Cacao | For the Love of Chocolate

Lauren Silva

We can all agree that chocolate is simply delicious, however, it’s necessary to know the difference between the raw form known as, “cacao” and the more commonly known, “cocoa.” The difference between the two will have you realizing that eating chocolate may be the new way you choose to start and end your day.

At the source, cacao and cocoa are the same: seeds from the Theobroma cacao tree. This tree produces pods full of seeds, known as cacao beans. These beans, which look similar to espresso beans, can actually be eaten raw, however, manufacturers will typically ferment and dry them before consuming. It’s the next processing steps of these beans that dilute the healthful benefits that cacao offers and transforms the beans into cocoa. From the cocoa stage, it only becomes more and more processed to create the candy bars you see at the store. This form of chocolate has very little in common with the raw cacao found in DEFINE foods products.  

Knowing the difference between the two can help you make more health-conscious decisions when browsing the chocolate aisle, but you might still be wondering what this raw cacao can really do for you.

Cacao, in any of its forms (nibs, butter, or powder) is a host of health benefits lending to its “superfood” title.

Some of the most notable perks of consuming cacao include the following:

-Cacao beans are incredibly high in polyphenol antioxidants. These belong to the same group of antioxidants found in red wine and green tea that protect our cells from premature aging. So yes, you’re hearing this right: red wine and low-processed chocolate can keep you looking and feeling younger.

-Cacao is a natural food source of highly concentrated magnesium. Magnesium offers energy and combats fatigue without overstimulating the nervous system. If you’re prone to caffeine jitters, try switching from your morning cup of joe to a chocolate drink. Instead of coffee, try a combination of warm nondairy milk and cacao powder to boost your energy without experiencing a crash.

-Consuming cacao can actually increase the levels of serotonin in our brain. This “feel-good” brain chemical is known to calm hormones and restore feelings of well-being, making cacao a natural mood booster.

-Cacao is also known as a “Beauty Food” because of its sulfur content. Sulfur helps rebuild collagen and keratin which is important for our hair, skin, and nails to keep their shine.

At DEFINE foods, we believe in satisfying our sweet tooth with healthy alternatives. It was with that intention that we created our cacao energy truffles. Now that you know all the benefits of raw cacao, you know that with each truffle, you’re filling your body with beautifying and health-boosting ingredients. We encourage you to indulge yourself with these decadent treats without any feelings of guilt. These superfood truffles are available in studios and online.

It’s time to bid farewell to processed candy bars and say hello to raw cacao. Whether you try it in your morning beverage or nibble on a little piece after dinner, this raw form of chocolate may just become your favorite way to start and end your day.

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