The Natural Goodness of Cacao: 6 Health Benefits
Cacao is one of the most prized superfoods in the world, and for good reason. It has so many benefits that it’s easy to see why cacao is near and dear to our hearts. Chocolate is one of the UK’s favourite snacks, but it’s more than just a pretty face!
In this blog post, we will discuss six cacao benefits you might not know about.
Let’s get started!
1. Fatigue Fighter
Cacao contains large amounts of magnesium and flavanols, these nutrients are known to have an energising effect and fight the feeling of fatigue. Magnesium, in particular, supports energy production in your body and also helps muscle function. This means that it is a major aid in boosting those energy levels and preparing your body for the day ahead.
This is the reason why Aztecs loved a cup of invigorating cacao in the morning! It was also a favourite of the Aztecs and Mayans in other instances. Cacao was reserved for royalty and the rich, but the one exception were warriors. Cacao was known for its energising and vitalising effects, so on the morning of battle, a cacao concoction was drank by strong warriors in the hopes of being successful. This stems from the longstanding belief in the goodness cacao provides.
The flavanols found in cacao also protect your body against oxidative stress and toxins that come with everyday life.
So, if you fall victim to energy slumps, be sure to put a raw chocolate bar in your pocket!
2. A Major Mood Boost
Studies have also found cacao boosts your mood by increasing serotonin production in the brain! Raw cacao contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Your brain uses tryptophan to produce serotonin. Which can increase feelings of overall happiness! Serotonin is the feel-good chemical and influences your mood.
Cacao is also an abundance of polyphenols, these little compounds are responsible for the feeling of ‘falling in love’, so it’s no wonder that they produce such a positive effect. As well as this, there is a chemical present in raw chocolate called phenylethylalanine, a mouthful…we know! This organically occurring chemical is a natural antidepressant that works together with dopamine to produce feelings of euphoria and excitement, perfect for providing a positive mood.
If you’re feeling a little bit low,raw chocolate can be a great pick me up.
3. Flavonoids – Regain Your Glow.
Flavonoids have many helpful properties and are found in an abundance in raw chocolate. They can assist with lowering blood pressure, as well as improving general blood flow to the brain and heart. The impressive relationship between flavonoids and the blood means that your skin really benefits too! When general blood flow is improved, it means that more blood is able to reach the surface of your skin, giving your skin a gorgeous healthy glow.
Cacao LOVES to protect our skin – cacao also contains anandamide, which works with flavonoids to help reduce sebum production and maintain healthy cell turnover within our bodies.
These phytonutrients also help with cognitive function, there are many studies into the effects of flavonoids on diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, the results appearing to be optimistic.
Cacao can help you glow from the inside out!
4. Ridiculously Rich In Antioxidants
Full to the brim with antioxidants – cacao contains over 300 different naturally occurring chemicals, some of which are powerful anti-inflammatories and contain beneficial properties to positively affect your body. Not only are they helpful with inflammatory responses, the antioxidants that are found in cacao also help to combat free radicals. Free radicals damage skin and are responsible for cell damage in the body.
Cacao can be an amazing heart healer – the antioxidants found in cacao have been shown to increase blood flow, lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by maintaining healthy platelet function.
In general, antioxidants are very handy at detoxifying your body, not just at limiting free radical damage. They help protect your cells, so that your body can remain as healthy as it possibly can be.
Antioxidants really do provide a protective helping hand!
5. Digestion Aid
Cacao is rich in magnesium and fibre, these nutrients help to promote healthy digestion. Fibre helps to keep your colon clear and healthy, meaning that your digestive system runs smoothly. Raw cacao is also prebiotic, this simply means that it promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut. You may not think that a healthy gut is a priority, but just by improving your digestive health it has a positive domino effect with other areas of your body. For example, having a healthy gut also improves the strength of your immune system, protecting your body from potential illnesses.
Fibre is also a big help for many people who suffer from inflammatory disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS ) and Crohn’s Disease. It has the ability to cut down flare ups by as much as 35-40%! So, it is a really useful addition to your diet, whether you’re trying to tame your tummy or just help things flow a little more smoothly.
No grumbly tummies around here!
6. A Super Source Of Iron
Cacao is one of the best plant-based sources of iron. Surprisingly, there is a massive 7.3mg of iron for every 100g of cacao! This may not seem impressive, but the well-known iron powerhouse, spinach, only contains 3.6mg of iron. There have also been claims that cacao is richer in cacao than some meats, those that are usually recommended by doctors and dieticians alike. Making cacao supremely rich in iron.
You may ask why this is relevant to you. Well, iron consumption is important to your body as it is a major player when it comes to producing red blood cells, these are vital for transporting oxygen around your body. If you are deficient in iron you may sadly be familiar with fatigue and feeling sluggish. Cacao rich products can be a really helpful tool in your arsenal for topping up your iron and energy levels.
Get your hands on some chocolatey goodness at mrpoppleschocolate.co.uk