What is cacao?
Cacao is actually a seed. It comes from the fruit of an Amazonian tree. For the Aztecs and other native South American cultures, cacao was so precious that it was actually used as currency. Today we are rediscovering just how precious this natural resource is.
Why include raw cacao powder in your diet?
- By weight, raw cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, Acai berries, Pomegranates and Goji berries combined. Cacao deserves to be called a superfood!
- Cacao contains relatively very high amounts of minerals, including: magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper. Mineral deficiency is common these days due to the reduced amount of minerals in over-cultivated soil. Eating this superfood is a great way to regain mineral balance in our bodies*. Due to their menstrual cycle women tend to be deficient in magnesium and iron, both of which are present in high concentration in cacao.
- Cacao is mood-enhancing due to its tryptophan, serotonin, phenylamine and anandamine content*. These compounds are known as “bliss” chemicals. For example, phenylamine is a major class of chemicals that we produce in our bodies when we fall in love.
- Cacao also contains vitamin C, Omega 6 fatty acids, phenylamine, ethylamine, anandamine, tryptophan, serotonin, and fibre.
The best way to include cacao in your diet is in its raw organic form. Cacao makes a natural complement to maca root both in taste and in nutritional profile. Quality is very important with powders derived from oily seeds – buy as high quality as you can find.
Can I just eat regular chocolate from the shop?
Normal industrial milk chocolate has a very low percentage of actual cacao. What cacao is present may not be high quality, and is usually processed. Even expensive dark chocolate contains added sugar.
By contrast, our organic Peruvian cacao powder is made by grinding carefully selected cacao beans into a paste, which is then pressed leaving a residue, or cake. This cake is finally cold-milled to obtain the cacao powder. It is a versatile ingredient which is used as a base for our superfood mixes.
* Disclaimer: Your experiences from taking superfoods may vary depending on your individual nutrition and health circumstances. We cannot guarantee any specific results.
Scientific research on cacao
Here are just a couple of the hundreds of scientific studies that you can find online about the benefits of cacao.
“Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease”
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. November 15, 2011, 15(10): 2779-2811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697.
“Cocoa powder triggers neuroprotective and preventive effects in a human Alzheimer’s Disease model by modulating BDNF signaling pathway”
– Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, DOI: 10.1002/jcb.24548
OMNI Superfood products that contain raw cacao
The Economist on chocolate
In this video, The Economist discusses chocolate and cacao. Note that OMNI Superfood contains raw unheated cacao and is thus quite different from regular chocolate. In very very very large amounts, cacao is of course bad for you, like any foodstuff, even water. But the amounts in OMNI Superfood are at healthy levels – for humans. Please don’t feed chocolate to your dog though!