Raw Cacao - 3 Health Benefits
Raw cacao is regarded by many as one of nature’s finest superfoods, thanks to its unique composition of beneficial nutrients and a seemingly infinite list of positive health benefits, three of which are examined in more detail below.
3 remarkable health benefits of raw cacao
Raw cacao beans grow on cacao trees, which originated in the foothills of South America and still only grow in a limited geographical zone, some 20 degrees to the north and south of the equator. Raw cacao beans are used to create a wide range of mouth-watering raw cacao products including rich cacao powder, creamy cacao butter, crunchy cacao nibs and lush cacao liquor that can be found in a selection of tempting raw chocolate recipes and raw chocolate bars. And versatile raw cacao not only tastes delicious, it’s also naturally rich in fibre, vitamins (particularly vitamin C), minerals (including iron, magnesium, chromium, zinc and copper) and essential fatty acids. Which is why this remarkable natural product has been harnessed by savvy Chinese and Ayurvedic traditional healers and physicians for centuries.
1) Raw cacao and weight loss
Often referred to as the ‘food of the gods’, raw cacao is especially high in fibre and essential fatty acids, both of which trigger sustained feelings of satiety and thus significantly reduce the temptation to graze on other more unhealthy treats.
Not only that - raw cacao boasts an abundance of chromium, an important trace element linked to weight loss. Our day-to-day diet is frequently lacking in chromium and, to make matters worse, the valuable nutrient is often excreted from our bodies in a response to too much sugar. Dr Richard Anderson, a leading scientist from the Human Nutrition Center of the US Department of Agriculture, identified seven independent studies in which chromium consumption was directly linked to a decrease in body fat. Even the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council advocates the consumption of between 50 and 200 micrograms of chromium per day…and what better way to obtain your daily quota of chromium than from a yummy raw chocolate bar?
Thankfully raw cacao products also contain none of the fattening sugars or milk that are routinely found in standard chocolate, making them an absolutely ideal snack for those trying to lose weight.
2) Raw cacao and blood pressure
Raw cacao is the richest edible source of magnesium, an essential mineral celebrated for its outstanding ability to reduce and regulate blood pressure – on average cacao beans contain an impressive 420mg of magnesium per 100 grams, which according to the United States Department of Agriculture is some 37 times more than one ounce of broccoli and 17.5 times more than your standard banana. The British Medical Journal recently revealed that patients being treated for arterial hypertension or congestive heart failure saw a demonstrable decrease in blood pressure after being given a daily dose of magnesium for six months. And a separate study of the Kuna Indians (a tribe native to the San Blas Islands of Panama) discovered that their secret to low blood pressure was the favourite island tipple - a potent drink made from, yes, you’ve guessed it, raw cacao beans!
For best results it’s recommended to consume between 350-500mg of magnesium per day. We think that this sounds like the perfect excuse to tuck into one of our luscious raw chocolate bars.
3) Raw cacao and increased energy
Magnesium is also an excellent source of raw energy and, as if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, raw cacao benefits from a strong concentration of PEA (phenylethylamine). Sometimes called the ‘love drug’, PEA has been associated with a demonstrable increase in libido, in addition to its proficiency for boosting energy levels. That’s perhaps why raw cacao products are as popular with the romantically inclined (incidentally, raw cacao butter also doubles as a wickedly sensuous massage oil), as they are with high performance athletes!
Ready to experience the myriad health benefits of raw cacao?
If you’re chomping at the bit to sample the unforgettable flavour of raw cacao and want to experience its many health benefits for yourself, then why not check out the wide range of organic raw cacao products available at Detox Your World?