From the flavonoids to the magnesium, raw cacao powder has made a name for itself in the world of superfoods. You’ve most likely heard about it, either in recipes on our website, in smoothie shops, or on trendy health blogs. Raw cacao is the perfect way to satisfy your chocolate craving without consuming a bunch of processed sugars that are in regular chocolate.
What Is Raw Cacao Powder?
First thing’s first, raw cacao powder is not cocoa powder. Raw cacao powder comes from the the Theobroma cacao tree, which is native to the tropical regions of Mesoamerica. Theobroma literally translates to “food of the gods,” and it was sacred to the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations. Cacao is the unprocessed version of cocoa, which actually has less cacao, less nutrients, added milk and sugar, fats, and undergoes lots of processing. Raw cacao, on the other hand, comes from cold-pressing raw cacao beans. This means that it retains the nutrients that get lost in the roasting and processing. Because it does not undergo processing, it does have a bitter taste but, but the following benefits make it worth it.
Boosts Energy Levels:
Most people are low or deficient in magnesium because they don’t eat a lot of magnesium-rich foods. The most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency are irritability, fatigue, and anxiety. Lucky for you, raw cacao powder is an excellent source of magnesium, which helps to naturally boost energy levels. Additionally, raw cacao powder contains theobromine, a chemical compound that is similar to caffeine. The effects are not as intense as caffeine, but you’ll definitely feel energized.
Contributes To Healthier Looking Skin:
Raw cacao powder is rich in flavonoids, which help to increase blood flow to the skin’s surface. The increased blood flow encourages cell regeneration, and that makes your skin shine bright. By regenerating cells, you can actually prevent premature signs of aging. The great thing is that your skin benefits from both consuming raw cacao powder and using it topically. For instance, you can drink a smoothie with raw cacao while making a DIY face mask or body scrub with cacao.
Improves Cognitive Function:
We’re going to continue talking about flavonoids because they’re just that amazing. When you eat raw cacao powder, the flavonoids get absorbed into the bloodstream and they gather in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning. The flavonoids work to form new neurons and improve the current function of existing neurons, improving cognitive function in the process.
Benefits Cardiovascular Health:
Did you think we were done talking about flavonoids? Well, we aren’t done. As we mentioned earlier, flavonoids help to increase blood flow, which helps deliver nutrients to all areas of the body. By improving blood flow, you naturally lower your blood pressure. The antioxidants in raw cacao powder also protect lipoproteins from oxidizing. Raw cacao powder actually lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raises HDL cholesterol (the good good cholesterol). This is why many nutritionists recommend making raw cacao a staple in your heart healthy diet.
Boosts Your Mood:
You can think of raw cacao as nature’s antidepressant. The reason you feel happy when you eat chocolate is because raw cacao contains four primary feel good hormones: tryptophan, theobromine, serotonin, and phenylethylamine. Additionally, cacao contains anandamide, which people refer to as the bliss molecule. It actually binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain to promote feelings of happiness.
You can make delicious smoothies, desserts, energy bites, snack bars, and more with raw cacao powder. You can also add it to DIY beauty products to absorb its nutrients via the skin. We hope you make it a staple in your diet and skin care regimen moving forward.