Love chocolate? Do you know the raw form is a superfood? It is called Cacao, not Cocoa, but Cacao. So confusing, I know, they look similar in spelling. Aren’t they both chocolate? Yes and no. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate. It’s one of the highest sources of antioxidants in foods and has a high amount of flavonoids. Cacao is also higher in protein, fiber, magnesium and iron than cocoa powder. It is made by cold pressing un-roasted cocoa beans, so nutrients are not lost during processing.
Cocoa, on the other hand, is highly processed. The high temperatures from processing destroys many of those superfood nutrient that Cacao has. Cocoa is cheaper and many times contains sugar and dairy.
The nutrient profile of raw cacao is SUPERFOOD worthy! Check this out:
Raw cacao powder has more than 300 phytochemicals and four times the antioxidant power of regular dark chocolate.
Worth noting also, raw cacao is one of the richest food sources of magnesium!
In a 2.5 Tablespoon (15 gm) serving you get:
8 grams carbs
1.5 grams total fat
5 grams fiber
4 grams protein
Iron, potassium ( 300 mg) and magnesium (106 mg), calcium, zinc and manganese to name a few.
Cacao can improve heart health, cholesterol, stress levels, and inflammation, to list just a few physical benefits.
Another powerful benefit we all know of, especially us women:) is the endorphins. Cacao releases into the brain, anandamide, endorphins, phenylethylamine, and serotonin, all sparking descriptives like “blissful” and “euphoric.”
I have recently posted my healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe with cacao, raw honey and vanilla. It’s so good! I also love to mix it with some honey in my homemade yogurt. It’s like healthy chocolate pudding! You can check out the recipe for the hot chocolate on my blog here…
So let us indulge in that frothy mug of hot cocoa or a bit of unadulterated chocolate. Now we know why the Spanish called it “black gold.” A true superfood! Yum!