Six years ago my life changed in a way that only happens when you’re expecting (twins)….
All I wanted was my French Rocher Suchard and Nutella…but I knew better. Such treats are filled with sugar and other “stuff”. With the high risk of gestational Diabetes in pregnancies with multiples and my own family history of Diabetes I knew I had to watch it!
New to America and health conscious California, I was already becoming aware of the importance of organic ingredients, so I searched but couldn’t find any chocolate that was organic, raw, unprocessed, dairy free AND gourmet.
By gourmet I mean magnificent tastes and textures, magnifique quoi …. hey I’m French….vive la gastronomie. I even sent my poor husband scouring every store, but rejected each and every chocolate he brought home as either not pure and healthy… or just yucky!
Far from being a fattening unhealthy food, pure dark chocolate (aka cocoa, cacao) is actually amazing for pregnant women, even more so when breastfeeding.
I am not talking about any type of chocolate but only organic non-GMO, without wax, emulsifiers, palm oil, vegetable oil, dairy, refined sugar or other unhealthy sweeteners, and even Dutched or highly processed cacao.
Those will take an inherently wonderful healthy super food product, raw cacao, and turn it into, well, poison.
While I’ve done extensive research on the subject, my 10 years of university studies has not been in medicine, chemistry, biology and the like. So I must claim humility and ask that you do not take my opinions and conclusions as medical advice.
Do your own due diligence, consult with a doctor you trust and above all use some good common sense. But if you ask me, Hnina is simply your best bet when pregnant.
Why does it nourish you and your baby, even helps avoid pregnancy complications and allows you to give birth to healthy happy babies….that hardly even cry?!!! Let me tell you.
• Consuming dark chocolate during pregnancy (not a sweet dark chocolate) can help prevent preeclampsia, a high blood pressure condition which increases rapidly and can lead to early delivery as well as other severe or even fatal health issues. Mothers of multiples are particularly at risk.
• Theobromine contained in dark chocolate helps relax blood vessels, stimulates your heart and relaxes your muscles.
• Cacao is a super food which contains good levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat such as that found in olive oil.
• Cacao contains the antioxidants flavonoids that help improve your immunity and IQ (women are prone to lose some memory during pregnancy.)
• Science is recognizing that our well-being is directly tied to gut health and fermented raw chocolate contains good bacteria that our gut loves!
• One of the most interesting aspects is that raw chocolate contains serotonin, the happiness hormone. When a pregnant mom eats good chocolate, not only is she happy but her babies are usually calm and often hardly cry.
• Hnina truffles contain a high amount of protein and nutrients. One truffle can satiate your body and sweet tooth with a fix of protein, nutrients and happy hormones. Empty calories chocolates cause you to reach back into the package for more. With Hnina you can better manage your weight gain.
• Hnina’s satiating effect may be important for another reason. Soil naturally contains lead and cadmium which are therefore found in just about every plant based food, including chocolate. In some cases, processing may also add to the levels. The “safe” amount widely differs between Federal, State and other regulations.
California’s standards may be the strictest. The confection industry has largely rejected the safety concerns and, in particular, California’s significantly lower limits. But we suggest pregnant and nursing women remain extra cautious. Avoid chocolate made of cocoa powder. Hnina only uses the original cocoa mass. We think one .5 oz Pebble sized Hnina truffle or Bebe chocolate bars per day is playing it safe for a pregnant or nursing mom. As with everything, you must weigh the pros and cons and make your own informed decision.
We hold Dr. Mercola in particularly high regard. On the issue of lead and cadmium in chocolate, Dr. Mercola’s recommendation of up to 1.0 oz. of pure cacao per day exceeds our own. HTTP://ARTICLES.MERCOLA.COM/SITES/ARTICLES/ARCHIVE/2016/04/12/LEAD-IN-CHOCOLATES.ASPX#_EDN1
Learn more about the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate in my blog: HTTP://WWW.HNINAGOURMET.COM/SHOP-ONLINE/HEALTH-BENEFITS-OF-DARK-CHOCOLATE/
SPROUTED NUTS & SEEDS
Sprouted nuts & seeds help considerably during and after pregnancy. The importance of sprouting cannot be overstated. When yet unsprouted, the dormant nut or seed contains phytic acid which when digested binds to the nutrients and prevents their proper absorption by the body. This significantly reduces the health benefit of eating nuts & seeds, and even causes some digestive problems.
