a miracle pre-workout snack is raw cacao! This came about the other day when minutes before I departed for the gym, I scarfed down two large pieces of raw chocolate.
“Oh man,” I thought to myself, “this is definitely going to give me a nice bellyache half-way through my run.” Not to mention the sluggishness I thought I’d feel, believing that cacao was more of a “heavy food” (compared to something like a cucumber.)
But I couldn’t have been more wrong. To my most pleasant surprise, I found I had such incredible energy and more focus than I’d had in quite some time! As I cranked out a very productive workout, I thought about how valued cacao was in ancient Central and South American cultures, and that’s when it all started making good sense to me.
When I was through, I decided to do a little investigating on cacao’s positive impact on athletic performance. Here’s what I found: (Oh, and I started all my research old school – at the actual library, baby! But also found some cool articles online about cacao as a food for athletes.)
First and foremost, let me say this: the first thing I learned is that chocolate is truly a “food of the gods”! In their book The True History of Chocolate, Sophie and Michael D. Coe explain how cacao comes from the tree Theobroma Cacao. It was dubbed this majestic name in 1753 by 18thcentury Swedish scientist Carl von Linne. The second unit of the binomial (theobroma) is from the Greek and literally means “food of the gods.” Cacao, I found, was chosen for it’s barbaric resonance (makes sense since it later would spark some rather tempestuous behavior amongst its ancient consumers.)
Apparently, this bean was so valuable to the early natives of Central and Southern American cultures, they used it as their currency (one bean for a large tomato, 100 for a large turkey hen.) So, if to entire cultures this food was literally edible gold, there must have been some astronomical benefit to consuming it, right? But what could that have been? And could it have had anything to do with the extreme energy and enhanced mood I experienced every time I ate it? I think yes!
The Olmecs, members of the earliest American high civilization, were the first group of people to harvest wild cacao pods that they used to make into a chocolate drink. Shortly after, the Maya began cultivating the plant in the Yucatan Peninsula. Next the Toltecs, then the Aztecs, until eventually it was happed upon by the Spanish Conquistadors. But these guys weren’t indulging in creamy truffles and chocolate bars – they were gulping the stuff down in liquid form in a drink they would create using cacao powder mixed with water which was sometimes sweetened, sometimes flavored with various spices.
The most extensive medical study of chocolate was conducted by French dr. Herve Robert. In it, he found a slew of mood altering and enhancing chemicals that occur naturally in cacao. Caffiene, theobromine (similar to caffeine), serotonin (a mood lifting hormone), and phenylethylamine (a mood changing brain chemical similar to dopamine and adrenalin) are some of the chemicals in chocolate that create an anti-depressive and stimulatory effect.
So I originally started off believing that it must be the caffeine in chocolate providing me with that clean, intense energy burst I had experienced at the gym. But after reading a few books on the history of chocolate (and a very interesting one indeed!) I learned that it is in fact a constituent known as “theobromine,” an alkaloid structurally similar to that of caffeine, that occurs in greater quantities in cacao and that acts as a stimulant and promotes strength, endurance, and enhanced mood.
In Bennett Alan Weinberg and Bonnie K Bealer’s book The World of Caffeine, it’s stated,“(Aztecs) only nobility and warriors had the opportunity to partake of it. Although they knew nothing of theobromine’s physical and mental stimulating powers, the Aztecs were convinced that chocolate imparted both strength and inspiration from Quetzecoatl, and it was chiefly owing to its pharmalogical powers that cacao was highly esteemed.”
One of the earliest surviving accounts of the traditional method of creating chocolate from cacao beans was recounted by a European man who had recently returned to Venice after an American expedition in the company of Cortes. He explained how the natives created a chocolate drink with fortifying powers by pouring it from vase to vase and letting it foam (kinda like a cappuccino from what I gathered).
He goes on to explain: “This drink is the healthiest thing, and the greatest sustenance of anything you could drink in the world, because he who drinks a cup of this liquid, no matter how far he walks, can go a whole day without eating anything else.”
In a publication simply entitled Chocolate, Marcia and Fredric Morton provide a statement further supporting evidence of cacao’s use for its endurance enhancing qualities: “Finally – and probably of most importance to the war-minded, empire building Aztecs – chocolate was so certain to confer vigor and strength that in early times it was reserved for rulers and soldiers.”
So there you have it. Cacao really is a food of the gods and of the athletes. Now before you grab your yoga mat and head off to sweat it out at a Bikram session or throw on your Asics to pound pavement, do as the Mayans and Aztecs and Conquistadors did; have some chocolate!!!
By Amelia Cahilane