Health benefits of Cacao

Health benefits of Cacao

The Health Benefits of Raw Cacao: A Delectable Path to Wellness

 

In recent years, there has been a surge in interest around raw cacao—not just as a tasty treat but as a superfood with numerous health benefits. Unlike its processed counterpart, raw cacao is packed with nutrients that can positively influence your health in multiple ways. This blog delves into the many reasons why you should consider incorporating raw cacao into your diet, backed by scientific research on stem cells and antioxidants.
What is Raw Cacao?
Raw cacao is derived from beans that grow on the Theobroma cacao tree, which is native to Central and South America. It is the unprocessed version of cocoa, retaining more of its natural nutrients because it is not subjected to high temperatures. Cacao is often confused with cocoa, but the two are fundamentally different in terms of nutrient composition.
Nutrient-Rich Composition
Here’s a quick overview of what makes raw cacao a powerhouse of nutrients:
- Antioxidants: Raw cacao boasts an exceptionally high antioxidant content, even higher than blueberries, acai, and red wine.
-Magnesium: Essential for muscle and nerve function, heart health, and bone strength.
- Iron: Important for energy levels and cognitive function.
- Fibre: Aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
- Phenylethylamine (PEA): Elevates mood and energy levels.
Growing Body of Research
Multiple studies have explored the health benefits of raw cacao, especially focusing on antioxidants and stem cells.
Antioxidants: The Body's Defense Mechanism
Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize free radicals—unstable molecules that can damage your cells. Raw cacao is abundant in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits.
- Cardiovascular Health: Several studies have established that the antioxidants in cacao can improve cardiovascular health by reducing oxidative stress and enhancing blood flow. Improved blood flow results in better oxygenation of organs, which can lead to improved overall function and reduced risk of heart disease.
- Anti-Cancer Properties: The antioxidants in raw cacao have been linked to decreased cancer cell proliferation. Research published in the *Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry* found that the rich polyphenolic content in cacao could potentially hinder the growth of certain types of cancer cells.
Stem Cells: The Cornerstone of Regeneration
Stem cells play a crucial role in the body's ability to repair and regenerate tissues. Recent studies suggest that compounds in raw cacao can positively affect stem cell function.
- Cellular Regeneration: Raw cacao contains epicatechin, a flavonoid that has been shown to improve the functioning of stem cells involved in blood vessel production. This was highlighted in a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, which found that consuming cacao could enhance stem cell function and thereby improve tissue and organ repair.
- Neurogenesis: Another exciting avenue of research is the impact of raw cacao on brain health. Flavanols in cacao can cross the blood-brain barrier and have been shown to promote neurogenesis—the growth of new neurons. This has significant implications for age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
How to Incorporate Raw Cacao into Your Diet
Adding raw cacao into your daily routine isn't just easy; it's delicious. Here are some simple ways to enjoy it:
- Smoothies: Blend raw cacao powder into your morning smoothie for a nutrient and flavor boost.
- Yogurt or Oatmeal: Sprinkle cacao nibs or powder over yogurt or oatmeal.
- Baking: Use raw cacao in baking recipes like brownies, cookies, or energy bars.
- Hot Drinks: Stir raw cacao powder into warm milk or plant-based milk for a nutritious hot chocolate.
Conclusion
Raw cacao is more than just a treat; it's a treasure trove of health benefits. From its high antioxidant content to its impact on stem cells, incorporating raw cacao into your diet can aid in improving cardiovascular health, enhancing cognitive function, and even boosting mood. Supported by clinical research, the benefits of this superfood are becoming more widely recognized, making it a fantastic addition to a balanced and health-conscious diet.
So go ahead, indulge in this nutritious delicacy and take a step toward a healthier you.Our Magnesium packed Cacao + Pumpkin seed butter is a delicious way to include this superfood into your diet.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.