5 Health Benefits of Cacao

Finally! A chocolate superfood. Females all over the world - rejoice!

My favourite cacao smoothie
I love cacao. 

I love that cacao allows me to have chocolate for breakfast. And that it's so super good for me. Not to be confused with cocoa, raw cacao is made from cold-pressed, unroasted cocoa beans, which means that all the nutritional goodness from the living enzymes in the bean are in tact. Cocoa is made by roasting the cocoa bean at high temperatures, which changes its molecular structure and lowers the nutritional content.

Antioxidant rich, full of magnesium, totally delicious and perfect in porridge, add cacao to your diet to really super charge your health! Here are just five of the many health benefits of cacao:

Neutralises free radicals
Cacao is a powerhouse of antioxidants, with almost 4x the antioxidant content of dark chocolate and a whopping 20x that of blueberries!  Exposure to lots of sun, smoke, pollution, junk food and toxins can fill the body with  harmful free radicals. Antioxidants help to repair the damage caused  by these free radicals, stopping diseases from forming and improving your health.

Increases happiness
Chocolate has been scientifically proven to contain happy chemicals and mood enhacers like serotonin and phenylethylamine, which are found in the brains of happy, creative (and loved up) people. Both are organic, natural chemicals that act as anti-depressants and increase happiness. Remember, dairy milk chocolate doesn't count... it has had all of its goodness processed and refined out of it!

Promotes a healthy heart
Thanks to the high antioxidant content and the essential vitamins and minerals in cacao, it can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also increases the health of blood vessels and circulation around the body.

Strong nails and shiny hair
Thanks to cacao's sulphur content, it can help to maintain strong nails, shiny hair and a healthy liver and pancreas. This means that your body will not only feel good on the inside, but look great on the outside too!

Shrinks your appetite
A chocolate that helps you lose weight? Bring it on! Due to cacao's MAO inhibitors, drinking a teaspoon of cacao powder mixed with almond or coconut milk can help suppress your appetite. These MAO inhibitors are also found in weight loss products, but who needs diet pills when you can get the same results naturally? Just make sure you don't exceed 40 grams (roughly 4 heaped teaspoons) a day.

How to add it to your diet?
There are so many ways you can easily incorporate raw cacao into your daily routines. I add cacao nibs to my smoothies for added deliciousness and texture, find my cacao-wesome smoothie recipe here. Or I stir raw organic cacao powder into my favourite porridge recipe for a chocolatey treat! Vegan chocolate energy bites also make a great weekday snack. On an evening, instead of reaching for the sugary hot chocolate mixture, gently heat some coconut milk and add 1 teaspoon or raw cacao powder.

Superfood choco oats

Vegan chocolate energy bites



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