As we mentioned before in our Cacao Smoothie blog, cacao powder is high in antioxidants, potassium, iron, protein and magnesium, to name a few- not to mention nutrients that aid in boosting our mood and reducing anxiety. Looking up the benefits of cacao powder is quite fascinating really and the more I try to research the more I seem to find.
A lot of our personal understanding of the benefits of cacao powder came from David Wolfe and his book "Superfoods” where he lists cacao beans as a superfood, with health benefits ranging from helping to prevent cancer and improving memory loss, to protecting your nervous system and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cacao butter has countless benefits such as reducing blood pressure, enhancing heart function and reducing risk of cancer.
Cacao butter contains many "Good Fats" such as Oleic acid which is found in foods such as avocados and has numerous health benefits.
For example, oleic acid protects against atherosclerosis via lowering cholesterol and therefor reduces risk of heart disease. It can also help lower the risk of diabetes and decrease high blood pressure. One study of the Kuna Indians on the Caribbean coast of Panamá demonstrated the tribespeople had a particularly low rate of hypertension. This finding was attributed to cacao's regular consumption!
Interestingly, cacao butter also contains Stearic acid, which although being a saturated fatty acid, in fact reduces LDL cholesterol, which is the cholesterol typically associated with risk of heart disease.
Finally, cacao butter also contains Omega-3 fatty acids which have benefits such as supporting cognitive function and helping to reduce symptoms of depression. Why do you think we sometimes crave chocolate when we're feeling low- those omega-3 fatty acids help to elevate our serotonin!... Chocolate definitely makes me feel happy ;)
It also contains a fibre called inulin, which may help to slow glucose absorption and explain why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar.
Similarly, hazelnuts are full of vitamins, minerals as well as antioxidant compounds and healthy fats. Other potential benefits have been investigated such as regulating blood pressure, helping decrease blood fat levels, reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar levels.
For any athletes out there, raisins can be used as an alternative to some typical sports chews as they provide a quick source of carbohydrates and help improve performance. Not to mention they are a source of fibre, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Also... fun fact.. a study noted that raisins contain phytochemicals that could promote healthy teeth and gums.
Raspberries are a good source of fibre and vitamin C and antioxidants. Raspberries may positively impact your blood sugar and certain studies suggest they may reduce arthritis risk, aid weight loss and decrease signs of aging.
If you made it to the end of that whopper of a blog, congrats, we're barely holding on either. But we do of course truly believe in the benefits of eating real foods with wonderful properties to fuel our bodies day-in and day-out.
P.S. A lot of the info here came from healthline.com which is a super helpful website for health information whose articles are reviewed by doctors.