Cacao has been celebrated for centuries throughout Mexican, Central and South American cultures due to its delicious taste and exceptional nutritional profile. Aztecs once used cacao beans as currency in ancient times. Several Maya rituals, festivals and celebrations have been devoted to honoring cacao, and its Latin name translates to ‘Food of the Gods’. Inspired by the aphrodisiac and stimulating effects of cacao, Aztec marriage ceremonies were known to involve the divine fruit.
Cacao beans are the seeds of the tropical cacao fruit. They are about the size of an almond and the taste is rich, creamy and full of cacao’s complex flavor notes that range from berry to coffee. Pure cacao beans are an excellent source of nutritious antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can boost your energy levels and may help to keep your immune system functioning at an optimal level.
The cacao bean is full of antioxidants, fat, carbohydrates, protein, polyphenols like flavanoidsthat are antioxidants, minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc and potassium, oleic acid which is a heart-healthy essential monounsaturated fat, fiber and vitamins E, B2, B1, B5, B3 and B9.
Antioxidants and theobromine found in raw cacao can improve blood flow, support healthy functioning of heart and reduce thickening of arterial walls and plaque build-up. Theobromine can also improve mental and physical well-being by stimulating central nervous system, dilating blood vessels, increasing energy levels and relaxing tense muscles.
Fiber content in cacao can help digestion by increasing digestive enzyme production.
Essential Fatty Acids such as oleic acid found in cacao can lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels.
It can strengthen cell membrane integrity, boost memory power, improve functioning of the heart, circulatory system and brain, increase energy levels, help with weight loss, reduce inflammatory conditions like arthritis, help to moisturize the skin and more.
Minerals especially magnesium found in raw cacao promotes heart health and is essential for proper brain functioning. Tryptophan and anandamide are other brain-boosting minerals found in cacao.
Vitamins found in raw cacao benefit the cardiovascular system. They have antioxidant benefits and promote longevity.
In other words, there are plenty of reasons to consume cacao, the best way is always raw. Only raw unprocessed cacao can provide the full spectrum of its superfood power.
Enjoy cacao as nibs, they are delicious or …
… you can prepare raw cacao balls
Be happy and be well 🙂