What Makes Chocolate Unhealthy And Toxic For Your Body

“Raw chocolate tastes like … love!”

“Chocolate is “the food of the gods” — it is the ultimate superfood!”

This, however, it is untrue. In fact, chocolate is unhealthy and toxic for your body.

You will hear that raw chocolate is packed full of minerals, such as magnesium, iron, copper, zinc.

They also say that it contains flavonoids that are supposed to help deal with any damaging free-radicals in your body.

With all these wonderful nutrients and their seemingly great benefits you would think that it is some kind of wonder food. Yet, it isn’t. 

What Makes Chocolate Unhealthy And Toxic For Your Body - Rawsomehealthy

Why chocolate is unhealthy for you

In both the raw and roasted state, the cacoa/cocoa bean has an unpleasant taste due to the presence of a number of alkaloids, which include theobromine.

This alkaloid is very similar to caffeine and is a known toxin for dogs, cats and other pets.

With chocolate being a stimulant, when it enters your body, it makes your adrenal glands go into what is called the fight or flight mode, and they begin to produce stress hormones.

This is because anything that is a stimulant is interpreted by your body as being an invader (toxic substance) and so a threat to its well-being.

So your body naturally wants to try and expel this foreign and unwanted/toxic substance as quickly as it can!

Just as with the caffeine found in coffee, after experiencing the so called “high”, your body will eventually hit a low.

This is because it would have expended a good deal of energy in its attempt to try and rid itself of this toxic substance.

This natural reaction to eating raw chocolate will fatigue your adrenal glands and thus impact negatively on your health.

When we both switched to a raw vegan plan, we stopped eating chocolate.

We did try it at parties in the beginning a couple of times and we did not feel good so we soon decided to stop eating it. It’s been around 5 years since we last tried chocolate.

Raw chocolate contains the alkaloid called theobromine, and this is how it can affect your body:

  • Theobromine, which is an alkaloid found in cacao does have an impact on the human central nervous system, smaller yet similar to caffeine and also stimulates the heart to a greater degree. (1, 2)
  • Theobromine has been cited as potentially causing addiction to chocolate. (3)
  • Theobromine can also cause restlessness, sleeplessness, tremors and anxiety. (4)

So, the health gurus and sellers who want to promote their raw chocolate/cacoa products will tell you it can help you stay healthy, fight off diseases such as cancer, deal with free radicals and do all sorts of amazing things …

Well, they are not going to promote your health!

If you fancy that ‘chocolate taste’, then you can use raw carob powder as a great tasting alternative. A safe and non-stimulating substance, it is derived from a fruit and tastes very similar to chocolate and is scrumptious with smoothies and desserts.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share below!


(1) Joel Hardman & Lee Limbird, ed. (2001). Goodman & Gilman’s the pharmacological basis of therapeutics, 10th ed.. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 745. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/101090784

(2)  Howell, L.L., Coffin, V.L., Spealman, R.D. Behavorial and physiological effects of xanthines in nonhuman primates (1997) Psychopharmacology, 129 (1), pp. 1-14.

(3) William Gervase Clarence-Smith (2000). Cocoa and Chocolate, 1765–1914. London: Routledge. pp. 10, 31.

(4) Irwin J. Polk (1997). All about Asthma: Stop Suffering and Start Living. New York: Insight Books. p. 100.

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12 thoughts on “What Makes Chocolate Unhealthy And Toxic For Your Body

  •   Bill Kranker  |   

    Paul and Yulia,

    I had the same problems with chocolate as well. I used to love eating it especially the dark varieties with high cocoa levels.

    Needless to say I do not miss it.

    Great article!


  •   miriam@dent.com.au  |   

    Thanks for sharing your eperience.
    With all due respect, you are obviously both very sensitive to the alkaloids in cacao. Not everyone has the same sensitivity levels. Yes it is a mild stimulant. Yes it has high antioxidant properties, no it is not a "food" in the way fruit & veg are (i.e., it is not a staple). Many people can continue to enjoy a small raw chocolate treat without serious issues. If anyone has issues with any food not agreeing with them, no matter what it is, they should discontinue consuming it.

    •   Rawsomehealthy  |   

      Miriam, thank you for your contribution. Toxin is still a toxin in any quantity. Indeed, it may not cause reactions for some people if they have it on a rare occasion, however the question is – can toxin-forming food be considered a “treat”?

