Did you know that the average American eats 12 pounds of chocolate each year? (Or if you’re like me, it might be much more than that! 😉 #CacaoAddictionProblems!)
Most of us like to eat chocolate on a regular basis, but beware: not all chocolate is created equal! And no I’m not just talking a Hershey’s bar compared to a Cadbury.
You see dark chocolate, like cacao, is filled with antioxidants and has lots of fascinating health benefits while most, conventional chocolates do nothing for our health. If you really want the best benefits from dark chocolate then cacao is the way to go.
Cacao is basically the purest, powdered form of dark chocolate. Keep reading to get the scoop on cacao, your new favorite way to eat chocolate!
Cocoa VS Cacao: What’s the Difference?
Cocoa, cacao, tomatoes, tamatoes. It’s all the same thing, right?
Well, not quite.
You might think that cacao, pronounced ca-cow, is just the fancier form of cocoa. Although in a sense that’s correct, it’s way more than just cocoa’s classy sister.
Although the cocoa and cacao look the same, they are processed very differently.
Cocoa is processed with high heat, breaking down some of the good stuff like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Cacao, on the other hand, is less processed so it retains way more antioxidants and certain vitamins and minerals.
With cacao you’ll get more vitamin C, vitamin A, and magnesium. Antioxidant wise, we’re talking flavanols and polyphenols, which are essentially scientific terms for plant compounds with awesome health-protecting benefits.
It’s basically the purest form of chocolate you can eat, like virgin chocolate. We call it chocolate with benefits, but you can decide what you want to call it. Just know it’s the really, really good stuff.
What Are the Health Benefits of Cacao?
As if eating chocolate could get any better.
Well, it does because cacao has been studied for years and has a significant amount of research to back up some awesome health benefits. Here are just a few!
1. Improved Blood Sugar
Cacao has also been studied to help those with diabetes. In a study done in Japan, the risk of having diabetes was 35% less among men who consumed dark chocolate once a week compared to those who rarely or never ate dark chocolate. This was because dark chocolate may reduce fasting blood sugar.
2. Weight Management
If dark chocolate has so many awesome health benefits, then that must mean you can eat as much as you want, right?
Sadly, no. Unfortunately, most dark chocolates still contain a high amount of fat, sugar, and calories which won’t do anything to help shrink our waistlines.
The good news is that cacao powder has all of the benefits of dark chocolate but far less fat and calories. This means you can enjoy the potential benefits of cacao and its rich flavor without increasing your risk of weight gain!
3. Better Brain Function
Perhaps one of the most interesting possible benefits of cacao is it makes you smarter!
Well, sort of.
The flavanols in cocoa, or dark chocolate, increases blood flow to a part of the brain that controls memory. The improved blood flow can help reduce the risk of memory related problems and increase cognitive function.
How Can I Use Cacao?
Although cacao and cocoa are different in some ways, you can use cacao just like you would cocoa.
Use your antioxidant loaded cacao in your baking, hot chocolate, Mexican mole sauce, smoothies, and oatmeal. Anything you normally use cocoa in you can swap out for pure organic goodness.
Need a recipe? Try out this DELICIOUS hot cacao drink! It’s hot chocolate that’s actually good for you and not loaded with tons of sugar and extra calories.
1 ½ Tbsp BBF Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Tbsp LIVfit Superfoods Organic Cacao
Pinch of cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients over low until warm. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
The Best Cacao Powder
Our LIVfit Superfood® Organic Cacao Powder is the highest quality cacao. It’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, magnesium, and can replace your average cocoa in just about any way.