Raw Cacao Improves Heart Health

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Raw Cacao Has a Positive Effect On Your Heart

Hello, friends! You know that Medicinal Foods is all about the positive effects raw cacao has on our mood and appetite, but did you know that cacao is also very good for your heart health and digestion? Raw cacao is a superfood that has been enjoyed for years and research supports that the benefits of raw cacao goes deeper than just marketing hype. Raw cacao nibs have been linked to lower blood pressure, healthier cardiovascular system function, a reduced risk of stroke, and improved digestion.

How exactly does raw cacao help your heart?

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology and The Journal of Internal Medicine  both have had extensive studies completed to test the effects of raw cacao on the frequency of stroke and heart attacks in people. It was found that those who consumed cacao consistently throughout the day had a significant decrease in stroke occurrence and heart attacks combined. Cacao contains polyphenols— a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and increase levels of beneficial cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).

The flavanols contained in cacao beans have also been linked to many other health benefits contributing to heart health– improved blood flow, arterial elasticity, and lower blood pressure. Raw cacao is also anti-inflammatory, further increasing the benefits that this powerful superfood has on the heart as well as lowering the risk for heart disease.

 

Wait…raw cacao also helps digestion?!

Cacao beans are the seeds (beans) of the cacao fruit. All seeds have a high nutritional content. Not only is raw cacao rich in magnesium, but cacao beans are one of the best natural sources of dietary fiber. Fiber and magnesium both assist in prevention of constipation and are contributors to good digestive health overall.

Additionally, raw cacao nibs (and raw cacao powder!) are both outstanding sources of iron and potassium.

How much raw cacao is enough?

There aren’t specific nutritional guidelines when it comes to raw chocolate intake, however, raw cacao is always best since it retains more nutrients than processed varieties. Do not forget that raw cacao beans are high in both fat and calories, so it is best to use with moderation and only have a few ounces a day.

You can add raw cacao to smoothies, energy bars, vegan superfoods, and nutritional superfood powders— just a few of the great ways to have raw cacao in your daily diet!

 

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