Once sprouted, a process which takes us from 8 to 24 hours, not only do the nuts and seeds come alive with significantly increased available vitamins, minerals and enzymes, but the phytic acid vanishes allowing your body to fully absorb all these wonderful nutrients.
Learn more about The Importance of Sprouting in my blog: HTTP://WWW.HNINAGOURMET.COM/SHOP-ONLINE/WHAT-MAKES-HNINA-SPECIAL-PART-2-THE-IMPORTANCE-OF-SPROUTING/
We live in an age of allergies, something society didn’t experience nearly as much before. Many people are allergic to nuts, as well as honey. A new study came out demonstrating that expectant mothers could prevent allergies in their children if they eat those allergy causing foods while pregnant. The nuts and raw honey found in our truffles can accomplish this very thing.
All of our truffles are extremely nourishing but the following four are our favorites for helping mommy and baby:
1. Almond + Hazelnut
2. Seeds (flax + pumpkin + sesame + sunflower)
3. Brazil Nut + Almond + Coconut
4. Walnut + Cashew
Almond + Hazelnut
I hold a special place in my heart for this one as it was the first truffle I created when pregnant. Here are some highlights:
• Loads of proteins; 2 grams in just a 14 gram (.5 oz) Hnina Pebble.
• Fiber to help digestion and bowel function.
• Calcium which is alkaline and essential to prevent preeclampsia and building strong bones for baby.
• Vitamin E, riboflavin, magnesium, folic acid and manganese, are all extremely important to help in the cognitive development of baby, the formation of its central nervous system, the formation of the brain and regulating the weight of mom and baby.
Seeds (flax + pumpkin + sesame + sunflower)
This truffle is a must if you are pregnant and intend on breastfeeding.
• Again, lots of protein (2 grams in our smallest Pebble truffle).
• Calcium, iron, minerals (manganese, copper, phosphorus, potassium and zinc), omega-3, folic acid, niacin, B1, B6, B2 vitamins, lignans (fiber) which acts as antioxidant.
• Energy boosting.
• Flax seeds are a beneficial laxative.
• Sunflower seeds are rich in nearly 90% of vitamins, phytochemicals, protein, minerals, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats and help protect against free radicals and blood clots.
• The phytochemicals in sunflower help increase the ability of the body to accept the growing fetus.
• Pumpkin seeds are also extremely nutritious and contain all the necessary nutrients necessary for prenatal development.
Brazil nuts + Almonds + Coconut
The tastes and textures of this one is off the charts, but the nutrition here is truly amazing for pregnant women.
• Good ole’ protein (2 grams per Pebble).
• According to the Weston Price Foundation, which we follow and respect, pregnant women should consume two tablespoons of unprocessed coconut oil per day. Coconut has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It can help boost the immune system, increase milk supply (with Lauric acid). It can also prevent colds, flu and other viruses.
• This truffle contains fiber, selenium (Brazil nuts is the number one source of selenium), calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, B vitamins, such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate.
• A great source of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Walnut + Cashew
If you look at the form of a walnut, it looks a little bit like a brain. Well, guess what. It is AMAZING for the brain.
• Walnuts have more omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acids, than any other nut. Omega-3 fats help the baby’s developing nervous system, memory and overall IQ.
• Walnut also contains so many nutrients which include the minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B and fiber.
• Walnuts are also amazing for mommy. Like dark chocolate, they can also help prevent blood clotting.
