Okay many of you may already know the benefits of cacao, the bean that produces chocolate and is grown throughout South America. I did not know the benefits or taste of the raw cacao bean and a serendipidous moment in Tulum on the Tulum beach road has changed all of that. The taste was incredible, the ease of eating it, better than any nut that I generally eat. After some research, this is a powerful food that is jammed packed with vitamins and minerals. Are you ready?
The health benefits and nutritional value of Cacao
In its raw form, Chocolate is called cacao. It is a nut, that growns in a husk or shell and the nutritional value of this food will knock your socks off. To top it off, it tastes like chocolate, and in fact not being a chocolate person, really I don’t like chocolate, this blew me away. I have to thank the two hitch hikers on the Tulum beach road that we picked up a few weeks ago on route to the SAturday Organic Market in Tulum at Frida’s who very casually offered some cacao nuts as a thank you for the ride. (they too were going to the organic market) Reluctantly I tasted one, to my delight, I now can not get enough.
Cacao nutritional qualities:
- higher vitamin C content than any other food in the world
can be used as an actual mineral supplement with the highest natural source of magnesium, chromium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, all of which are the most deficient minerals in the world.
contains the alkaloid theobromine, which dilates the body’s capillaries which allows other foods that are eaten with cacao to be absorbed deeper into your system
most complex food in the world. With more than 1,200 constituents, it contains a far greater amount of antioxidants than all of the world’s leading antioxidant-rich foods
- contains 15 times more antioxidants than blueberries, 20 times more than green tea and 30 times more than red wine.
The trick to eating Chocolate – eat it raw!
So this is the deal, Eat your cacao raw! Dont roast it, eat it in its raw form and check that the cacao you are eating is in its raw form. As soon as you heat it, you lose the antioxidant properties. You can turn it into nibs, which is chopped raw cacao, or you can turn it into powder so cacao can be added to smoothies, baked goods or sauces (think mole). If you stick to these rules you can have a chocolate smoothy in the morning, or put cacao powder on your yogurt, or take a bag of cacao in your bag and have a treat in the middle of the day.
I am now a chocolate lover, a raw chocoholic and proud of it! Thank you to the couple who introduced me to raw cacao, you can have a ride to the organic market inTtulum any day!