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Cacao Health Benefits

by Amy Chessman: You may already know that dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate…


But cacao – is even healthier. Cacao is chocolate in its rawest form, offering a wealth of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are linked to vast health benefits.

Reap in the superfood benefits by making your own raw chocolate, adding cacao powder to smoothies, mixing cacao nibs into your breakfast cereal or by simply buying raw chocolate bars.

Keeps Your Heart Healthy

High in sitosterol, cacao can help decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol that builds up into your arteries). Flavanols found in cacao protect you from cardiovascular disease by reducing the risk of strokes and improving circulation.

Helps You Sleep

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, cacao can help. Cacao is jammed with tryptophan, the wonderful amino acid that breaks down into serotonin and melatonin aka happy hormones. You can find cacao amongst our list of foods that help you sleep.

Lowers Your Blood Pressure

Cacao is packed with the obromine which naturally decreases blood pressure and aids the absorption of nutrients. In the Zutphen Elderly study, researchers found that patients had a reduction in blood pressure in patients who took a small amount of cacao every evening.

Prevents Wrinkles

Polyphenol antioxidants such as anthocyanins and catechins help to protect our cells from oxidation which helps us look younger.

Lose Weight

Cacao contains MAO inhibitors which shrinks your appetite. By heating cacao you can release more antioxidants, simply stir cacao into your coffee or make your own hot cacao by stirring a teaspoon of cacao into almond milk. If you have a sweet tooth, add a low GI natural sweetener like agave nectar, stevia or coconut palm sugar.

Lowers Your Blood sugar

As cacao is high in magnesium and chromium, eating a bar of raw chocolate can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Prevents blood clots

Research carried out at the University of Californian found that cacao thins the blood, prevents blood clots and can be just as beneficial as taking an aspirin a day.

Get Energized

Being one of the highest natural sources of magnesium, cacao can give you energy for workouts, and power you through the afternoon slump.

Makes You Feel Good

As well as boosting happy hormones in the body, cacao contains anandamine and phenethylamine – known as the bliss and pleasurable molecules which triggers the release of endorphins.

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Source: AWAKEN


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