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Healthy chocolate? Let us introduce you to cacao powder

Aromatic cocoa and chocolate
Read how a daily dose of cacao powder is good for you and the best ways of incorporating it into a supercharged and healthy diet.
Would you consider yourself a chocoholic? Most people know that chocolate (especially milk and white chocolate) should only be eaten in moderation. However, despite preconceptions that too much chocolate can be bad for your health, getting your chocolate fix from cacao powder can actually be good for you. Here's why you should start enjoying a daily dose of this supercharging treat and some of the best ways to do so.

Cacao is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet

Cacao allows you to get all the benefits of chocolate, but without the refined sugar or saturated fat. It is the purest form of chocolate and comes in many different forms: powder, paste, nibs (small chopped pieces) and butter. It’s made from cacao beans, which are found in cacao pods on Theobroma Cacao trees (also known as cacao fruit trees) which are native to South America. Cocoa powder is made from the beans of the same trees but is heated to a high temperature when it’s processed, making it not as nutritious as cacao powder which is raw and contains more of the whole bean.

It keeps your heart healthy and reduces cholesterol levels

Consuming a small amount of cacao powder every day can be beneficial to your health. Cacao is thought to be the food with the highest source of magnesium, so can help you meet the daily recommended amount of 300mg for men and 270mg for women. Magnesium is used by your body to turn food into energy, as well as maintaining your bones and teeth. Cacao powder is rich in monounsaturated fats which your body needs to keep your heart healthy and reduce your bad cholesterol levels. It’s a good source of iron, potassium, naturally occurring protein and fibre. Iron helps to combat tiredness, protein builds muscle mass, and fibre helps your digestive system work well. Many people believe cacao powder can lift your mood and boost your energy levels as it contains a compound called phenylethylamine (abbreviated to PEA). Further studies are needed to prove this.

Supercharge your diet with cacao powder

Are you ready to give your body a boost by adding some cacao powder to your daily diet? You’ll find supercharging with cacao powder is easy, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Here are three ways you can do it:
  • Add two scoops of cacao powder into your blender when you’re making a smoothie.
  • Mix a teaspoon of cacao powder into your porridge or sprinkle over the top of your breakfast cereal.
  • Simply swallow two teaspoons of your chosen cacao powder daily.
Handpicked content: 5 simple ways to use cacao powder Shop Food & Drink Sources www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/cacao-vs-cocoa-what-you-need-to-know/ www.blog.paleohacks.com/cacao-vs-cocoa/ www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/cacao-vs-cocoa-what-you-need-to-know/ www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Other-vitamins-minerals.aspx#magnesium www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Fat.aspx www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/weight-loss/healthy-eating/2736/health-benefits-of-raw-cacao-over-chocolate/

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