Cacao or Cocoa
With so many chocolate products out there, it can be confusing to your taste buds, plus you want to get the most health benefits from consuming this delicious product.
Still, some people are still wondering what the difference is between cacao & cocoa. The difference between the two is the amount of processing involved. Cacao is from the raw chocolate bean, and it is higher in antioxidants and minerals. You may have heard that cacao is a superfood- and that is true! Some health benefits include:
- Promote cardiovascular health – Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins – Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
- Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, the chemical compounds in chocolate are believed to release feel-good hormones. Nibbling chocolate releases endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters responsible for creating a feeling of calm, well-being, happiness and even elation.
Cocoa, in the United States, generally refers to the heat-treated version, processed to stabilize the product and provide consistency for manufacturers to utilize. Also, when processed with alkali it is called dutching. This process breaks down the flavanol antioxidants naturally found in cacao. It’s cheaper than raw cacao, but can still a good source of heart-healthy magnesium, though higher in caffeine and lower in antioxidants.
What to consume:
For the greatest health benefits,you should shoot for chocolate that is at least 70% or higher cacao . As a comparison, milk chocolate is only around 10% cocoa ; and semisweet is around 35%. Remember, the lower the percent of cacao, the less antioxidants and the more sugar it contains. You should also look for Fair Trade chocolate.
Living Nutz use 100% pure organic cacao, gently sweetened, in their Chocolate Walnut Divine….how divine!