Chocolate is delicious. But if you’re used to consuming it in super-processed bars, then you’re missing out on some pretty special health benefits that you can only find in raw chocolate – otherwise known as Cacao.
Centuries ago, the Incas grasped the importance of Cacao – going so far as to call it the 'drink of the gods'. This wasn’t just because it was delicious - but because consuming it regularly supercharged their stamina, concentration and overall energy levels.
Even today, Cacao is enjoyed around the world as a natural stimulant. Here, we explore how this delicious superfood can boost your energy levels.
What is Cacao?
The main difference between Cacao and the cocoa you find in most chocolate bars is the level of processing it undergoes. Unlike Cacao, cocoa is heated to much higher temperatures, which results in the loss of a significant portion of its nutrients.
Even worse, cocoa chocolate is often paired with dairy products, which blocks the absorption of chocolate’s phytonutrients. Cacao, on the other hand, only undergoes low-heat fermentation to get some of its natural bitterness, while still preserving its health benefits.
Cacao and health
Cacao really does deserve its superfood moniker. Not only does it improve memory, but Cacao may also reduce your chances of heart disease, help you shed excess fat and give your immune system a boost.
Cacao sits at the top of the antioxidant superfood ladder, with nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries, and over 100 times more than bananas.
Cacao and energy
One of Cacao’s most notable health benefits is its ability to provide heaps of energy and help you combat fatigue. Cacao contains a number of compounds and nutrients that help improve blood flow to the brain, and actively increase energy levels:
Raw Cacao is one of the best sources of magnesium in the world. Magnesium optimises our body’s use of oxygen, helping increase energy levels and burn calories. It also helps to build strong bones, and helps regulate blood pressure. Magnesium protects against osteoporosis, reduces type II diabetes, and lowers blood pressure.
- PEA (Phenylethylamine)
Theobromine is a mild natural stimulant that helps burn fat and boost serotonin levels.
How to enjoy Cacao
The great news is that Cacao can be used in pretty much the same way that you might think to use cocoa based products. It’s available in lots of different forms, from raw beans to bars, powder and nibs, which mean that you can incorporate it into your life in many different ways. Cacao is also great in smoothies or hot chocolate and can even be added to spice rubs for meat.
So, however you decide to integrate Cacao into your daily routine, thanks to this miraculous superfood, you can be sure that you’ll have an extra spring in your step as soon as you do.