• Cashews are also loaded with minerals such as iron (1 oz of cashews contains 1.7 mg of Iron!), copper, magnesium and vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential when you are pregnant as it can help reduce fetal bleeding during delivery.
• Yes, again, lots of protein (2 grams per Pebble).
RAW HONEY & PURE MAPLE SYRUP
Our raw honey contains natural antibiotics and enzymes. It is a healthy and natural sweetener which is not inflammatory but, quite the opposite, has anti-inflammatory properties.
As noted above, research has shown that exposing children to raw honey early in their development (good during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but not direct ingestion until the age of one) can help prevent later honey allergies.
Our maple syrup is 100% pure and there is nothing added to it. We use the highest quality, very thick dark luxurious commercial grade maple. It is a natural, unprocessed real food made from the sap of the maple tree. Maple syrup contains manganese & zinc.
Beware of sweeteners that are marketed as healthy but are anything but in their refined forms, like coconut sugar and agave. Once processed, these two sweeteners are left with just lots of body inflammation causing fructose. Remember, the glycemic index of a sweetener is not the only measure of its health properties. GI does not measure fructose which is highly inflammatory.
Of course, even healthy sweeteners need to be used in small amounts. Our chocolate is 88% dark and much of the remaining 12% not from the cacao bean is pure vanilla.
Learn more about The World of Sweeteners and Why We Use Raw Honey & Pure Maple Syrup in my blog: HTTP://WWW.HNINAGOURMET.COM/SHOP-ONLINE/WHAT-MAKES-HNINA-SPECIAL-PART-3-THE-WORLD-OF-SWEETENERS-AND-WHY-DO-WE-USE-RAW-HONEY-AND-PURE-MAPLE-SYRUP/
So much commercial chocolate contains synthetic vanillin, which we don’t want in our bodies under any circumstances. Better chocolates use vanilla extract, which while safe during pregnancy, does not have the potent effect and the goodness of the pure vanilla bean which we use in Hnina chocolates. Pure vanilla bean is very expensive but it is wonderful for pregnant woman and so worth it. It is an amazing antioxidant, it has anti-inflammatory properties and it can help lower bad cholesterol.
Just as important as what is in Hnina is what’s NOT. Our chocolates are pristine, pure, clean. Organic raw cacao, sprouted nuts/seeds, honey/maple, vanilla. That is it. We do not use emulsifiers, which are found in the vast majority of chocolates. Emulsifiers make for easier blending but who needs soy and other processed compounds.
Did you know commercial chocolates often have paraffin wax in it? Yikes. For that lovely shine apparently. No thank you.
You get the point.
You’ve been granted a wonderful responsibility of caring for new life. You know you want to do everything in your power to take care of it….and yourself. You have chocolate cravings that need to be satisfied, or else . I speak from experience. Yes, there are some organic chocolates on the market, some raw, some even use raw honey or pure maple, some use pure vanilla, some don’t use any other additives, some may even sprout nuts & seeds (well, we’ve yet to see that), but NO OTHER CHOCOLATE does it all! ORGANIC, RAW, SPROUTED, HEALTHY SWEETENERS, PURE VANILLA, NOTHING ELSE.
Hnina bridges the gap between gourmet and nutrition, health and pleasure. There is no guilt to carry. You’ll be surrounded inside and out with positive and happy thoughts, knowing that you are doing the right thing for you and baby.
Thank you for reading this and for trusting us.
Bon appétit et bonne santé à vous et à votre enfant.
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While some would shy away from giving gifts during special occasions, there are a few who go the extra mile just to celebrate Mother's Day and give their mom a beautiful chocolate box. Some will even go for a delicious organic raw dark chocolate truffles made with sprouted nuts and sprouted seeds.
Now that I am a mom I can't tell you enough how incredible yet exalting and exhausting to be a mom can be. We basically forget ourselves for a few years to make sure that our little babies grow and thrive. Mother's day is the only day Moms are getting into the receiving mode rather than giving like they are commonly used to do.
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