Cacao Theobroma cacao or more commonly referred to as chocolate. It was prized by the ancient Mayan civilisation for its ability to promote energy and mental clarity, it was name “food of the gods”.
Today we look at cacao as a modern superfood which can be included into smoothies, yogurt, coffee or into hot chocolate. It contains high amounts of magnesium, potassium, iron and chromium which helps us to regulate blood sugar and keep cravings at bay.
Cacao is also considered a functional food because its has many health benefits:
- Antioxidant — polyphenols found in cacao have been demonstrated to promote healthy blood pressure levels
- Vasodilation — Individuals who consumed high polyphenol dark chocolate 50g of 70%/day for four weeks had improved endothelial (blood vessel lining) function!
- Promote healthy mood — theobromine is a compound found in cacao which is believed to enhance mood by increasing serotonin and may be the reason that chocolate makes us all feel good
So whats the difference? Cacao vs Cocoa
When processed into cocoa with the help of heat, milk and sugar to make chocolate it will have lost a significant portion of its antioxidant capacity and mineral content. To get the most benefits of this super food its best to consume the least processed form, cacao powder or cacao nibs.
The next best thing is dark chocolate which when containing over 70% cacao it will still provide some therapeutic benefits. Our favorite dark chocolates can be found at our Darlinghurst and Mosman stores these include: