SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: RAW CACAO
By Stefanie Cassetto
For years, “fast foods” have captured American’s attention. But The Daniel Plan wants to change that. Introducing “superfoods.” In this weekly series, we will explore unique and powerful foods that claim the “superfood” title. You will want to include them into your regular diet so your body gains the benefits of these highly dense phytonutrient (chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants) rich foods. The list of superfoods is comprised of familiar fruits and grains as well as those that are not quite as well known. And one superfood that has become popular as a sweet treat is Raw Cacao.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU!
If you’re a chocolate lover, then this is the superfood for you! In order to get the full range of benefits and nutrients that chocolate has to offer, it is important to eat chocolate in the most natural form possible. This is what makes Raw Cacao special – it’s chocolate in its most natural form. Scoring in the top 10 for foods high in antioxidants, Cacao contains over 300 essential minerals including: protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, and magnesium. The health benefits of Cacao include building strong bones, promoting cardiovascular health, decreasing depression — and tasting really good. It can help lift your mood, promote relaxation, and decrease blood pressure.
INDULGE IN SOMETHING HEALTHY!
There are many types of chocolate that are made from the cacao bean and range from multiple health benefits to none. Cacao (Lowfat European Type) has 10-15% fat, 45-60% carbohydrates, and 0-2% sugars. While semisweet chocolate and baking chocolate has 20-35% fat, 50-70% carbohydrates, and 45-65% sugars.
Cacao powder is a very versatile product and can be added to smoothies, homemade energy bars and blends well with water, dairy milks and herbal teas. Cacao beans can be eaten raw or sprinkled on yogurt or granola. Whole beans can be ground and combined with coconut oil to make a chocolate sauce.
When considering adding chocolate to your diet, it is important to remember that darker chocolate with the most concentrated cacao is the best for you. And because even dark chocolate has many calories, it is wise to consume just a little each day to gain the health benefits.
For additional health information on Raw Cacao, please visit the following Websites.