Chocolate fans, rejoice. A recent study published in Heart has revealed that regularly eating dark chocolate can reduce the chances of developing atrial fibrillation (afib) – a common form of irregular heartbeat.
According to the 14-year-long study, participants who ate dark chocolate at least once a month were 10 to 20 percent less likely to develop afib. While scientists are still trying to figure out exactly what it is about dark chocolate that promotes a healthy heart, the results support the fact that this tasty superfood packs a nutritional punch. But to amp up these health benefits, why not try cacao?
Packed with even more antioxidant flavonoids than cocoa, raw cacao also boasts a whole range of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. With a nutty, bitter, and slightly chocolatey taste, cacao isn’t quite like your standard candy bar. But whether you mix cacao nibs into a trail mix or whizz cacao powder into a smoothie, you’ll soon find its unique taste utterly addictive.
To give you some inspiration on how to make the most of this delicious superfood, we’ve rounded up our top ways of incorporating cacao into your daily routine.
Give breakfast a boost with a cacao acai bowl
Acai bowls are popular for a reason. These acai fruit based breakfasts are smooth, rich and packed full of antioxidants. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile. So alongside your favorite superfood topping, try adding a handful of crush cacao nibs. Or for an extra chocolate hit, blend one tsp of raw cacao powder into your acai blend. The result? A sin-free breakfast that tastes ultra indulgent.
Spice up your savory dishes
If you’ve ever eaten mole – the super-tasty Mexican sauce that’s accented with chocolate – you’ll know the richness and depth of flavor that chocolate can add to savory dishes. And with an even more intense flavor than dark chocolate, cacao is the perfect candidate for spicing up your main course. Whether you add a spoonful of cacao powder to a hearty stew or sprinkle cacao nibs onto a salad, you’ll discover the incredible versatility of this delicious superfood.
Whizz cacao powder into a smoothie
Craving something sweet? Try a super creamy cacao smoothie. Simply add one tbsp of cacao powder to your favorite smoothie combo for an extra hit of flavor and antioxidants. We love this deliciously rich cacao, banana & avocado smoothie, but feel free to play around with the ingredients depending on whatever you have in the fridge.
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 1 really ripe banana
- 1/2 an avocado
- 4 medjool dates
- 1/2 a cup of dairy-free milk (we like almond)
- 1 teaspoon of nut butter
- A few ice cubes
Simply blend together for an intense breakfast smoothie or a sweet after dinner treat!
Amp up your trail mix with cacao nibs
Forget M&Ms. No self-respecting trail mix should be without cacao nibs. With a satisfying crunch and a subtle chocolate flavor, they’re the perfect partner for creamy brazil nuts, juicy raisins, and sharp cranberries. Perfect for an instant energy boost.