When I say cacao, I don’t mean cocoa powder. Raw cocoa comes in nibs, powder and whole beans. The nibs are made by removing the skin of the bean and cracking it into small pieces. The powder is made by processing the bean, through a cold-pressing process where the cacao is removed. It’s important to use raw cacao as the nutrients are not damaged during the process.

Raw cacao is filled with calcium, zinc potassium and iron. It’s also a rich source of manganese which help to oxygenate the blood. It’s high in magnesium, which helps in balancing brain chemistry, relax muscles (important during exercise) and build strong bones and teeth. It’s a rich source od sulfur aiding in strong hair, nails skin.

It is a rich source of antioxidant flavonoids that protect against toxins, improve circulation and enhance cardiovascular health.

Raw cacao promotes  the release of neurotransmitters which release the feel good hormones. It raises the levels of serotonin and acts as an anti-depressant, it’s said to reduce PMS!

Choose your chocolate wisely. The darker the chocolate, the higher the amounts of cacao present. Choose 75% plus, the higher the percentage the more benefits from the cacao, and these will also be much lower in sugar. Check the ingredients for any additives., steer clear of soy lecithin, you pretty much want to stick to brands that use cacao mass, cacao butter and a sweetener (avoid agave as it is extremely high in fructose). Vanilla and other ingredients like nuts are okay too.

Use cacao to make a chocolate milkshake or heat the milk (at a low temperature so that the nutrients are not destroyed int he cacao or in the raw milk if that’s what you use, try not to heat over 40 degrees Celsius) to make a hot chocolate. If you like it a little sweeter, use a natural sweetener such as coconut nectar remembering that it is a sweetener and moderation is important.

One of my favourite chocolate bars is Vivani, 85%. It only has 1.4 grams of sugars per square of chocolate and has no preservatives or additives. Just remember, moderation is important.

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2 Responses

  1. liz says:

    I love cacao..but have read it is also quite high in phytic acid making the good stuff in the seed difficult for your body to absorb. What is your take on this?

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