Is it sinful or is it a blessing? Is an addictive substance or a superfood?
Health Benefit Of Cacao
Cacao is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that make it almost a super food or natural Multi-Vitamin! The beneficial ingredients found in the Cacao nibs (raw chocolate) are Antioxidants, Theobromine, Phenylethylamine, Essential Minerals and Vitamins.
One of the main health benefits of chocolate is its high concentration of antioxidants. Although processed chocolate still has a good concentration of antioxidants – the processing and cutting (adding new ingredients and mixing them together) of the raw cacao seed tends to lower that amount. If you want the best hardcore antioxidant power of cacao beans/seeds, then you will want to get it in its natural raw state – nothing added, nothing taken away.
This is a mild stimulant that has a diuretic affect. In other words it can make you have to use the bathroom a lot and if you don’t drink enough water, it could dehydrate you. Its benefits, however, include helping to push toxins out of your body (the diuretic process), and gives you a very mild rush, enhancing your mood.
This is one of the mood enhancers. In combination with theobromine, phenylethylamine can elevate your mood and make you feel what I can only describe as a sense of well being. Phenylethylamine is a super low potency antidepressant that works similar to the body’s endogenous dopamine and adrenaline (low doses).
Cacao can increase the levels of serotonin your brain produces. This is beneficial if you’ve been feeling down and depressed, a condition that can come with lower levels of serotonin. Eating cacao can raise your natural levels of serotonin and create a balancing effect.
If you suffer from PMS, your levels of serotonin are likely below the harmony mark, and eating chocolate or cacao seeds (raw is more potent) can raise your level. If you aren’t deficient in serotonin, this can give you a stimulating effect making you feel happy and at peace.
Cacao beans are loaded with many essential minerals the body needs. These include magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and Pantothenic acid
Cacao may help to keep your bowel movements regular. A 1-ounce serving of raw cacao nibs contains 36 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, or 9 grams. Adding as little as 6.6 grams of cacao fiber per day to your diet may improve your bowel habits, according to a clinical study appearing in “Nutrition and Metabolism.” Subjects in this study were given cocoa powder supplemented with high-fiber cocoa bran in a semi-skimmed milk drink twice daily for two four-week periods, separated by a three-week period in which cocoa was not consumed. The frequency of bowel movements increased and feelings of constipation decreased during the periods when cocoa powder was consumed.
Cacao may help to keep your bowel movements regular. A 1-ounce serving of raw cacao nibs contains 36 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, or 9 grams. Adding as little as 6.6 grams of cacao fiber per day to your diet may improve your bowel habits, according to a clinical study appearing in “Nutrition and Metabolism.” And cacao has huge reservoirs of the most important vitamins needed for a healthy & glowing skin. These substitutes are extracted & used in beautifying products like snail beauty products, to give a radiant glow to your skin. Subjects in this study were given cocoa powder supplemented with high-fiber cocoa bran in a semi-skimmed milk drink twice daily for two four-week periods, separated by a three-week period in which cocoa was not consumed. The frequency of bowel movements increased and feelings of constipation decreased during the periods when cocoa powder was consumed.
Cacao products appear to be heart-healthy as well. One of the main health benefits of cacao is for the arteries in your heart and brain. Eating cacao foods such as chocolate several times per day may decrease your likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack, according to clinical studies published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” and the “Journal of Internal Medicine.” In both studies, the frequency of stroke and heart attack in human subjects declined with an increase in chocolate intake.
Many of the health benefits, including cardiovascular benefits, of cacao products such as cacao nibs are believed to be due to compounds called polyphenols. The cacao polyphenols are made of 37 percent catechins, 4 percent anthocyanins and 58 percent proanthocyanidins. Cacao polyphenols may improve the health of your heart and brain arteries by serving as antioxidants and inhibiting blood platelets from forming a clot. If your blood cholesterol is somewhat elevated, cacao polyphenols may also lower your low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, and raise your high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol levels.
Blood Pressure and Glucose
The fiber and polyphenols in cacao may work together to help control your blood pressure and blood glucose levels, as suggested by a recent clinical study in “Food and Function.” Blood pressure and blood glucose were lowered by a cocoa-fiber-rich product providing 12 grams of dietary fiber and 283 milligrams of polyphenols per day during the eight-week study period. At least part of the beneficial effect of cacao on your blood sugar level may be due to slowing of starch digestive enzymes by polyphenol procyanidins in your small intestine.
Other Health Benefits of Cacao
- Increased blood circulation which can improve focus, reduce headaches, and more.
- Did you know chocolate is an anti-aging food?
- Cacao can be used to suppress coughing.
- It can reduce cholesterol which is good for heart health.
- Known in some circles as a mild smart food (boosts brain power synergistically due to the ingredients affect on your body, blood, and more).
While cacao is highly nutritious, it can be fattening if not eaten in moderation. This is a good place to start for those who’d like to gain some weight. Even in it’s raw pure form, chocolate (nibs or cacao seeds) still contains ingredients that can cause weight gain. They are also bitter and need to be sweetened to some extent. This is best done with any combination of low glycemic sweeteners such as Coconut nectar, lucuma, palm sugar, stevia, and/or yukon.
Because of the better qualities additional benefits of Cacao on the body, and the dark grades of chocolate they produce, may provide to you with intestinal regularity, heart and blood vessels health, and balanced blood sugar levels. Again be careful because although it can make you feel wonderful – it can also make you gain weight if you’re not careful.