Nutrition 101: Benefits of Cacao
I don't think I need to convince anyone to eat chocolate, but let's go for the healthy version.
Top Benefits of Cacao
- Antioxidants. One of nature's highest grossing sources of antioxidants, it has more than blueberries, wine or tea!
- Antioxidants protect against free radical damage and can be anti-aging and anticancer.
- Cancer fighting. It's a great source of flavanoids. What are flavanoids? They are the compounds found in plants in their pigmentation -- ie., what gives them color. Flavanoids:
- Are associated with numerous health benefits, including anti-infllammatory, anticancer, anti-infectious, and antioxidant properties! The jury's still out on what precisely they do, but let's eat chocolate just in case, ok?
- Nutrients. Not a bad source of:
- & more!
- They help you boost your vitamins for the day. If you're plantbased, finding foods with high sources of iron may seem like a problem, but it's really not, especially if you get a few doses of this throughout the day! Cacao in its powder form is also low in fat (though we know that's not how it's usually prepared, with oils & butter).
I love chocolate as much as the next person (maybe more), but no matter what healthy food blog or supplement company says about cacao (or any so-called "superfood"), it's not a magic solution to anything. It's simply a tasty addition to any healthy diet, in moderation.
Note: make sure you get "cacao" and not "cocoa" -- the latter is much more processed and no where near the real version. You won't be getting any of these fantastic benefits I just mentioned above!
Don't know what to make with cacao? Try my cacao coconut oil chocolate sauce.