5 Benefits of Cacao

5 Benefits of Cacao

Raw cacao is somewhat different from the common cocoa most of us know as the basic ingredient of chocolate.  Cacao refers to the Theobroma Cacao tree from which Cocoa is derived, and is used when referring to unprocessed versions of the cacao bean.

Cocoa powder and chocolate have been chemically processed and roasted, destroying between 60% and 90% of the beneficial antioxidants and flavanols.  Cacao processing was originally developed in the early 19th Century to reduce the bitterness and create a more mellow flavour to chocolate. Unfortunately this also eliminated a great deal of the goodness.

In contrast, Raw Organic Cacao has a range of benefits, so you can add it to your diet with no guilt, just good old chocolatey deliciousness. Below are five reasons why you should be adding cacao in the form of Theobroma Superfood to your daily nutrient intake.

1) Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant

Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven happiness chemicals. These are serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine.  These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression.  A natural, healthy, delicious way to increase your happiness level.

2) Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain

Raw Cacao is one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium. Magnesium is considered by health professionals to be the most deficient mineral in the Western world.  Magnesium helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with better clarity and focus. It is also important for a healthy heart.

3) High Source of Iron

Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at an outstanding 7.3mg per 100g.  Compare this to beef and lamb at around 2.5mg per 100g, and spinach at 3.6mg per 100g.

The iron in cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so to get the maximum benefits you’ll want to combine it with vitamin C. If you add oranges, kiwifruit, or other superfoods like guavas, Kakadu plums or chili peppers, you will get the maximum amount of iron absorbtion.

4) High Levels of Antioxidents

Raw Cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries and has an amazing ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g. Compare this with blueberries at a mere 2,400.  ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals, which cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to diseases such as cancer.

5) High Levels of Calcium

Time to switch out the slim milk-based drinks for a couple of serves of dairy free raw cacao. If you are lactose intolerant or just want to reduce dairy in your diet, Raw Cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk. At 160mg per 100g for cacao vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk.