Cacao is a superfood and one of nature’s miracles. It provides immense health benefits and it is used medicinally in many countries throughout the world. To reap the health benefits of cacao, it is important to consume raw cacao because this is the type that contains the most nutrients.
For example, while chocolate candy bars are tasty, they do not possess the same benefits because their cacao content is actually quite low and the product is processed. To reap the benefits of over 300 nutritional compounds, look for cacao that is raw and unprocessed.
Exploring the Nutrient Content of Raw Cacao
With more than 300 compounds that provide dozens of health benefits, cacao is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. Some of the most beneficial nutritional compounds include:
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants are critical for protecting your health by acting as a barrier to free radicals.
- Phenylethylamine: This nutrient works to improve your sense of well-being and boost your mood.
- Theobromine: This compound helps to enhance your mood and give you a gentle rush of energy.
- Serotonin: Serotonin is can help to balance your mood and give you a gentle boost in energy levels.
- Essential minerals: Cacao contains the following essential minerals: magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, calcium, zinc and potassium.
- Essential vitamins: Cacao contains the following vitamins: A, E, pantothenic acid, B1, C, B3, and B2.
Learning about the Health Benefits of Cacao
The health benefits of cacao are vast, but some benefits are more prominent than others. Check out these health benefits:
- Improved circulation and blood pressure: The theobromine and flavanols in cacao have many heart-healthy benefits. They help to dilate the blood vessels so that blood is able to flow through more easily. A side effect of better blood flow is a reduction in your blood pressure.
- Neutralizing free radicals: Free radicals wreak havoc in your body and the antioxidants and cacao work to prevent this. Cacao contains more antioxidants than some of the most antioxidant-rich foods, such as green tea and red wine.
- Promoting cardiovascular health and function: Cacao also promotes cardiovascular health by working to reduce the buildup of plaque on the walls of your arteries and lowering the bad cholesterol in your body.
- Improving digestion: Cacao ensures that you have adequate levels of digestive enzymes and fiber to properly breakdown food and nutrients and keep it moving through your digestive tract.
- Improved mental well-being: Cacao is a superfood that works as a central nervous system stimulant due to containing theobromine. This compound also gives you a gentle boost in energy levels, it improves your mood by causing a sense of mild euphoria and it helps to prevent mood swings.
To reap the benefits of cacao, get a few servings each week. This will help you to get multiple essential nutrients and work toward improving your overall health. Just make sure to get raw cacao that is natural and unprocessed. You can add cacao to fruit to add a bit of sweetness and create a healthy dessert option. The diverse mixture of nutrients present in cacao work to promote a much healthier and happier you without the need for medications.