Cacao: The Healthy Cocoa Bean
Most of us enjoy a sweet chocolate every now and then but wish there were more health benefits and maybe a little less sugar involved. Well, did you know that chocolate derives from a plant known as Cacao? This raw, unroasted form was originally used by the Mayans in spiritual ceremony for thousands of years. It is said that the Cacao was used in such a setting because of it’s heart opening experiences, in which humans felt a deeper sense of connectivity.
Additionally, Cacao is sugar free and has many holistic health benefits for your body, mind and spirit.
Cacao is a powerful super-food which is a food that is highly rich in nutrients. Cacao, specifically, has forty more times antioxidants than blueberries.
Cacao has the highest plant-based source of iron! Many women, in particular, are iron deficient, due to monthly menstrual cycles. Aside from the iron, it also contains tryptophan, which helps our bodies natural production of serotonin and phenylethylamine (PEA), which is produced in the body when we fall in love, Makes sense as to why some women crave chocolate during that time of the month!
Cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk and is an amazing source of magnesium and fiber! Magnesium helps with relaxation and muscle tension. Fiber is an essential nutrient for a healthy digestive system!
Now on the other hand the roasted form of the Cacao is the worldly-known Cocoa bean. Cocoa is highly processed, the residual Cacao content is very small allowing very little of the benefits spoken of above to enter the body. Cocoa contains sugar, fat, hydrogenated oils and artificial flavoring. Cocoa is a food that could be consumed on a less regular basis and in place, a little more Cacao. Although the Cacao is not sweet and is quite bitter, adding some natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup can make for a delightful treat!