How could such a tasty food be so good for you?! I will explain why Cacao is one of the most amazing foods on the planet!
First off, what is cacao? Cacao are the beans where chocolate is derived from. In fact, chocolate only has one ingredient…cacao. Chocolate in its pure and raw form does not contain added sugars, butter, chemicals, or any other additives. Hence, Hershey’s chocolate bars are not natural chocolate. Cacao is commonly bought in powder form as well as “cacao nibs”.
It’s native to Central and South America and it has a long and rich history of use among the ancient Aztecs and Mayan civilizations. Interestingly, Mayans and Aztecs so valued cacao that they actually used it in place of gold.
Cacao is the most antioxidant rich food in the world. Here’s an amazing fact: Cacao has more antioxidants than blueberries, pomegranates, red wine, and Goji berries combined! Among other things, antioxidants benefit the heart and you can read how here.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, cacao also boasts the #1 source of magnesium on the planet. Magnesium is not only one of the most important minerals for humans, but it’s also one of the ones we are most lacking. Magnesium is crucial for the health of the heart and muscles because of its relaxing abilities. Magnesium helps your veins and arteries to dilate which helps nutrient and oxygen flow throughout the body, which in turn lessens the demands or work load of the heart. Also, magnesium relaxes skeletal muscles, which helps prevent soreness and cramping. Cacao can also help with bone health bowel movements because of its magnesium content which relaxes the digestive system. Magnesium is vital for all of us and, generally speaking, we are so deficient in this mineral.
A magnesium deficiency can cause significant symptoms. Some of the most prominent include:
hypertension and cardiovascular disease
kidney and liver damage
peroxynitrite damage that can lead to migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease
nutrient deficiencies including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium
restless leg syndrome
worsened PMS symptoms
behavioral disorders and mood swings
insomnia and trouble sleeping
recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
muscle weakness and cramps
Why is magnesium deficiency so common? A few factors are at play: soil depletion that lowers the amount of magnesium present in crops; digestive disorders that lead to malabsorption of magnesium and other minerals in the gut; high rates of prescription medication and antibiotic use that damages the digestive tract to the point that magnesium cannot be absorbed and properly utilized from foods.
- Helps Increase Energy
- Calms Nerves & Anxiety
- Treats Insomnia & Helps You Fall Asleep
- Helps With Digestion by Relieving Constipation
- Relieves Muscle Aches and Spasms
- Regulates Levels of Calcium, Potassium and Sodium
- Important for Heart Health
- Prevents Migraine Headaches
- Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
Cacao is also good for the heart because it contains a compound called Theobromine, which helps to dilate arteries to relieve the heart of pressure. It also contains tryptophan which is the prelude to serotonin which helps with mood disorder and mood swings.
WARNING: Cacao should be eaten in small servings and moderation to avoid poisoning from Theobromine.
– Some information in this article from Dr. Michael VanDerschelden
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