Chocolate, a delightful treat loved by people all around the world, can also be a powerful source of health benefits. Cacao, which is the raw form of chocolate, is a superfood loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can be beneficial for your health. In this article, you will learn more about the amazing health benefits of cacao and how to incorporate it into your daily eating routine.
1. What is Cacao?
Cacao, also known as dark chocolate, is a superfood that has amazing health benefits. It’s a powerful source of healthy antioxidants, essential minerals, and vitamins. It is believed to lower the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It also helps with weight loss and boosts brain health.
Cacao has a rich, unique flavor that’s different from other chocolate products. It’s less processed than traditional chocolate, so it has more antioxidants and other beneficial minerals. The nutritious ingredients of cacao can help boost physical and mental health. Here are some of the benefits of this superfood:
- Good Source of Antioxidants: Cacao is rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from oxidative damage and reduce inflammation.
- Heart Health: Cacao can help lower the risk of heart disease due to its healthy fats and antioxidants.
- Weight Loss: Cacao can help with weight loss since it is low in calories and contains healthy fats.
- Brain Health: The compounds in cacao can help improve focus and memory and reduce stress.
- Mood Booster: Cacao contains compounds that can help improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Cacao is a superfood with many amazing health benefits. It can help improve physical and mental health, reduce the risk of certain diseases, and even help with weight loss. So while it’s important to enjoy this delicious superfood in moderation, it can have real health benefits if you incorporate it into your diet.
2. The Incredible Benefits of Cacao
- Shown to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation – As a superfood, cacao is a powerhouse for lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation. Studies have shown consuming cacao regularly as part of a healthy diet can reduce bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol, improving your overall heart health. Similarly, regular consumption of cacao can help decrease inflammation in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Packed with essential minerals – Cacao contains essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. Magnesium is known to help regulate muscle and nerve function, muscles contractions and boost heart health. It is also important for the body’s metabolism, aiding absorption of calcium for stronger bones as well as the metabolism of phosphorus, potassium and sodium. As such, it is important to include cacao in your diet.
- Rich in antioxidants – Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, which can damage our cells. Cacao is among the top plant-based sources of antioxidants, containing as much as 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Further, since cacao is not processed, it retains more of these beneficial antioxidants than refined chocolate. As such, consuming cacao regularly can help keep your cells healthy and functioning.
- High in dietary fiber – Eating foods high in dietary fiber can benefit your digestive health and can help lower certain risks for certain diseases. Cacao is naturally high in dietary fiber, helping keep your digestive system running smoothly. Further, consuming foods high in dietary fiber helps you stay full longer, aiding in weight loss when paired with regular physical activity. Additionally, raw cacao can help stabilize your blood sugar levels, the perfect snack when you’re trying to avoid the 3 ‘pm slump.
- Raw cacao is an amazing superfood that has tremendous health benefits. It’s full of magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and has powerful antioxidant properties.
- The best way to get all of your cacao nutrition is to buy raw, organic raw cacao beans. These can be ground into a powder and used in smoothies, baking, and all sorts of other recipes.
- Another way to get your dose of cacao is to buy cacao nibs. These can be used in much the same way as the powder, but they also have a delightful crunchy taste.
- Another way to get some cacao in your diet is to buy a hot chocolate mix. This is a great way to get some cacao and still enjoy a warm and comforting beverage. Look for organic, sugar-free options when possible.
- Adding cacao to your diet is a great way to get some natural energy. Cacao is known for boosting mental clarity and sharpening focus. It is also great for improving mood and reducing stress.
- Cacao also has incredible health benefits and can help lower cholesterol and improve overall heart health. It can also improve digestion and help keep your immune system strong.
3. Ways to Eat this Superfood
1. Shake It Up – Love a good chocolate milkshake? Next time, try adding a scoop of raw cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. It’s a delicious way to get a healthy source of antioxidants and minerals, and it makes for an ultra-rich shake that’s sure to satisfy a sweet tooth. To take it to the next level, top it with some bee pollen or shredded coconut for a crunchy finish!
2. Toss It In – A great way to add a nutritional boost to your desserts or smoothies is with cacao nibs. These little chocolate chips contain plenty of fiber, protein, and healthy fats – making them a great choice for an energy boost or for adding a bit of sweetness to any dish! You can also find cacao nibs in trail mix, granola bars, and other snacks for a healthful snack-time treat.
3. Spread It On – Cacao can easily be added to your favorite recipes for a yummy and healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. To make it, simply blend raw cacao powder, natural sweetener, and a nut butter of your choice together until combined. Add a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil and voila – you’ve got a new spread to enjoy.
4. Sip On It – Make cacao a part of your morning routine with this nourishing drink. Simply simmer a cup of almond or coconut milk with a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, a pinch of salt, and some natural sweetener of choice. When it’s hot, pour the concoction into a mug and enjoy the creamy, chocolate beverage.
4. How to Add Cacao to Your Diet
Adding Cacao to Your Diet
In conclusion, cacao is an incredibly nutritious and powerful superfood that can have a dramatic effect on your health. Whether you buy cacao beans, nibs, or a hot chocolate mix, adding cacao to your diet is a great way to get all of the amazing health benefits it offers. So start adding some cacao today and enjoy the health benefits! If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious powerhouse in your diet, look no further than cacao! With a myriad of health benefits that we’ve outlined in this article, there’s no reason not to start including this superfood in your meals for a more balanced lifestyle. Cacao every day, keep the doctor away!