Cacao – Chocolate That Packs A Healthy Punch!

This may be something that could go without saying but who doesn’t like chocolate?!?! I know that for me, chocolate is a food that I never plan on giving up. I am a big fan of dark chocolate or anything that is covered with chocolate! But not all chocolate is created equal. Some variations are loaded with sugar, hydrogenated oils, and even sometimes chemicals that your body does not want or need.

In recent years, there has been information in the media about how chocolate has many health benefits, and it does. But you must choose your chocolate wisely to reap the full benefits. The occasional dark chocolate bar every now and then is totally fine, and you will get some of the antioxidants and flavonoids it contains for health benefits. The cacao contained within the chocolate is where the magic is.

I recommend including some form of cacao (powder or nibs) into your diet whenever possible. It is the purest form of chocolate that you can get without all of the extra junk that can be put in a bar or piece of candy. Plus it tastes great both on its own and when added to other foods.

What is Cacao?

Cacao is chocolate, dark chocolate with very little sugar content. Cacao has been a staple in many cultures for centuries and has been labeled food of the gods due to its amazing health benefits. I like to use the cacao nibs in my super shakes, and the powder form in things like power pancakes and oatmeal. The nibs look like little pieces of chocolate so they can also be added to desserts and even trail mix. Both forms are versatile and tasty when added to many other foods and dishes.

There are many benefits to adding cacao to your food. Below is a short list of benefits with links to references and studies.

Benefits of Cacao

Promotes brain health

Enhances Mood

One of the natural foods with the highest antioxidant ORAC value 

Reduces risks of heart disease and supports heart health 

High in magnesium, manganese, zinc, and iron

Improves digestion 

Reduces risk of diabetes 

Boosts weight loss

Improves Energy

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