  •   Aspasia  |   

    Hi! I read this post, and then I read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine
    Everybody has an opinion. Hence, each person will define "toxins" in their own way. In the end-each person to his/her own after reading, listening, and analyzing. I have read the positive effects that Theobromine has to offer. I read them as positive (another person could read them as negative). No matter. I happen to agree with Miriam. Hence, I will continue to have my cacao bean once in a while, respecting it, as all things in all quantities (I believe) should. And my answer to the final question—-yes. I am labelling the cacao bean as my "little treat"

  •   GetReal  |   

    Some people can tolerate chocolate, but for those of us who can’t, it’s an addictive drug that’s as bad as heroin. It can cause mood swings, rage, violent thoughts, paranoia, severe depression, anxiety, and nightmares.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I can walk past an entire aisle filled top to bottom with chocolate products, and not touch a thing, because I’m thinking “poison, poison, poison”. My next battle is doing the same thing with ALL sugar products.

  •   Anita M  |   

    I’m a chocoholic, and a raw vegan most to the time. Whenever I fall for the chocolate, I feel bad, get moodswing, angry depressed etc. Then I can stay off it for a while, until the next time…
    Feel I have to do some emotional work to be clean from it.
    Thanks for the article!

  •   aztecboy  |   

    Wow, I disagree with you folks wholeheartedly. I don’t doubt there are some who have sensitivities to stimulants, but it is a total fallacy to automatically equate a stimulant with being a toxin. The fact of the matter is theobromine is a far less harsh stimulant than caffeine with less of a crash and more of a antidepressant effect. There are plenty of non-biased 3rd party funded studies to back this up that you could find in a matter of minutes on lexusnexus. I will tell you this, my family has eaten 2 raw cocoa beans in the morning for many generations (dating back to the 1800’s that we know of) and every member of my family that has not died from an accident has lived past the age of 100. Say what you will but I love the stuff. I used to drink coffee in the mornings but rather than consume it the way my family has traditionally, I instead lightly roast the beans and brew them in hot water with some milk and a little honey and vanilla. Not sure if it has the same health effects really but I’ve found that I completely replaced my coffee habit with the cocoa beans, and I feel a lot better for it. I get a very enjoyable buzz that does not leave me feeling taxed afterwards like coffee, and feelings of well being that last several hours afterwards. I also look forward to my choffee way more. You may call it an addiction but I call it one of my most precious pleasures. Like anything though, if you’re sensitive to it, then don’t do it. Nobody can judge you for that. I can understand that as I have mild celiacs (yes i was tested not self diagnosed) so i have to avoid most gluten. I don’t think gluten is a toxin, in bread made with wild yest cultures is far more palatable to me (I can eat a slice without having a reaction vs store bought white bread which I cannot eat at all). But yea, I do not try to convince others against gluten just because I cannot process it.

  •   Sadie Blair  |   

    Chocolate – rage, depression, paranoia. It intensifies everything that is wrong in your life. relationships stressed to the breaking point. no one understands. The loneliness is unbearable.

  •   Darren  |   

    Under Natural Hygiene – Herbert Shelton he describes it as a Poison to the body as with coffee , tea , salt , vinegars

  •   M  |   

    I finally realized that chocolate of all kinds (I used it in all forms) was causing my lyme-like symtoms…I had tremors in my head, face and hands and my vision was strange and I had adrenal burnout…from chocolate. I thought it was a health food so I bought the darkest I could find and ate a bar everyday. I also added it to protien drinks, baked goods, everything. I added cacoa nibs to things. I was very addicted and chocolate literally almost killed me. One day I looked at it and realized it was poisen and I couldn’t believe it. Slowly I started to get better, but even now if I eat it I start to have tremors shortly after so I know it somehow damaged my nervous system. When I had an MRI done there was mild demylination but no cause and I know this was the cause.

  • Pingback: Chocolate & The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.)

  •   bebel  |   

    The mass distribution of these stimulants is the doings of the Devil. He’s poisoning our children early by letting them eat cocoa daily so they get used to the high and miss it when it’s not coming. Later they switch to coffee and alcohol when their receptors have become desensitized to cocoa. The ‘high’ leads us to spend energy on pointless activities, destroying the planet in the end. Really, no sane person should have any need to feel high unless they want to live in this hell on Earth and worship the aforementioned dark figure.

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