Chocolates. It is the one thing that everyone (well, almost!) loves. Studies have shown that cacao, from which chocolates are made, has numerous health benefits especially for the heart and mood.
Cacao beans are the dried and fermented seeds of the cacao plant. There is a wide range of cacao products available today, from raw cacao nibs, which are crushed raw cacao beans to raw cacao powder which is the dried paste of pressed cacao nibs.
Even though they sound similar, cacao and cocoa are vastly different in terms of nutrient density. Cocoa powder is made from cacao beans that have been roasted when processed, thus lowering the amount of antioxidants and bliss nutrients that raw cacao naturally contains. However, Raw Cacao Powder is made from cacao beans that are unroasted. Due to the lack of prolonged fermentation and heat, the antioxidants and bliss nutrients are preserved in the raw cacao powder.
Hence, if you are choosing for health reasons, go for the organic version of 100% Raw (or unroasted) Cacao Nibs or 100% Raw Cacao Powder, which has substantially more antioxidants and nutrients than the common ‘cocoa’ or chocolates that have gone through the usual roasting process (high temperatures). Why should you stick to the organic version? Simply because conventionally grown cocoa is one of the highest pesticide-using crops out there!
Having said the above, the usual cocoa, or chocolates can still be beneficial for human health (depending on the process of making it). As studies have shown, dark chocolates (minimum 70% cacao) can still yield substantial benefits for the heart and mood. Just choose high-quality chocolates that are certified organic, have good ingredients like cacao butter and free from refined sugars or allergens like dairy.
Apart from being a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, Raw Cacao Nibs or Raw Cacao Powder is also a great source of magnesium, iron and bliss nutrients (which we will explain in a bit). The presence of these nutrients makes cacao great for your heart including helping to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Consuming cacao regularly is also known to boost cognitive functions like learning and memory, and elevate mood. Yes, you read that right! Consuming cacao regularly can make you happy. Cacao contains bliss nutrients/chemicals which are essentially the neurotransmitters that activate the pleasure centres of your brain. These bliss chemicals include phenylethylamine (PEA), the LOVE chemical which produces a feeling of falling in love while boosting brain focus and concentration. Next, cacao has Anandamide which creates feelings of euphoria- also known as the “bliss molecule”-, and Tyrosine, the precursor to dopamine which promotes a sense of bliss, motivation and concentration. Finally, cacao is a source of tryptophan, an amino acid which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin, also known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter or an anti-depressant, is a chemical messenger that is said to act as a mood stabilizer. People who are clinically depressed often have very low levels of serotonin. Apart from boosting your mood, serotonin is known to help one relax and sleep better.
Consuming Raw Cacao Nibs and Raw Cacao Powder could not be simpler as it is very versatile and can be easily added to your diet. You can choose to add them to your smoothies, coffee or tea, desserts or even yoghurt. If you are looking for a healthy light meal/snack alternative, why not try our quick, easy, hassle-free and not to mention delicious recipe Cacao-Chia Pudding. You can get the recipe here: https://organicandwholesale.com/cacao-chia-pudding.html