For thousands of years, Central and South American civilizations prepared a chocolaty drink called ka’kao – the drink of the Gods.
Served to kings in golden cups, this cacao beverage was prized for its energizing and restorative properties. It was passed down from generation to generation until Cortes landed in the new world and the tradition was lost.
Today, chocolate or cacao is making a big comeback. We’re not talking about Hershey’s chocolate here. We’re talking clean pure dark and unprocessed cacao in the form of cacao powder, cacao nibs, or brewed cacao that retains its nutrients and can give you amazing health and wellness benefits.
Top 7 Reasons Why Cacao is Good for You:
#1 Energy Without the Shakes
Cacao contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in cacao that can be more pleasant than caffeine. Theobromine gives you longer lasting, milder energy without the jitters and crash that can come from caffeine. Cacao is 99.9% caffeine free and its boost of natural energy feels akin to a goodnight’s sleep. Theobromine gives you a “holistic high” and provides natural, healthy and long-lasting energy without the negative effects of caffeine in other foods or drinks
#2 Increase Focus and Fall in Love?
Our body produces the chemical phenylethylamine (aka “love drug”) when we fall in love and increases focus and alertness. This natural chemical is also found in cacao.
#3 Reduce Stress & Sleep Better
Cacao contains Tryptophan, a natural anti-depressant amino acid, that transforms into stress-protective neurotransmitters that enhance relaxation and promote better sleep.
#4 Feel Great
An endorphin called anadamide (aka “bliss chemical”) is produced by our body after exercise that makes us feel great and reduce stress. It has also been found in only one plant – cacao. Cacao also contains serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical and a primary neurotransmitter in the body that is a natural anti-depressant and plays a major role in mood and emotional health.
#5 Boost Your Immune System
Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants to boost your immune system of any food in the world. By weight it has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, açai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined!
#6 Curb Your Appetite and Lose Weight
Low in calories, fat and carbs, cacao also acts as a natural appetite suppressant that helps curb your appetite and promotes weight loss. Cacao stimulates serotonin production in the brain which helps suppress your appetite and can result in consuming less calories in the long run.
#7 Support Your Heart, Brain, and Bone Health
Cacao is one of the best natural plant sources of magnesium. Magnesium helps supports the heart, aids digestion, balances brain chemistry, and builds strong bones. Many Americans are chronically magnesium deficient and cacao is an amazing source for this nutrient.
How to get more chocolate into your day
While everyone likes a nice sugar filled chocolate treat, how do we get more pure dark chocolate into our day?
- Try the Crio Bru brewed cacao craze. It brews like coffee but you get the benefits of cacao. Learn More Here.
- Come to the dark side. Whatever your choice in chocolate, try grabbing a chocolate bar that has a higher % of dark chocolate than you currently enjoy. While you may not be ready for 100% dark chocolate, the darker the better.
- Make more recipes that use raw cacao powder. Here are some good ones.
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