Are you a chocolate lover? So are we!
And, do you know why Cacao is considered to be even better than chocolate? Chocolate often contains a lot of sugar and milk, while cacao is a natural ingredient, a superfood you can add to your wholesome diet.
What is Cacao powder?
At Natierra, our cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans; a process allowing more nutrients to be retained while removing most of the fat (cacao butter).
For example, one serving (3 tablespoons) of our cacao nibs contain a whopping 31% of your recommended daily intake of dietary fiber and 4 grams of plant-based protein.
Not to be confused with Cacao, cocoa powder is cacao that has been roasted at high temperature. For more information about the difference between cacao and cocoa check our article here.
Reasons why cacao is a go-to Superfood:
#1: A good source of nutrients
Cacao powder retains more nutrients than cocoa powder and makes a great substitute in recipes. Our Cacao powder is:
- A good source of Iron
- A good source of Protein
- High in Fiber
#2: Rich in antioxidants and Polyphenols.
Raw cacao contains 4 times more antioxidants than regular dark chocolate and even 20 times more than blueberries. Cacao is one of the richest sources of polyphenols, as well as of flavanols which are said to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
#3: Flavanols may reduce blood pressure
Studies show that cacao is rich in flavanols, which are believed to lower blood pressure (2*) by improving nitric oxide levels and blood vessel function (3*). Flavanol-rich cacao is said to improve the level of nitric oxide in one’s blood, which relaxes and dilates arteries and blood vessels and improves blood flow.
#4: Cacao may reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels.
According to Ludovici et al. (4*) cacao has been found to reduce “bad” cholesterol, have a blood thinning effect similar to aspirin, lower blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.
#5: Cacao may lower risks of heart attacks.
Flavanols, highly present in cacao, have been found to relax the muscles of the blood vessels and improve blood flow. (5*) Thanks to these properties, flavanols have been linked to a lower risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke (6*).
Studies have showed that polyphenols, such as those found in cacao, may reduce risks of age-related mental degeneration diseases by improving brain function and blood flow. Flavanols can cross the blood-brain barrier and are involved in the biochemical pathways that produce neurons and molecules for the brain function. Flavanols also influence the production of nitric oxide, which is said to improve the blood supply to the brain. (7*)
#6: Cacao may improve one’s mood!
Chocolate has long been considered a mood booster. Its effect on the brain may help improve mood and symptoms of depression (8*). These positive effects on one’s mood may be due to cacao’s flavanols, the conversion of tryptophan into the natural mood stabilizer serotonin, its caffeine content or simply the sensory pleasure of eating chocolate.
#7: Fiber is said to be good for your gut!
Cacao is high in fiber, which helps with digestion and can reduce the risks and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
First of all, it’s delicious. It’s important to select a cacao with a high flavanol content — the least processed, the better. Our Cacao powder is cold-pressed, while cocoa is roasted at high temperature. When the cacao bean is roasted, its molecular structure changes, lowering its overall nutritional value.
Adding cold-pressed cacao to your diet can be very easy. Here are some fun ways to do so:
Try our Wholecome hot chocolate with plant-based milk and cacao instead of cocoa.
Add cacao to your favorite smoothie for a decadent chocolatey taste. You can also opt for our delicious Cacao with Maca powder, an ancient superfood from Peru used in centuries past by the Incas.
Add cacao powder to your chia pudding for a chocolatey taste.
Sprinkle over fruit
You can sprinkle Cacao or Cacao nibs over bananas or strawberries.
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