Just how effective is raw cacao compared to other superfoods?
Hello, friends! At Medicinal Foods, we get a lot of questions about superfoods and their efficacy in our customers’ quest for natural health. Things like ‘Why should I be eating superfoods?’ ‘Aren’t they just hyped up versions of regular foods?’
Not quite. Superfoods are just foods that contain significantly higher quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other healthful natural benefits ranging from natural anti-aging properties to disease fighting benefits. Some superfoods are found every day in your kitchen. (think broccoli! Spinach!) Others are found in exotic lands—deep in the forest of Peru, for example.
That brings us to raw cacao. The Antioxidant Superfoods King Of The Land.
Raw cacao is quite different from the cocoa we all have grown up with. Cacao refers to the tree (Theobroma Cacao) from which cocoa is processed from, but is used when we are referencing the unprocessed version of this wonderful bean.
Cocoa powder has been roasted and processed, destroying a significant portion of the healthful benefits of raw cacao—namely, the amount of antioxidants and flavanols (these are the things that keep us young and healthy). Studies suggest that between 60-90% of the natural antioxidants found in raw cacao are lost through ‘Dutch Processing’. This process was originally developed to reduce bitterness, and create a darker, mellower flavor to chocolate. This unfortunately removed most of the healthy benefits from the cacao plant.
Raw Cacao is in the group of superfoods that you really shouldn’t live without, and we’re here to tell you why:
THE TOP 5 REASONS YOU NEED RAW CACAO IN YOUR SUPERFOODS DIET!
1.) 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries.
Let me repeat that. Raw Cacao has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. Ok, so let me put this in perspective. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals (things that come from pollution and toxins in our environment). These free radicals cause cell and tissue damage…and can lead to diseases like cancer. Raw cacao has an ORAC score of 98, 000 per 100g. Now put that against blueberries…which comes in at a mere 2, 400.
2.) Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron
If you are vegan or on a plant-based diet, raw cacao is something you really need to consider. It is the highest source of iron for those following a plant-based lifestyle. Raw cacao comes in on the scale at an amazing 7.3 mg of iron per 100g. This compares to spinach at 3.6 mg and animal-based sources like beef and lamb at 2.5mg. It is important to note that the iron found in raw cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so you will need to mix it with some form of Vitamin C. Things like oranges, kiwifruit, other superfoods like gubinge or camu camu (containing more than 40 times the amount of Vitamin C found in oranges.)
3.) Raw cacao is a magnesium powerhouse!
Raw cacao is also one of the best plant-based sources for magnesium—the most deficient mineral in Western culture. Magnesium is a must for heart health and also helps convert glucose into usable energy for optimal brain function and focus.
4.) Raw cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk.
Cow’s milk has long been touted as the calcium queen of the food pyramid. If you follow a plant-based diet or just want alternatives, raw cacao blows cow’s milk out of the proverbial calcium pool. Weighing in at 160 mg per 100g, raw cacao tops this battle out. Cow’s milk only contains 125 mg per 100ml.
5.) Raw cacao acts as a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant.
Raw cacao is a fantastic source of several mood-lifting ‘bliss’ chemicals: serotonin, dopamine, anandamide, and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters encourage those cozy feelings we have—well-being, happiness, and can even alleviate depression. This is a natural, healthy, delicious way to be happy!