The Stuff You Need To Know
Do you know the difference between chocolate, cacao and cocoa? They are all related. The cacao tree grows o fruit that the cacao beans are harvested from. Cocoa is made from the roasted cacao beans. Cocoa is what you get when you remove the fat (called cocoa butter) from the cacao beans. Cocoa is the flavor in chocolate which has other ingredients added to get the various types of chocolate.
Cacao beans can be eaten raw. the taste is a very bitter chocolate taste. The beans are usually fermented and before the processing into cocoa and cocoa butter is done. They also make a Cacao powder much like cocoa powder. The difference is in the amount o heat used in the process. Heat is used to make cocoa because in makes it sweeter. However the heat remove a lot of the beneficial nutrients.
Cacao is often called a super food. That’s because of some awesome health benefits.
- Antioxidant effects. Cacao beans are absolutely packed with phenolic phytochemicals and flavonoids, which protect your cells against damage from free radicals (3). Oxidative damage can result in premature aging and many of the modern health conditions today (4).
- Boosts your mood and cognitive performance. Epicatechin, the main flavonoid in cacao, improves various aspects of cognition, preserve cognitive abilities during aging, and even puts you in a better mood (5).
- Lowers blood pressure. Recent studies found that flavanols lower blood pressure and increase blood vessel flexibility (6).
- Protects your heart. Researchers found that flavanols and procyanidins from cacao increased antioxidant capacity in the blood plasma and reduced platelet reactivity, resulting in a healthier heart (7).
- Regulates insulin levels. Epicatechin, a flavanol in cacao, activates key proteins and help regulate glucose production, even among diabetics (8)
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