It is believed that Cacao was cultivated as early as 1,400 BC across South America.

 

The cacao tree is one most abundant trees on the planet and is the plant species from which cocoa and chocolate is derived. Cacao and cocoa are not the same. Cacao is the tree, while cocoa is the product made from it.

 

Edible parts of cacao pods and the beans inside are classified as a superfruit and can be used to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter, or pure chocolate after being dried and fermented. (1)

 

Cacao is named “Theobroma” in Latin which is literally translated into English as “food of the gods”.

 

Health Benefits

 

  • Raw cacao contains more than 300 different compounds of antioxidants, which is nearly four times the antioxidant power of the average dark chocolate and 20 times than that of blueberries. (2) When consumed, antioxidants slow down your body’s rate of aging and help to combat diseases such as lung cancer by eradicating harmful free radicals. (3)

 

  • Cacao also contains good levels of protein, calcium, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, sulphur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. When these elements combine they decrease LDL production (bad cholesterol), heart disease and the risk of cancer. (4)

 

  • Cacao is also seen as a natural aphrodisiac due the formation of phenethylamine in the body. Large doses of this compound are said to be released into the brain when we are attracted to someone. (5)

 

  • Cacao affects your emotions and mood by raising serotonin levels, which explains why chocolate is often craved in depressing times. (6)

 

Recommendation

 

Make sure to get raw cacao powder as your regular chocolate bar normally has been heated with sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and dairy which inhibits the absorption of antioxidants and provides very limited nutrients. (7)

 

Cacao Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: (100 grams), dry powder, unsweetened

  Amt. Per 
Serving
% Daily 
Value*
Calories 228
Calories from Fat 115
Total Fat 14 g 21%
Saturated Fat 8 g 40%
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 21 mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 58 g 19%
Dietary Fibre 33 g 133%
Sugar 2 g
Protein 20 g
Vitamin A0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium13% Iron 77%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of ‘My Kitchen Therapy’, unless otherwise mentioned. Each articles is based upon the opinions of the author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended as medical advice and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. The website is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research of the author and his community. It is encouraged that you make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.

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