The difference between Cacao and Cocoa
The main difference is the extent of processing and the use of high heat. Like any natural food such as cocoa, or botanical ingredient that goes through high heat and other processing, the original material loses much of its therapeutic benefits, potency and nutritional value.
Benefits of Cacao
During the 1990’s scientific research began in earnest on cacao’s nutritional value and it was found to be one of the greatest superfoods containing approximately 380 compounds.
Cacao is rich in nutrients:
- Cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants – reducing free radicals that would normally cause oxidative damage to our brain and body.
- Packs more calcium than cow’s milk
- High levels of magnesium which has way too many to mention here
- Improves blood circulation, digestion & elimination.
- Rich in iron, manganese, copper, zinc and chromium
- High levels of vitamin C and B-complex vitamins.
Cacao is super high in a variety of Polyphenols which are a type of antioxidant. Plant polyphenols possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and DNA repair properties.
Theobromine which takes its name from the cacao plant, naturally lowers blood pressure. It dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow acting as a stimulant similar to caffeine. However, Theobromine does not affect the nervous system like caffeine does. Cacao also has a small amount of caffeine present.
Cacao contains Methylxanthines which are a variety of stimulants produced by plants and animals. they are also produced by human cells and enhance arousal, mood, and concentration levels.
Studies found that long-term ingestion of high flavanol cacao increases dermal blood flow and oxygen saturation.