If you love chocolate, this article about cacao benefits may make you fall even harder for your favorite treat. But if you don’t like the way traditional chocolate makes you feel, pay close attention to the information in this article about cacao benefits, because it’s not just about improving your health and nutrition – it’s about living your best life! That’s what eating raw cacao can do for you, too!
What is the benefit?
Raw cacao bars have a much higher concentration of antioxidants than other forms of chocolate. They also don’t contain any fillers like dairy or soy lecithin that you find in your typical store-bought chocolate bars. Another benefit is that eating raw cacao can help increase your serotonin levels and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. The only downside to eating raw cacao is that it’s not as sweet as other types, so you’ll need to add some honey or agave if you want something sweeter.
Cacao increases serotonin levels
Cacao is a superfood with many benefits, including increasing serotonin levels. Serotonin is the brain chemical that plays a major role in our mood, both positive and negative. When we are depressed, serotonin levels are low and when we are happy, serotonin levels are high. A study from the Journal of Affective Disorders found that cacao can increase serotonin levels by 12%. As such, it has been considered for use as an antidepressant. Another benefit of cacao is it contains magnesium which regulates blood sugar and suppresses cravings for sugar or carbohydrates. There are also other nutrients in raw chocolate like anandamide (the bliss molecule) which help regulate moods as well as phenylethylamine (the love molecule) to release endorphins during moments of excitement or happiness to promote feelings of well-being. Lastly, raw chocolate contains significant amounts of flavonoids called procyanidin oligomers which boost immunity to viral infections like colds or flu as well as cancers like lung cancer.
Cacao enhances mood and focus
Cacao is rich in magnesium, a mineral that plays an important role in mood. Magnesium also helps release neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel calm and happy. Cacao is also rich in iron, which gives you energy and increases your focus. Additionally, cacao contains tryptophan, the building block for serotonin production that’s often taken as a supplement to boost mood. Tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP by the body and then transformed into serotonin. Research has shown that low levels of serotonin can cause depression and anxiety while high levels may be associated with happiness.
Cacao is everything you need. Be it for enhancing your mood or topping on health benefits.
main photo: unsplash.com/Indivar Kaushik