Thank the cacao bean for the birth of chocolate. Chocolate bars, chocolate milk, chocolate ice cream, chocolate covered fruits…we love it all and are always looking for an invitation to indulge in it. Consequently, there’s always new research being conducted on chocolate and the benefits from eating it – the darker the chocolate with less sugar, the bigger the benefits.
If we trace back to the origin of chocolate, we can find that the cacao bean untouched offers so much more than the creation of our beloved, rich treat. Surprisingly, the cacao bean is truly one of the most powerful superfoods in the world. It’s no wonder we love it so much!
Cacao beans are filled with fascinating history having plenty of legends surrounding them. In past times before the addition of sugar, cacao was made into a highly potent drink. The Aztecs prized the cacao bean and often referred to it as, yollotl eztli meaning “heart blood.” Today, researchers would agree with the ancient ones. Cacao is indeed a superfood.
Amazing superfood cacao benefits:
- Cacao has the highest concentration of antioxidants such as polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins among any other food in the world – more than blueberries, goji berries, pomegranates, acai, and red wine combined! Antioxidants are the tiny warriors that protect our cells from damaging diseases and aging.
- The cacao bean may very well be the number one highest source of Magnesium as well. Magnesium is good for the heart, improves blood flow, enhances brain function, helps prevent constipation, and even relieves menstrual cramps.
- Cacao beans contain 314% of the U.S. RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Iron per 1 oz. (28 grams) serving making it a strong defense in the battle of anemia.
- Cacao contains enough Chromium to replenish those deficient in this important trace mineral. Believe it or not, nearly 80% of Americans are deficient in Chromium which helps to balance blood sugar.
- Manganese is yet another trace mineral found abundant in cacao. Manganese works hard helping Iron oxygenate the blood and assists with the formation of hemoglobin.
- Cacao is an excellent source of Zinc, as well, which plays an important role in keeping our immune system strong, liver functioning well, along with a healthy pancreas, sexual fluids, and skin. Zinc takes part in many enzymatic reactions throughout the entire body too.
- Raw cacao is a great source of Vitamin C.
- The fiber in cacao works well to keep the digestive track running and clean.
- Raw cacao contains essential omega 6 fatty acids, also, but once cooked or made into chocolate, those essential fatty acids become rancid (trans fats) = unhealthy for you.
- Cacao beans contain “feel good” compounds can that trigger a euphoric feeling when eaten improving mood greatly.
This is not an excuse to run out and indulge in pounds of chocolate now…however tempting. It is a great excuse to start shopping for cacao beans though.
Familiarize yourself with cacao prices and shop for raw organic cacao beans online at Amazon.com. There, they have a variety of cacao beans that have been reviewed to choose from. David Wolfe from the inspiring health/food documentary Food Matters has a cooking with superfoods cookbook, Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future, available for purchase and listed for below the market price at Amazon as well.
For More Details About The Cacao Bean And It’s Health Benefits