The scoop on Dark Cacao – pronounced “KaKaw”
The Dark Cacao in our Chia Pod is the rawest form of what we generally refer to as ‘chocolate’ – simply the powdered form of the cacao bean. Raw Cacao is made by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans. As opposed to Cocoa Powder which is the more processed, roasted form.
Ours is Fair Trade Certified, which is so important as the cacao industry has a poor reputation for ensuring the fair treatment of the farmers who tend to the beans.
Now for the amazing health benefits:
Healthy Heart & Controlled Blood Pressure
Cacao contain a high level of flavonoids, specifically epicatechin, which has beneficial cardiovascular effects on health. The high antioxidants found in cacao help to maintain healthy levels of nitric oxide in the body that keep our blood pressure under control but if too high can also release toxins. The antioxidants in cacao neutralize these toxins, helping keep our heart beating healthily.
But before you add milk to your cacao take note! Researchers at Harvard University discovered that the addition of dairy milk to cacao, impaired the body’s absorption of the antioxidants.
Good thing we blended our Dark Cacao Chia Pod with pure almond milk!
There is a valid reason we crave chocolate when we feel down. If you eat the dark kind full of cacao, it contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical that is also released in our brain when we feel loved and well.
Natural UV Skin Protector
Would you have guessed that Cacao could increase your skin’s resistance to UV damage? One study found that feeding high levels of dark chocolate to healthy people over twelve weeks doubled their resistance to UV rays; feeding low levels of dark chocolate had no effect on their resistance. This has been supported by multiple studies, and both attribute high flavanols for the natural skin guard.
The benefits list is a long one, we didn’t even get to reduced insulin sensitivity, protection from free radicals, and improved blood flow. Cacao is also loaded with body craving minerals: iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Needless to say, cacao is a nutrition rich food that you should include in your “eat everyday” list when balanced with other healthy plant based foods.