Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Nutrition Benefits Recipes
Food is Medicine: enjoy these simple recipes and discover how cacao,cocoa and chocolate can support your health and wellness.
Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate nutrition, benefits, recipes.Although cacao, cocoa & chocolate all originate from seeds of Cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), the products are actually all quite different & have different nutritional benefits.
Cacao beans are the purest form of the product. They can be blended with the white, fleshy and very sweet part of the cacao fruit to make cacao butter, or they can be dried and ground to form cacao powder. Cacao nibs,are simply the beans which have been chopped into smaller pieces.
The more commonly available product is cocoa, which is the cacao bean that has been processed at high temperatures, which destroys some of the beneficial nutrients it contains, particularly the antioxidants.
Chocolate isproduced from either cacao or cocoa, and typically has a significant amount of sugar, oil or milk fat added during the manufacturing process. Although cacao-based chocolate can be found in specialty stores, most chocolate is made from cocoa.
Chocolate has the greatest benefits when it contains greater than 70% cocoa. Although it’sa little more bitter in taste than standard ‘milk chocolate’, it contains far less sugar and dairy butter, but still works perfectly as a snack or in a variety of savoury of dessert dishes.
Cacao / Cocoa Powder:
- 360 calories / 100g
- 4% water
70% Dark Chocolate:
- 615 calories / 100g
- 1% water
- Vitamins A, B12 & K
- Dietary fibre
Health Benefits May Include:
- Improve circulation and reduce blood pressure.
- Regulate cholesterol and reduce cholesterol oxidation.
- Reduce insulin resistance and the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Protect the skin against sun damage and improve skin hydration.
- Improve cognitive functioning and verbal fluency.
- Prevent free-radical damage and reduce the risk of some cancers.
- Stimulate endorphin production & improve mood.
- Support immune functioning & prevent chronic ailments.
- Boost energy and physical endurance levels.
- Reduce inflammation.