Health Benefits & Effects
CACAO BRINGS HEALTH & HAPPINESS
Cacao beans are the seeds of the Theobroma Cacao tree, meaning ‘food of the gods’ (theo = god and broma = food). It is one of the most complex food sources. Although cacao still holds some mysteries, research shows many health benefits and neurocognitive effects.
These healthy effects of cacao are especially present in pure cacao. Different processing techniques like alkali (Dutch) processing, pressing cacao (to separate the butter and powder) or roasting at high temperatures destroy favorable compounds that makes cacao so healthy. This is why we prefer to process cacao as little as possible, learning from traditional use, which is healthier and has a stronger effect.
High in antioxydants
Cacao is high in flavanols (which make cacao taste bitter as well), antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. It has one of the highest ORAC scores which is used to measure antioxidant levels in food. Cacao protects our heart and cardiovascular system. It’s good for the elasticity of our blood vessels and increases blood flow throughout our body including our brain.
Rich in minerals
Magnesium plays a vital role in our energy production and is found to reduce diabetes. No other source of food contains as much magnesium as cacao. It supports our heart, relaxes our muscles and stimulates brain function. Magnesium is a primary alkaline mineral for detoxification. Other important minerals are iron, potassium, zinc, copper, calcium, selenium, phosphorus and manganese. Cacao also contains sulfur which helps to transport nutrients into and out of cells. It supports the insulin function and glucose metabolism, tissue repair, immune system, build and rebuild collagen and keratin (hair, nails and skin).
Healthy fats and increased absorption of nutrients
Cacao butter, naturally present in cacao, is a healthy source of fat that works with many diets like paleo and ketogenic. Many nutrients need fats for your body to absorb them. Combined with the increased blood flow cacao is known as a delivery system for medicinal plants and mushrooms. This is why we don’t use cocoa powder, but with the cacao butter naturally present in the cacao paste as a whole food to make drinks.
Theobromine is an alkaloid responsible for the stimulating effects of cacao. It is a heart stimulant, dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Compared to caffeine, theobromine gives a longer and softer energy without the peak and dip that many people experience. Also it is found to reduce coughing, alleviate asthma symptoms and hardens tooth enamel.
Positive effect on mood, focus and creativity
Yes cacao makes us happy, reduces stress, increases our focus and creative flow. Our brains work incredibly complex and cacao has a positive impact through neurotransmitters and modulators.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a mood regulator and triggers happiness hormones like endorphin, dopamine and noradrenalin. Similar to when we fall in love or have sex. It increases focus and energy and gets us in a flow where we lose track of time. Great for working or boost your creativity. Also it increases our libido, diminishes anxiety and is used as an extract against depression symptoms. What better than consume it directly from a natural product.
Anandamide is called the ‘bliss molecule’ (ananda means bliss in Sanskriet) for creating a feeling of euphoria also known as the runner’s high. It regulates mood, memory, appetite and pain perception.
Tryptophan is critical for producing serotonin (diminishes anxiety and stress) and melatonin (related to sleep). Cacao is a direct source, while at the same time modulating agents (MAO inhibitors) in cacao prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine making the effect longer and stronger.