We all love chocolate…some of us a little too much (like me). But what if you could still enjoy chocolate guilt free and know that it’s actually doing you good? Well you can. Introducing Cacao, the antioxidant superfood that replaces chocolate.
What is Cacao?
Cacao is the raw, unprocessed beans from the cacao tree. Typically, cacao beans are processed and turned in to cocoa which is used to make most mainstream chocolate products. The problem with cocoa is that when it is processed it loses a lot of its great antioxidant properties that are present in its raw cacao bean form. The reason behind processing raw cacao in to cocoa is to provide a sweeter flavour, reduce bitterness and reduce the cost to the end consumer by adding additives or bulking agents. Both are good for you but raw cacao contains higher levels of antioxidants, flavanols and magnesium and is the purest form you can get either in cacao powder or cacao nibs, which are just the raw bean chopped up.
What’s So Good About Cacao?
Cacao has been used for thousands of years as a healthy food supplement by the indigenous people of Central and South America. It has long been a highly traded commodity and demands high prices on the world market. The main health benefits of cacao are as follows:
- Cacao is high in Calcium – Cacao has about 30% more calcium in it than cow’s milk.
- Cacao makes you happier – cacao is high in phenylethylamine, anandamide, serotonin and dopamine which are all linked to improving your mood and making you feel happy.
- Cacao has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries – antioxidants are great at protecting our bodies against free radicals which can cause cancer.
- Cacao is high in magnesium – Cacao is one of the highest sources of magnesium. Magnesium helps maintain a healthy heart and also assists with making the brain operate effectively and with clarity.
- Cacao is high in iron – Cacao is the highest source of iron from a plant-based source. Iron is important for maintaining your body’s strength.
Cacao has some amazing properties and is well worth including in your daily diet.
How Can I Eat It?
The great thing about cacao is that is can be used in baking in place of chocolate, sprinkled on top of cereal or yoghurt or mixed with milk to make a cacao milk drink. You can also take a couple of teaspoons every morning if you have cacao powder. Cacao is probably the most versatile and easily used of all the superfoods and it tastes great as well.
Should I Use It?
Replace all chocolate that you consume with cacao and you will dramatically increase the amount of antioxidants your body intakes but also reduce the amount of refined sugars you consume. Take a couple of teaspoons every morning or bake a cake using cacao instead of cocoa. The great thing about cacao is that it is chocolate that’s good for you. Stop eating the mass produced, sugar laden rubbish which is referred to as ‘chocolate’ and start eating raw cacao every day.
Check out the range of Australian Certified Organic Superfoods available from La Kult at www.la-kult.com.au where you can purchase Organic Acai Powder, Organic Camu Camu Powder, Organic Maca Powder, Organic Spirulina Powder and Organic Cacao Powder.