What makes Cacao an Awesome Superfood
Cacao (Theobroma Cocao) have over the centuries been looked upon and consumed only for pure pleasure without realising the health benefits it brought about. This food of gods (Theobroma) flourished in the wild Amazonian jungles, until cultivation of this divine food was undertaken by man.
The cacao bean comes from the cacao tree which is harvested by hand , dried and fermented or milled depending on the product being produced. The processing temperature is kept low so as keep the integrity of the nutrients intact.
There is this confusion that prevails regarding the difference between cacao and chocolate. Chocolate as we know is a far removed version of cacao containing very little benefits found in raw cacao. This is because the majority of companies add loads of sugar, sweeteners or even colouring to chocolates, in addition to cooking , roasting and toasting cacao and thereby destroying all the nutrients contained within them.
Characteristics of Cacao
Cacao generally contains those mood elevator compounds which are good for the mind. It has a great effect on the chemistry of your brain which also includes reducing stress hormones.
- Endorphins - Helps to produce a gratifying feeling
- Anandamide - Raw cacao has been scientifically documented to rouse the "bliss chemical" because it is released by the brain when we are feeling happy
- Serotonin - Is that chemical that acts as an anti depressant, promoting an overall sense of well-being. Raw cacao also boosts the body's natural production of this chemical
- Phenylethylamine - Acts as a mild mood elevator and an anti-depressant, and it helps increase focus and alertness. It is also known as the neurotransmitter produced in the body when we fall in love. This is found in high amounts in raw cacao and may be the reason why it is associated with Valentine's day!
Benefits of Cacao
Raw cacao benefits every function of the body. One of the many facts about cacao is that it is the highest source of magnesium and chromium of any food! This alone is the reason we should use it as much as possible in our cooking. Magnesium is the most deficient mineral in the average human. All of the compounds found in raw cacao benefits longevity in humans.
Women also need magnesium before that time of the month as it helps with muscle expansion and contraction and could be thought as a reason why they crave chocolate during that time of the month.
- Helps produce a beautiful and Healthy Skin
- Cardiac & Stroke Protection
- Eases PMS issues due to the high level of magnesium
- Improves Mood
- Reduces Colon cancer
- Enhances Glucose Metabolism
- Improves Brain Function
Different forms of Cacao Products
Cacao Nibs are the least processed and most natural and closest form of chocolate. This means that there will be a significant lack of sugars and as for the taste it would need a bit of getting used to as it tends to lean towards bitter. However, it comes with a lot of uses as it can be added to smoothies , toppings on desserts or even as a snack. They are rich in all the nutrients that has been mentioned before.
Raw Cacao Powder
Raw cacao is different from the cocoa that most of us see in our supermarkets, the latter tends to be the chemically processed and roasted version which ends up destroying large amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids, that makes cacao a superfood.
The statements and products referred to throughout this site are the expressed opinion of Natural Zealand for the sole purpose of educating the public regarding their health, happiness and improved quality of relationships. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary. Seek the advice of a competent health care professional for your specific health concerns