Cacao is full of health benefits and tastes like chocolate, so are there any downsides to this super-food?
News Source: BodyAndSoul.com.au
The benefits of cacao include:
- Naturopath Aimee Robbins says raw, powdered cacao is full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. “Antioxidants protect the body from ageing and disease caused by free radicals. Raw cacao contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional cacao powder, and has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world.”
- Scientists from Cornell University in the US recently discovered that raw cacao contains nearly twice the antioxidant content of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidant content of green tea.
- Medical herbalist Dominique Finney says the flavonoids in cacao prevent fat-like substances in the bloodstream from oxidising and clogging the arteries. “Cacao has also been found to help regulate blood pressure and reduce cholesterol while building the immune system.”
- The cacao bean is also rich in magnesium, an energy mineral and vital electrolyte.
- This super-food is a great source of sulfur which is associated with strong nails, shiny hair and a healthy liver and pancreas.
- Drinking a cup of hot cacao before meals can diminish your appetite by helping the body tune in to its natural appetite. According to Dr Gabriel Cousens, this is due to cacao’s monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors). This is why it is often added to weight-loss supplements.
- Raw cocoa is an aphrodisiac because it contains anandamide, a substance that induces euphoria. It also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mood enhancer. It’s thought that the smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves and help us to relax.
The con of cacao is:
You can have too much of a good thing. Cacao is very powerful on the central nervous system and over-indulging can interfere with calcium retention. Don’t consume more than 40 grams (or four to six heaped teaspoons) of raw cacao a day.