BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — If you plan on consuming chocolate this Valentine’s Day, you may be benefiting your health, according to Dr. Jaime Gomez, an interventional cardiologist at Gomez Cardiovascular Clinic and a local chocolatier, Jesus Bojorquez of Raw Xocolat.
“Chocolate has a lot of potential as a superfood. We just have the misconception that chocolate is bad,” said Bojorquez.
Bojorquez said he was inspired to start his chocolate business after conducting biomedical science research in school.
“My goal was to become a pharmacy, RX means prescription and before medicine, there is food. I want to take the cacao as a superfood to bring to our community,” he said.
Bojorquez explained that he makes his own chocolate from the cacao bean and only uses quality cacao for all his items such as bonbons, teas, coffees, and pastries.
“It has been studied. In fact, there’s a Harvard study from the 1990s that it lowers pressure in its raw form,” said Dr. Gomez.
Dr. Gomez said the raw form that can lower blood pressure is the cacao bean, which is the ingredient used to make chocolate as the one Bojorquez specializes in.
“Candy could be bad because it’s full of sugar, but the cacao plant itself has been used for a medicine for a long time, probably for thousands of years especially the Native Americans that grew it and it’s still used today as a medication, especially in those cultures,” Dr. Gomez explained.
He said the Native Americans refer to cacao as “Food of the Gods” and is considered to be a superfood.
Dr. Gomez recommends choosing dark chocolate over others and said avoiding processed chocolate with a lot of ingredients and sugars is best.
“I think it’s a great thing to consume raw cacao or high dark chocolate and it’s great for Valentine’s. I mean it’s the food of the Gods, it opens up your heart, that’s what the Native Americans think. It’s a great idea. ” he said.
“Chocolate is an expression of love,” said Bojorquez.