Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is a small tree native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America. It grows up to 15 meters tall, has dark green leaves and white flowers.
Cacao is a natural substance that can be used to make many tasty foods. It is also rich in nutrients, including polyphenols, flavonoids, magnesium, and iron. Cacao has been used for centuries by indigenous cultures to treat various ailments.
Cacao extract benefits can help you lose weight and provide a variety of other advantages.
Cacao contains several alkaloids, including anandamide, an endocannabinoid that regulates hunger. PEA (phenylethylamine) is the precursor to norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine neurotransmitters. Cacao contains approximately 5% natural caffeine.
It contains theobromine, a stimulant similar in effect to caffeine. The amount of theobromine is related to the cacao content since it is derived from the same biosynthetic pathway as caffeine.
Cacao also contains xanthines, cardiac glycosides, diuretics, tannins, and alkaloids.
7 Cacao Extract Benefits
Cacao is one of the most abundant sources of magnesium, an essential mineral for relaxation and stress relief. Magnesium also helps you to feel more energetic and creative.
There is an endless list of benefits from Cacao, we have identified a few below.
- It protects your body from free radicals
Cacao is an excellent source of antioxidants – these molecules protect us from free radicals.
Free radicals are one of the leading causes of aging, so cacao can help you maintain a healthy appearance. Cacao antioxidants also protect your cells from damage caused by harmful chemicals.
- Cacao has a very alkalizing effect on your body.
Most people have a more acidic pH in their bodies, caused by a poor diet and an overabundance of processed foods. This imbalance in pH levels can lead to many different health problems. Cacao helps your body stay in balance with an alkaline pH level conducive to good health.
- It improves mood, memory, and learning capabilities
Cacao contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid needed to produce serotonin. Serotonin levels help to improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. This means that cacao can help relieve symptoms associated with PMS and menopause.
- It protects against heart disease.
Cacao consumption has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. This may be because it can improve blood flow through vasodilation and lower cholesterol levels.
Cacao also contains iron, zinc, and copper – nutrients essential for building blood cells and calcium, which helps build strong bones.
- It reduces inflammation
Cacao has long been a source of antioxidant polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body.
- It boosts your immune system
Cacao boosts your immune system and protects you from viruses and bacteria. It raises your body’s nitric oxide level while lowering your blood pressure.
- It fights against viruses
Cacao can be used to fight off flu, measles, herpes, and even the common cold. The antioxidants in cacao have been found to help protect against damage from free radicals.
A recent study with humans showed that after two weeks of consuming 25 grams per day of cacao powder, subjects experienced increased blood flow to their skin, indicative of better circulation.