You know that cacao is the delicious ingredient which the chocolate we all know and love is made out of. You may also know that cacao has some fantastic health benefits. But did you know just how much of an impact this deliciously satisfying powder can have on our bodies? Well read on, because this sweet treat gets even sweeter!
Most of the cacao grown in the world (over two thirds) is grown in Africa and can be a lower quality hybridized CCN51 variety due to the high demand of the chocolate industry. So what makes our cacao trees better than the rest? Our cacao is organically grown in the Satipio province of the Junín Region, located in the central Amazon rainforest of Peru, as it has been for thousands of years by the native Ashaninka and Chene people. The beans are of the renowned heritage heirloom ‘criollo’ variety, which make up less than 1% of cacao grown each year. The result is our Organic Raw Cacao Powder – a decadent single-origin cacao powder that is ridiculously rich in flavour and fragrance, and with many health benefits.
Before you get too excited, I do have to burst your bubble. Ladies, I'm sorry, but chocolate is not healthy. Yes it nourishes your soul and helps with mood swings, but the majority of chocolate sold in your supermarket is very far removed from the raw cacao grown naturally. Chocolate goes through a lot of processing, with many ingredients added to gain that smooth consistency. In fact, “natural” chocolate flavour, which is found in many chocolate-flavoured foods, has no nutritional benefit whatsoever. But before you take out the tissues, there are some brilliant solutions. One of our favourites is Chow Cacao – delicious raw chocolate that IS good for you. There are also all of our delicious raw cacao recipes, but more on that later.
Here is a brief run down on just some of the benefits of raw cacao.
The bliss chemicals anandamide and phenylethylamine are found in cacao. Cacao also boosts serotonin and endorphins to promote a positive outlook and make you naturally happyyyy.
The cardiovascular benefits of Cacao increases blood flow levels to the brain, boosting cognitive function by cleaning out accumulated toxins and supplying more oxygen rich blood.
A vital component within our cells, magnesium helps our bodies maintain balance, avoid illness, perform well under stress, and maintain a general state of good health. We also need magnesium for healthy heart function, strong bones, relaxing muscles, and the digestive system.
Raw cacao has one of the highest anti-oxidant ratings measured and an array of biologically active flavanols, catchetins and polyphenols. These benefical compounds scavenge free radicals from the blood and reduce damage caused by aging processes.
The flavanols and compounds in raw Cacao stimulate the arteries to relax, reducing blood pressure and allowing the body to oxidise low density lipoprotein (LDL), as well as regulating cholesterol.
The theobromine found in raw cacao will give your energy levels a boost, with less of an impact on the human central nervous system than caffeine.
The health benefits to be gained from cacao are plenty and varied. It must be noted that you won't get the same effects from normal drinking cocoa, especially from the bliss chemical phenylethylamine, as it is extremely heat sensitive, and is lost in the processing of coco.
So how can you implement more of this amazing superfood into your diet? That's easy – we have some brilliant and decadent recipes ready for you to try. But first, your new staple item and king of the pantry – Organic Raw Cacao Powder is so easy and economical to purchase.
We love drinking hot cacao drinks in the colder weather, it's the perfect drink to put a pep in your step. We stir cacao through porridge, and add it to our smoothies, raw treats, and desserts.
Here are a few of our favourite cacao recipes.
Chocolate lovers around the world, rejoice! You CAN have your cake and eat it too. No longer do we have to sacrifice chocolate to lose some kilos, or to fit in our favourite jeans, in fact, the more raw cacao we consume, the more benefits we will reap. So don't feel bad for splurging on cacao – this truly is a guilt-free pleasure.