Cacao: The Ultimate Superfood
| Written by: Tiny House Chocolate
Like movie superheroes, cacao – the main ingredient
of chocolate – is a superfood and can also save lives!
In addition to numerous health benefits, it has positive effects on mood. Who never thought of a delicious chocolate bar in moments of stress or anxiety?
This urge may be a sign that your body is in need of some minerals, such as magnesium. Cacao is one of the foods that contain the largest amount of magnesium, an important alkaline mineral, which balances brain chemistry, helps in bone construction, is associated with increased happiness, and assists in the functioning of the heart and digestive system.
Superfood is a special category of ingredients found in nature. They are superior sources of antioxidants – compounds that prevent oxidation and that can prevent healthy cells from being damaged – and essential nutrients – those that we need but our body does not produce.
The powers of cacao consumption for health increase significantly and become superpowers especially if it is consumed raw or minimally processed. The superfood is rich in antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, which provide nootropics and several beneficial actions to the brain, the vascular system, and cerebral blood flow, according to Nootropics Expert.
A study about “The neuroprotective effects of cacao flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance”, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, showed that epicatechin – the main flavonoid present in the brain – improves various aspects of cognition in humans, increasing learning and memory. Flavonoids also decrease the risk of suffering a stroke, of developing degenerative diseases – such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, decreasing insulin resistance.
Even without a cape or an athletic body, cacao conquers crowds. It is the only food that contains a substance called Anandamide, derived from the word Ananda, which means “the bliss chemical” in Sanskrit, and generates happiness. Another substance that causes a feeling of well-being is phenylethylamine, the one that is produced naturally when we fall in love, and that also helps in concentration and focus.
Even without a cape or an athletic body, cacao conquers crowds. It is the only food that contains a substance called It is important to remember that all the benefits listed are related to the consumption of raw cacao in the form of nibs, 100% cacao powder, and chocolate with more than 65% cacao.
What about white chocolate?
White chocolate, despite being usually seen as unhealthy, is not only delicious but also has varied benefits. Artisanal products are produced with raw cacao butter, which is not refined, and therefore maintains the properties of the superfood, such as antioxidants and flavonoids, according to the specialized magazine Medical Daily. In addition to the health benefits, white chocolate is considered a mood enhancer and even an aphrodisiac.
Feeling nerdy and want to dive deeper into the health benefits of chocolate? We suggest the sources bellow:
US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health: Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease
The British Journal of Nutrition: Cocoa and Health – A decade of Research