For example, unroasted cacao contains caffeine and theobromine, which are stimulants. Fortunately, one study found that regular consumption of cacao helps to support skin elasticity, promoting younger-looking skin. It’s especially abundant in flavanols, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These properties have been linked to a lower risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke (1, 5, 7, 8). (Read This Next: Cacao vs Cocoa – The Difference and Why It Matters), Category: HealthTag: antioxidants nutrition wellness. Flavanol-rich cocoa improves the level of nitric oxide in your blood, which relaxes and dilates your arteries and blood vessels and improves blood flow (2, 5). Raw Cacao contains 40 times the nu. Cocoa products like cacao nibs have been linked to reduced heart disease and diabetes risk, as well as other health benefits. If you liked that article, you'll absolutely LOVE our daily newsletter -- with more recipes, workouts, and tips and tricks to be the healthiest version of yourself. Cacao is a superfood often manufactured into a junk food. Real Benefits of Raw Cacao: Cocoa versus Cacao. Some days you just need to find your bliss – cacao is one of the healthiest … Cacao comes from the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree– this is chocolate in its purest form. Unlike processed cocoa powder and regular old chocolate bars, raw cacao is not exposed to the high temperatures that diminish many of its unique health benefits. Overall, it appears that cocoa and cocoa-rich products may be helpful in achieving weight loss or maintaining weight, but further studies are needed. The exact amount of cocoa you should include in your diet to achieve health benefits is not clear. Cocoa powder is made by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter. There are hundreds of different types of dark chocolate. Some foods, like kale, green tea, and certain nuts and seeds, pack nutrient loads that punch well above their weight. A population study found that people who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than people who ate it less often, despite the former group also eating more calories and fat (28). Nevertheless, these results combined with the more concrete positive effects on heart health indicate cocoa polyphenols may have a positive impact on both preventing and controlling diabetes, though more research is required. First and foremost, when you hear about the amazing health benefits of chocolate, it’s important to note that the health benefits come from raw cacao and not just regular old chocolate. Almost four years ago I quit sugar. However, this number has been deemed too low by other researchers, who claim higher amounts of flavanols are required to see benefits (1, 45). Raw Organic Fairly Traded Cacao in contrast has bountiful benefits, so you can add it to your diet with no guilt, just good old chocolatey deliciousness. Additionally, the effect was greater in people who already had high blood pressure than those without it and in older people compared to younger people (3). Eat these 11 foods to boost your memory and focus, help prevent disease and keep sharp as you…. It is not clear how these might work in the body, but they appear to cause relaxation of veins. Small human studies on cocoa and cancer suggest that it can be a powerful antioxidant and may play a role in cancer prevention. However, make sure to use non-alkalized cocoa powder or dark chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa if you want to maximize health benefits. Meanwhile, there are the nutrients amounts in raw cocoa which is beneficial for health. Additionally, a study in senior men showed that eating chocolate was linked to improved overall health and better psychological well-being (21). So, what exactly is raw cacao and what makes it better than just snacking on regular chocolate? This helps to reduce inflammation in the body, preventing chronic disease. One of the hardest things, though, was finding healthy alternatives to satisfy my sweet tooth. Click here to get your FREE Coffee Book Today! Today, cocoa is most famous for its role in chocolate production. Here are a dozen great excuses to add more of it to your diet! This effect was first noted in the cocoa-drinking island people of Central America, who had much lower blood pressure than their non-cocoa-drinking mainland relatives (3). Overall, it’s important to select cocoa sources that have a high flavanol content — the less processed, the better. 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