One question I get a lot is – what is a superfood? Why should I bother eating them? Surely they’re just hyped up versions of regular food. Right…?
Raw cacao is somewhat different from the common “Cocoa” most of us grew up within our Afghan biscuits. Cacao (pronounced “cu-COW”) refers to the Theobroma Cacao tree from which Cocoa is derived, and is used when referring to unprocessed versions of the cacao bean.
Normal chocolate has been chemically processed and roasted, which destroys a large amount of the antioxidants and flavanols (the things that keep you young and healthy). A recent study suggested that between 60% and 90% of the original antioxidants in cacao are lost through common “Dutch processing”. Dutch processing was originally developed in the early 19th Century to reduce the bitterness, darken the color, and create a more mellow flav to chocolate, but unfortunately also eliminated a bunch of the goodness.
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.
5 BENEFITS OF RAW ORGANIC CACAO
1. 40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries
Cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. Yes, 40 times! It has an amazing ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs blueberries at a mere 2,400. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals (that come from pollution and toxins in our environment), which cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to diseases such as cancer.
2. Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron
On a plant-based/vegan diet and looking for iron? The search is over! Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at a whopping 7.3mg per 100g. This compares to beef and lamb at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg. Note the iron in cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so to get the maximum benefits you’ll want to combine it with some vitamin C. Think oranges, kiwifruit, superfoods like gubinge or camu camu (which have 40x more vitamin C than oranges).
3. Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain
Organic Cacao is also one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, the most deficient mineral in the Western world. Magnesium is important for a healthy heart, and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with laser-sharp clarity and focus. The reason why you might turn to a chocolate bar during an all-nighter at your desk!
4. More Calcium Than Cow’s Milk
The mind blowing fact! Cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk would you believe, at 160mg per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk. Time to switch out the Mocha latte for a nutrient dense cacao coffee like Our Snatched.
5. A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant
Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with cosy feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression. A natural, healthy, delicious (and legal) way to get your happy buzz on.