Cacao is one of the most nutritious superfoods on earth. It’s a seed from a fruit that grows on theobroma Cacao, native to Central and South America. It’s also known as Theobroma Biosperma, which means food of the gods.
The seeds, shells, and beans are used in several ways, including:
- Body care products
- Foods and beverages
- Religious ceremonies and holidays
- Soaps and candles
Cacao Properties To Be Aware Of
There are more than 60 cacao properties that contribute to their rich flavor. The combination of these chemical compounds makes chocolate unique among foods. These substances include carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins like vitamin B3 (niacin), pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.
In addition, raw Cacao contains several antioxidants, including catechins; flavonoids; quinic acid, and anthocyanins — all of which have potential health benefits.
Cacao is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent cellular damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals, which are known to contribute to cancer and other diseases. Polyphenols in Cacao have also been linked to improved heart and blood vessel health. Cocoa has higher polyphenol content than tea, coffee, and red wine.
The benefits from Cacao are:
- Cacao Extract Benefits for Memory
The cacao bean itself has been used for centuries in folklore to improve memory. Cacao beans contain L-theanine, which produces calm focus and alertness without the “jitters” associated with caffeine
- Contains antioxidant properties
It’s also known to have antioxidant properties, which can help improve your body’s ability to fight off harmful free radicals. These antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the symptoms of allergies, asthma, and arthritis. In addition, antioxidants may help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells in your body.
- Lowers blood pressure
Cacao extract benefits are plenty as it has been shown to lower blood pressure in humans. In addition, evidence from studies on animals and human cell lines suggests that the flavonoids in Cacao may also be beneficial for heart health by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation. Cacao is, therefore, a promising treatment for those at risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as those with obesity or high blood pressure. However, much larger trials are needed to confirm these findings.
- Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
Having high cholesterol is a significant health problem. It puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, Cacao may lower your risk. Numerous studies have found that people who eat chocolate regularly have significantly lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels than those who don’t. That’s good news because high LDL cholesterol levels are a leading cause of heart attack and stroke.
Cacao beans are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which help protect against heart disease and stroke by improving blood flow to the brain and fighting harmful free radicals. These antioxidants also help prevent cell damage that may lead to cancer.
- Cacao contains anti-inflammatory properties
Polyphenols in Cacao also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may decrease swelling or pain caused by chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. In addition, Cacao’s magnesium content helps maintain normal blood pressure levels.
- Treating Depression with Cacao
Cacao has high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which converts to serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a hormone that helps elevate mood and reduce stress. This means Cacao may help improve your mood by boosting serotonin levels in your brain.
Cacao also contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that can increase dopamine levels in your brain. Dopamine is another hormone associated with pleasure and motivation. It’s believed that these chemicals may work together to increase feelings of happiness, contentment, and alertness.
- Reduces the risk of having type 2 diabetes
Cacao possesses many health-promoting properties, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic effects. In addition, studies in animals and humans have shown that Cacao can reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, leading to improvements in diabetic complications.
- Improves your blood flow and brain functions
The human brain is a mysterious and complex organ. It controls movement, balance, memory, and even our senses. Yet research shows that a simple cacao bean may help boost brain function and improve overall health.
Your brain needs oxygen-rich blood to function optimally. When your blood flow is limited or impaired, your ability to think clearly or retain information will be diminished. By increasing blood flow to the brain, Cacao improves mental clarity and concentration. In addition, the increase in oxygen can fight off free radical damage that often results from stress or other sources of inflammation.
In summary, we believe that cacao extract has genuine benefits for mood, energy, and cognitive function when taken in moderate amounts. Just be sure to take it with a meal–preferably one that contains fat. As always, listen to your body when deciding how much cacao you are comfortable consuming.