Delicious Chocolate That’s Actually Amazing for Your Health
CACAO NIBS: THE AMAZONIAN ANTIOXIDANT KING
So its raining again outside, what better way to escape then with a nice cup of hot chocolate. And thanks largely to my favourite which is a healthy one. We’re all familiar with cocoa and other forms of healthy chocolate. But are you familiar with cacao nibs?
Cacao nibs have more antioxidant activity than tea, wine, blueberries and even goji berries. Ultimately, it’s the flavonoids in cacao that makes it an above-and-beyond superfood, and if you still need more reasons to add cacao nibs to your routine, KEEP READING.
Top 5 Benefits of Raw Organic Cacao
1. 40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries
Raw Organic Cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. Yes that’s 40 times. It has an amazing ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs blueberries at a mere 2,400. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals (that come from pollution and toxins in our environment), which cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to diseases such as cancer. This is a true superfood – no doubt about it.
2. Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron
Are you on a plant-based or vegan diet and looking for iron? The search is over. Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at a whopping 7.3mg per 100g. This compares to beef and lamb at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg. Note the iron in cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so to get the maximum benefits you’ll want to combine it with some vitamin C. Think oranges, kiwifruit, superfoods like gubinge or camu camu (which have 40x more vitamin C than oranges).
3. Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain
Raw Organic Cacao is also one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, the most deficient mineral in the Western world. Magnesium is important for a healthy heart, and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with laser-sharp clarity and focus. The very reason why you might turn to a bar of chocolate during an all-nighter at your desk.
4. More Calcium Than Cow’s Milk
Raw Organic Cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk would you believe, at 160mg per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk. Time to switch out the trim latte for a couple of squares of dairy free raw chocolate.
5. A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant
Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with cosy feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression. A natural, healthy, delicious (and legal) way to get your happy buzz on.
- Cacao is the source of original, natural chocolate that contains a variety of unique phytonutrients, including high amounts of sulfur, magnesium and phenylethylamine.
- Cacao nibs help maintain muscle and nerve function, lose weight and keep you regular, prevent anemia, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, treat diarrhea, and enhance mood.
- Cacao and cocoa are essentially the same thing. The biggest difference is cocoa is heated at a higher temperature during process, thus loses some of the beneficial nutrition cacao contains. Cocoa also typically has more additives, while cacao is typically raw and a bit healthier.
*QUICK RECIPE TIPS*
- Add it to a salad. Try adding it to vitamin C foods such as bell peppers, broccoli and citrus fruits to help increase the absorption of the iron it contains. Including it in a salad with a citrus dressing and walnuts can add that special secret ingredient.
- Add cacao nibs to your smoothie. While you want to be conscious of how much you consume, especially if combining with other high-fat foods, it’s the perfect touch to almost any healthy smoothie recipe.
- Make a delicious quinoa breakfast bowl. It’s delicious in other phytonutrient-rich superfoods such as quinoa, chia seeds and especially delicious when combined with coconut. Check out the recipe below for your next breakfast bowl.
- Make it a secret ingredient in your special sauce. Even though you get way more nutrition when it’s not heated beyond 104 degrees F, you still get benefits. Try adding it to your next pot of chili, mole sauce or pasta sauce. You’re sure to impress.