THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF RAW CACAO
Raw cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium – a mineral that many of us don’t get enough of in our diets. Magnesium is essential for energy production, for a healthy brain and nervous system, for our muscles and for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium may also support a healthy blood pressure.
Cacao is also a source of iron, which builds the blood and helps to transport oxygen around our body, as well as potassium, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.
Cacao can also be high in flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity. Cacao and flavonoid-rich chocolate have been linked with heart health benefits including increasing the good form of cholesterol (HDL) in our blood, lowering blood pressure and even improving vascular function in patients with congestive heart failure. These effects are thought to be primarily due to the antioxidants contained in the cacao.
In addition, cacao contains a compound called phenylethylamine (PEA for short!). PEA is thought to elevate mood and support energy, and is said to be one of the reasons that many people love chocolate!
Raw cacao is also very low in sugar, and of course does not contain any milk, so is suitable for those who are milk-sensitive or following a low-sugar diet.