Get Crazy About Cacao!
Of all the things in the world to get excited about, cacao is one of the best. Cacao has so many uses. It's by far one of the best superfoods that you can have. One of its uses you might be most familiar with is chocolate. But that is where you would be going wrong. Although, cacao is technically like cocoa as they originate from the same cacao plant and start as beans. Although it would be incredible if cocoa were a superfood, unfortunately, it is not.
Eating too much cocoa is never going to be good for you, but how about too much cacao? Well, that's one of the questions we are going to answer for you today. Before we start getting the two mixed up, let's dive into the world of cacao and explore!
What Is Cacao?
Cacao will rapidly become your new best friend. As we mentioned, it originates from the same plant that the bean used to make chocolate does, the Theobroma cacao, which is a tropical evergreen tree. Most cacao trees are growing in Puerto Rico, and some are growing in Mexico. The superfood powder is produced in the same way that cocoa powder is. The beans are picked, milled, and then processed at low temperatures. This process means the beans have higher nutrient and enzyme counts, making them far more beneficial to the human body.
To show you how beneficial cacao powder is, we have an example of its contents compared to its sister cocoa powder., cacao powder contains 42.4mg of magnesium which is essential for muscle contraction and the normal function of the central nervous system. Whereas cocoa powder contains 0mg of magnesium.
What Form Does It Come In?
Cacao can come in many different forms, but it is most often purchased in its powder form. Another popular form is cacao nibs. The powder is often fermented, but it can be sold un-fermented. The cacao nibs are then peeled and chopped-up versions of cacao beans, meaning they are natural and unprocessed. Both forms can be rather bitter. Some people say they like the taste. Some people take it because they know it's good for them. If you pop it into a superfood shake, you won't be able to taste the bitter taste anyway!
What Are the Many Benefits of Cacao?
What is cacao good for? You might be asking yourself. Well, cacao is a superfood powder that is good for the soul. There are so many cacao benefits that we know you'll be racing to the shop to buy some. The first major benefit is that cacao helps to lower blood pressure and keep it at a stable level. This might be more beneficial to you than you think. You don't need to have a health condition to have high blood pressure. Most of us have bouts of high blood pressure every single day due to stress, pressure, poor diet, poor fluid intake, and even the weather.
Coincidentally, prolonged high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, which cacao powder also helps to manage. Cacao powder contains a large dose of potassium which is essential for muscle contraction, and people often forget that our heart is the most active muscle in our body. Potassium also helps to reduce inflammation and stress on cells, which is another great health benefit.
Finally, there have been studies that show cacao can help to increase your sensitivity to insulin. Increased sensitivity to insulin helps reduce your chances of getting diabetes. All these incredible health benefits from one source! The great thing about a superfood mix is that it will contain other superfoods that work together to form one amazing blend of goodness for your body.
How Can It Be Used?
Now onto the good part, because who doesn't like to talk about eating something great or drinking a delicious smoothie?! Learning how to take cacao will ensure you have a good relationship with it. Some people will make the mistake of tasting cacao without creating something tasty first, and the bitter taste it has can put some people off.
We would recommend using superfood blends that contain cacao powder. The best superfood power is one that is mixed with other superfoods to provide maximum benefits to the human body. We would recommend creating a superfood shake for your first cacao experience.
As cacao does have a similar taste to cocoa powder, it also makes a great dessert. Again, make sure that you sweeten it up by using other ingredients, such as vanilla extract, to take that bitter taste away.
How Much Cacao is Too Much?
Yes, you can have too much cacao. Unlike chocolate, too much cacao won't increase your weight, but it can produce some nasty side effects if too much is consumed in a short space of time. Studies have found that eating a cacao dosage of 50-100 grams of cacao per day leads to trembling, sweating, and headaches. That's a lot of cacao to eat per day, therefore, we would recommend a cacao dosage of 20-30 grams of cacao every few days, rather than every day. There are plenty of other superfoods that you can consume in between that have incredible benefits. Remember, cacao is a supplement to a healthy diet!
Are There Any Side Effects?
There aren't many cacao side effects when consumed in moderation, so don't be worried. However, if you were to take excessive amounts of cacao daily, it can cause depression and mood swings, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. You must remember that it has a high nutrient and enzyme content, and too much potassium and magnesium can be harmful to the human body. Not only this, but it is also a natural stimulant due to its caffeine and theobromine content. These two combined can cause anxiety, insomnia, and heartburn. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, cacao consumption is not advised. Take cacao in small doses once or twice a week, and you will be fine.
If you hadn't heard about cacao until now, we hope we have made you excited about it. Cacao can be purchased online and in most major health and wellbeing stores. A top tip is to always check online as you can often find the best superfood powder at a lower price. Be sure to read the packaging as it will often tell you the required dose to feel the benefit.