Dr. William Li is Harvard-trained MD and renowned medical doctor, researcher, president and a founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, a non-profit founded in 1994 for the study of angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels form and allow the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues.
He’s also the author of the Amazon best-seller ‘Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself.’
Dr. Li recently joined well known podcaster and former professional football player Lewis Howes on his ‘The School of Greatness’ podcast, during which he discussed plenty of topics including the foods that help our bodies recruit more stem cells for improved healing from the inside-out.
What Are Stem Cells and Why Do We Need Them?
Stem cells are the primitive cells that human beings are comprised of during the sperm and egg stages.
As we get older, our stem cells age and their ability to renew us generally deteriorates along with their ability to differentiate between various cell types.
According to Dr. Li, our bodies “pack up” about 750 million stem cells and store them in our bone marrow from the time we are babies.
When our bodies suffer damage in the form of liver damage from too much alcohol or a wound from a cut or scrape, for example, stem cells come “flying out” of our bone barrow like “bees in a hive,” Dr. Li shares in the video clip below.
Dr. Li adds that certain types of food can help us to recruit these stem cells to the areas of our body that need to be repaired, which allows us to heal faster.
“There Are a Number (of Foods) That Help Recruit Stem Cells for Repairs,” Dr. Li Shares
According to Dr. Li, dark chocolate is one of the best foods for improving the stem cell response.
Dark chocolate, otherwise known as cacao or its more processed cousin cocoa, is rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that help protect from disease-causing free radicals.
Cacao is also rich in magnesium, which helps our minds and bodies to relax.
Dr. Li specifically mentions drink two cups of dark, hot chocolate as the best way to get your daily dose of cacao, which can actually double the number of stem cells flowing in your bloodstream at any given time.
Learn more from Dr. Li on cacao, stem cells, and healing the body through food in the video interview below (click on the 13-minute mark on the player to hear him talk about stem cell recruiting foods):
The higher the percentage of cacao you consume in your favorite foods and snacks, the more health benefits you will generally receive.
If you eat foods like Hershey bars or traditional chocolate candies you are not likely not getting much cacao at all, which is why Hershey’s recently decided to change its product labels to state that they are “chocolate candy.”
Most health advocates and doctors including Dr. Li recommend a cacao bar with at least 80% cacao or more.
Ceremonial grade cacao is a nourishing, cacao rich hot chocolate drink that is rich in polyphenols, similar to the one mentioned by Dr. Li in the video above.
Cacao is also found often in health products and bars like these organic cacao superfood bars from Paleo Valley.
These dark chocolate bars are sold online and made with 100% organic cacao along with organic pumpkin seeds, organic greens blend and more.