Health Benefits

  • Cacao has more antioxidants than green tea! These antioxidants protect cells from free radicals, and can prevent cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and may even treat PMS symptoms.
  • There is some caffeine found in cacao that stimulates the central nervous system, giving a burst of energy. It is also a diuretic.
  • Contains theobromine, a compound that may treat depression by stimulating the central nervous system, increases energy levels, and can be a very mild muscle relaxer.
  • Fiber in cacao can help with digestive issues.
  • Oleic acid (an essential fatty acid- heart healthy!) can help lower cholesterol, protect against free radicals, maintain brain and memory function, protect the cardiovascular system, and even protect and maintain skin integrity.
  • Magnesium, the amino acid tryptophan, neurotransmitter anandamide, and adrenal chemical phenylethylamine also help with brain function: focus, memory, and mood improvement.
  • Cacao also contains Vitamins E, A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, & B9.

How to Buy

  • Raw cacao nibs are the best when looking for quality nutritional value.
  • The quality of nutrients in cacao are taken out the more processing it goes through, so buy raw and organic.
  • Unroasted cacao powder and organic dark chocolate are also options, but do have a lower quality of nutrients from the cacao.

How to Use

  • Can be eaten raw in cereal, atop yogurt or oatmeal (known to be very bitter, so add some organic, raw honey to sweeten if necessary!).
  • Can be powdered and used in baked goods, raw desserts, teas, or added to milks (almond, cashew, cow to name a few) and smoothies.
  • Extracts can be used in baked goods.
  • Organic dark chocolate can be used in baked goods and desserts.
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Risks

  • Do not consume if you have a chocolate allergy.
  • Too much cacao can overstimulate your central nervous system and cause headaches, jitters, and increased heart rate.
  • 4-5 raw cacao nibs is sufficient- any more could cause aforementioned side effects.

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