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Benefits Of Using Cacao Powder

3 min read
Cacao Powder

Image Source: Pexels

Surely, they’re just over-the-top versions of common foods, right? No, not quite… Superfoods are foods that contain more vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and other health-promoting, anti-aging, disease-fighting nutrients than regular foods.

Some are common whole foods that you’ve probably tried previously (think blueberries, broccoli; even the humble spud). Some are more exotic, having been harvested by Amazonian fighters in Peru’s jungles (okay, maybe not quite).

Cacao, The King of Amazonian Antioxidants

Raw cacao isn’t the same as the “Cocoa” that most of us did grow up with in our Afghan biscuits. Cacao (voiced “cu-COW”) relates to the Theobroma Cacao tree, out of which Cocoa is produced, and is also used to refer to raw cacao beans.

The flavanols and antioxidants in regular chocolate and cocoa powder have been chemically treated and roasted, destroying a major portion of the antioxidants and flavanols (the things that keep you young and healthy).

According to a recent study, ordinary “Dutch processing” loses between 60 and 90 percent of the inherent antioxidants in cacao. Dutch processing was created in the early 1800s to minimize harshness, darken the colour, and produce a more mellow flavour in chocolate, but sadly, it also removed a lot of the goodness.

Non-organic cocoa (and non-organic chocolate) may also include genetically modified (GMO) items and has been severely treated with harmful pesticides and fumigation agents.

If that wasn’t enough, Oxfam believes that indigenous groups grow over 70% of the world’s cocoa, for which they are paid one such low salary that poverty is widespread. In other cases, child slaves are exploited, and they are forced to perform risky tasks such as hatchet work and pesticide application. When you’re craving something sweet, reach for a piece of sustainably produced chocolate.

5 Benefits of Raw Organic Cacao

Blueberries have 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries.

The antioxidant content of raw organic ceremonial cacao powder is more than 40 times that of blueberries. Yes, forty times. It boasts a whopping ORAC value of 98,000 per 100g, compared to only 2,400 for blueberries. Antioxidants’ able to handle free radicals (which originate from pollutants and chemicals in our environment) that induce damage to cells and tissues and can contribute to diseases like cancer is measured by their ORAC scores.

Cacao Powder
Image Source: Pexels

Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron

Searching for iron on a vegan or plant-based diet? The hunt is finished! With 7.3mg of iron per 100g, cacao is the richest plant-based concentration of iron known to man. This compared to 2.5mg in lamb and beef, and 3.6mg in spinach. Because cacao’s iron is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), you’ll would like to combine it with vit C to get the most out of it. Think citrus, kiwi, superfoods like gubinge or camu camu (which contain 40x more vitamin C than oranges).

Magnesium-rich for a healthy heart and brain

Cacao has become one of the highest plant-based supplies of magnesium, which is among the most deficient minerals in the Western world. Magnesium promotes heart health and aids in the conversion of glucose into energy, allowing your brain to function with razor-sharp clarity and attention. The reason you might reach for a slab of chocolate during a late-night work session!