Cacao is the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate. It is made from the beans of the cacao tree, which is native to South America. Cacao is a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, and other nutrients that have been linked to a number of health benefits.
We produce a chocolate Nut Butter here at 99th Monkey called 'Almond Cacao Butter'. One of the ingredients in this Nut Butter is cacao powder - which gives the Nut Butter the chocolate taste.
Cacao is better for you than chocolate because it is less processed and contains more nutrients. Chocolate is made from cacao beans, but it is also processed with sugar, milk, and other ingredients. This processing can reduce the amount of nutrients in chocolate.
Our Almond Cacao Butter does not contain chocolate and is therefore dairy free and vegan.
Here are some of the health benefits of cacao:
- Reduces the risk of heart disease: Cacao is high in flavanols, which are antioxidants that have been shown to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. This can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
- Protects against cognitive decline: Cacao is also a good source of magnesium, which is important for brain function. Studies have shown that regular consumption of cacao can improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and processing speed.
- May help to prevent cancer: The antioxidants in cacao may help to protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Some studies have shown that cacao may be particularly effective at preventing colon cancer.
- Improves mood: Cacao contains substances that have mood-boosting effects, such as caffeine and theobromine. These substances can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and increase feelings of well-being.
- May help to improve skin health. The antioxidants in cacao can help to protect the skin from damage caused by the sun and other environmental factors. Cacao may also help to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
How to get the most benefits from cacao
- The best way to get the most benefits from cacao is to consume it in its raw, unprocessed form. This means choosing cacao powder that is not alkalised or processed with heat. Alkalised cacao powder has a lower concentration of antioxidants and other nutrients.
- You can add cacao powder to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or other foods. You can also make hot chocolate or tea with cacao powder. If you are new to cacao, start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount as you tolerate it.
How much cacao is safe to eat?
- The recommended daily intake of cacao is 40 grams (or four to six heaped teaspoons).
Chocolate also contains some of these nutrients, but in lower amounts. Additionally, chocolate often contains added sugar and other ingredients that can reduce its health benefits.
Cacao is a delicious and nutritious food that can offer a number of health benefits. If you are looking for a way to improve your health, consider adding cacao to your diet.
Try our Almond Cacao Butter today!