Benefits of Raw Cacao

Health Benefits of Raw Cacao: Why Raw Cacao Is Best For You?

800 500 Kaitlin Tomison

You must have heard about raw cacao, a tree that produces an egg-shaped fruit called pods. Here we are going to discuss raw cacao and what are the health benefits of it. There are numerous amazing benefits of raw cacao, which you shouldn’t miss and add to your daily diet. What are those cacao benefits?

What is Cacao?

Cacao is the form of chocolate sourced from the seeds of cacao trees and found in central and South America. Each fruit contains brown seeds, surrounded by edible pulp tastes sweet and tart. These cacao seeds are the first step in making chocolate. Antioxidants and flavonols in regular cocoa powder and chocolate have been roasted chemically.

Once it gets processed, then, it can be transformed into a healthy chocolate flavor. Let me add one thing here: cacao isn’t something like raw chocolate, which we all love, but it’s an ingredient responsible for the taste of chocolate.

What’s the Difference Between Cocoa Powder and Cacao?

Well, terms are creating confusion for everyone, but nowadays, people are taking more interest in raw cacao. It has become a distinction as a marketing ingredient. Cold pressing unroasted cacao beans make raw cacao powder. At the same time, cocoa powder is a processed product. Most sites still refer to the benefits of cocoa, meaning the raw version of this product which we are focusing on to understand the benefits of cacao powder. You would find cocoa powder in mostly sweet chocolate products.

15 Health Benefits of Cacao

1. Reduce Cancer Risk

Cacao beans are full of antioxidants, and do you know antioxidants can inhibit the activity of free radicals? High levels of free radicals can cause cell damage and oxidative stress. This is beneficial in reducing cancer symptoms because it has anti-cancer properties. It plays a vital role in the development of chronic diseases such as heart and cancer. 

2. Overcome the Inflammation

Cacao beans help to regulate inflammation because oxidative stress can cause chronic inflammation. It can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Cacao has antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress to reduce inflammation. It lowers the risk of inflammation with the reduced production of pro-inflammatory proteins known as cytokines. 

3. Improves Mood And Lowers Depression

Raw cacao can help to reduce stress which is best to fight against mood swings and get rid of sad feelings. Cacao has four pleasure chemicals: serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters are related to pleasure and happiness feelings.

4. Improves Gut Health

Cacao lets you feed the good bacteria in the gut system. It can help you treat both temporary and chronic digestive issues. It is for supporting essential functions such as immunity and metabolism. The polyphenols work against harmful bacteria by inhibiting proliferation. These help to maintain the microbial balance in the gut system. 

5. Supports Heart Health

Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart disease. According to the research, eating six servings of chocolate weekly can reduce heart disease and stroke. Although it is effective to fight against oxidative stress and inflammation, the antioxidants in cacao beans ensure blood can flow easily and help to decrease high blood pressure. Magnesium, copper, and potassium are also found in cacao, reducing the risk of hypertension or plaque buildup in arteries.

6. Controls blood sugar

Chocolate can lower the risk of diabetes and has a high amount of antioxidants in cacao beans. Cocoa flavanols promote the secretion of insulin. It helps to stabilize the blood sugar and won’t let it hike. High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of diabetes, and cacao contains some fiber which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates. The more controlled and stabilized the blood sugar, the lower your risk for developing diabetes. Cacao products have added sugars which can raise the blood glucose levels, so people who have diabetes or pre-diabetes should take care of this. Consult the doctor for the recommendation to keep the blood sugar level balanced. 

7. Improves the skin appearance

Raw cacao improves the skin’s quality but can help avoid premature aging symptoms. Cacao includes flavonoids that stimulate the blood flow to the skin and make it glowing, healthy skin. It increases the blood flow, which promotes cell renewal. Antioxidants in cocoa prevent cells from further degradation and keep the skin looking fresh, healthy, and younger. 

8. Prevents Tooth Decay

Cacao beans or cacao powder benefits also include the prevention of tooth decay because it has a theobromine component that prevents cavities and tooth decay. It has antibacterial properties; these chemicals battle plaque and hardens the tooth enamel. It reduces the risk of tooth decay and makes your teeth healthier. 

9. Improves Cognitive Function

Oxidative stress can harm the nerve cells, which cause the development of neurodegenerative illness such as Alzheimer’s disease. When you consume cacao, flavanols would go into the bloodstream and accumulate in the hippocampus, which is essential for memory and learning. These flavanols improve functionality and protect them from free radical damage for improving cognitive capacities.

10. Iron Rich source 

Raw cacao has a huge amount of iron which is harder available in any other plant, such 7.3 mg per 100g. Beef and lamb have 2.5 mg, while spinach has 3.6 mg of iron. You can pair it with vitamin C to get the right amount.

11. Combat Fatigue

People who are feeling exhausted should take a rest at night, and here could be the change where your magnesium levels are too low. Raw cacao can help you to overcome your fatigue level. It’s an incredible source of magnesium that boosts energy levels. 

12. Relieves Cough Fits

Theobromine is available in cacao beans which are highly efficient in treating persistent coughs, and this ingredient is better than codeine because it could cause vagus nerve. Try to drink a cup of hot chocolate made up of nutrient-rich cacao before consuming a bottle of cough medicine and you will definitely feel better. 

13. Huge Calcium Content

Raw organic cacao contains a larger calcium amount than cow’s milk; it is 160 mg per 100g compared to only 125 mg per 100 ml of milk. If you were not having this, then get it today. We all know how calcium is vital for the body because it makes strong bones.

14. Healthy Source Of Fats

Some weight loss programs would always recommend you to consume healthy fats in the diet because it is responsible for immunity and healthy metabolism. Consume it in the purest form especially chocolate made from unprocessed cacao beans which is definitely a best source to take healthy fats. 

15. Prevents Premature Aging

Consumption of raw cacao helps improve the skin’s quality, but it can prevent premature aging. It also protects the cells from destruction and helps your skin to feel healthy and youthful for longer. 

How Much Raw Cacao Should Everyone Eat A Day?

Cacao is powerful on the central nervous system, and eating large quantities can interfere with calcium retention. If you consume it daily, cacao beans can lower blood pressure, improve overall heart function and circulation, and increase longevity. Make sure you are not consuming more than 40 grams of raw cacao daily. 

Ways to Eat Raw Cacao

There are so many ways to add cacao into your diet. If you want to eat this for health benefits purposes, check out the sugar content in the bar because it may include calories. Here are the following ways to consume raw cacao. 

  1. Add a tablespoon of cacao powder in a smoothie to increase the rich chocolate flavor. 
  2. Sprinkle it on fresh fruit to give yourself a chocolaty treat.
  3. Spread it on toast just like the way you put Nutella.
  4. You can make cacao and coconut chia pudding

Final thoughts

Cacao is beneficial for everyone who wants to get its massive benefits. Here we have gathered the benefits of raw cacao, which you might have come across. Cacao powder can reduce cholesterol levels and protect you from heart disease. It controls blood sugar levels and improves cognitive function. You can consume it daily but keep an eye on the bar’s sugar content. These are the health benefits of raw cacao which we have discussed in this blog.

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