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Press Release | Health

Press Release: Ann Barnes, Superfoods Advocate and Author, Speaks on the Heart Health Benefits of Cocoa: Are those Valentine’s Day Chocolates good for you after all?

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Ann Barnes, author of health and wellness book “Better Being” (with whole food recipes), shares her tips on how to use superfoods to get super benefits: with Cocoa leading the superfood pack.

Cocoa (or cacao) is an ancient food. Used for over 2,000 years, the pods of this tree contain seeds that are processed into chocolate. The ancient Mayans, and later the Aztecs, used cacao to make a frothy, spicy chocolate drink and only those in high society (primarily rulers, priests, decorated soldiers, and honored merchants), could partake of this sacred drink. The Spanish conquest of the Aztecs brought cacao to Europe where it quickly became a court favorite and chocolate was soon born. But it wasn’t until 1861 when Richard Cadbury, the famous chocolatier, created a heart-shaped candy box for Valentine's Day, that is became a Valentines’ Day staple.

“We always think of chocolate as a poor choice: full of bad fat and lots of sugar. But not all cocoa is created equal”, Ann Barnes says. “Cacao, in its raw form, is an incredibly nutrient rich food: it is truly a superfood. It is full of incredible minerals, vitamins and compounds and has terrific benefits for heart health”.

Did you know?

There are more than 300 compounds found in raw cacao: including many vitamins and minerals.

The flavanoids in cacao help to reduce blood clotting to help prevent strokes and heart attacks.

A powerful anti-oxidant (ten times greater than blueberries), cacao helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels, remove harmful free radicals and reduce signs of aging.

The compounds in cacao can help reduce depression, act as a natural stimulant, increase pulse rate and blood circulation and can even lower blood pressure.

But make sure you get the benefits of this superfood by making the better choices. “This Valentines’ Day, opt for dark unsweetened chocolates made from raw cacao so that all of these rich nutrients are retained even after processing”, Ann says. “Even daily, the raw cacao is easy to use: it is as simple as sprinkling it on your oatmeal, cereal or yogurt each morning”.


Ann Barnes is the author of the health and wellness book “Better Being” and an advocate of Superfoods which she uses in great tasting and nutrient rich recipes. As a mother of two young children her quick and tasty meals are kid friendly with Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, and Soy-Free options. Her practical, affordable and accessible recipes are available on her website:

For more information or request a television, radio or print interview with Ann Barnes, please contact:

Roberto Ulep, at 416-931-0978.


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