Cacao - natures superfood

May 27, 2017

 

The cacao tree (Theobroma Cacao) is a small tree native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. Its seeds, the cacao beans have a rich history with ancient Mayan and Aztec civilisations that have not only recognised it for its superior health benefits but used it as part of cultural ceremonies and even as a form of currency. Years later it was discovered by Spanish travellers who shipped it back to Europe and essentially begun the commercialisation of the product most commonly known today as chocolate.

Chocolate is a natural superfood and is extremely good for the human body. The problem is the way consumption has changed over time. Typically it is now found on supermarket shelves and freezers in the form of processed chocolate bars, biscuits and ice cream and very rarely consumed in its raw state.

The main difference is in the processing techniques.

Raw cacao powder is made by cold pressing unroasted cacao beans. This process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. Ancient users would add this to drinks along with vanilla, wild honey and aromatic flowers to create natural elixirs high in medicinal antioxidants and minerals.

Conversely, cocoa is raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures reducing the enzyme content and therefore nutritional value of the bean. Cocoa is predominantly used to flavour conventional chocolate based products.

Over time research into the cacao bean has improved unearthing a surprising amount of benefits, giving raw cacao powder its 'superfood' status.

Main health benefits include

  • One of the richest sources of antioxidant's known to man (over 40 times that of Blueberries). Protecting the body from aging and greatly increasing the body’s ability to absorb harmful free radicals.
  • Highest plant based source of iron and magnesium (one of the most deficient minerals in humans). Magnesium is important for a healthy heart and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work sharper and with more clarity - Ever wondered why your body craves chocolate when you are tired?
  • Natural mood elevator and anti-depressant. Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals - serotonin, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethylamine.  These neurotransmitters are associated with cosy feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression.
  • Excellent source of sulphur. Sulfur is associated with strong nails, shiny hair and a healthy liver and pancreas. Beauty from the inside out.
  • Helps prevent cardiovascular disease. By reducing the clumping of platelets (which cause blood to clot) blood flow is improved.

Not all cacao powders are created equal. Non-organic chocolate and cocoa powder has been heavily treated with toxic fumigation chemicals and pesticides, and will most likely contain genetically modified (GMO) products. We choose support only the use of certified organic cacao powder sourced from farmers using sustainable techniques and free from low wage and child labour exploitation.
Given the multitude of benefits derived from the use of cacao powder it's hard to see why anybody wouldn't consider its frequent consumption as part of their diet. Here at Wheyhouse we have made that choice easy for you by blending organic raw cacao powder with our natural WPC and WPI lines. Not only will you receive the benefits derived from the whey itself but can enjoy knowing that even the delicious chocolate flavour is providing your body with much needed vitamins and minerals something which we think is pretty cool. We also offer cacao powder in its raw form a perfect addition to healthy smoothies and decadent desserts.




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