It is safe to say that everyone loves chocolate. It’s simply a universally adored treat that is served in all kinds of delicious forms. We cook with it, bake with it, and even drink it. However, there’s a lot of conversation about the health benefits of chocolate and which forms are healthier than others.
(As if you needed more reasons to eat chocolate)
Understanding the difference between cacao and cocoa is the first place to start. It’s not just a “tomato-tomahto” sort of thing.
While cocoa and cacao begin in the same place, the way that they are processed makes them end up as two different things–and as a result, cacao is the hero ingredient packed with nutrients that you won’t find in cocoa. At VIVOTRIBE, we are using cacao as a central ingredient in products we are producing because we truly believe in the magic of this superfood.
Despite all of the articles and news reports that rave about the health perks of chocolate, the cacao bean itself is the one that deserves the real credit. It all begins with the Theobrama cacao tree, native to South America. Once the seed pods are harvested, fermented and dried, they are taken to be processed further. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate, which means it is nowhere near as processed as cocoa. The extra processing of cocoa degrades the nutrients and lowers the potent benefits that lie within the bean. Because of this, cacao is incredibly rich in minerals and a much smarter option.
Cacao is loaded with antioxidants. It contains “epicatechin”, which helps to boost your mood and cognitive performance.
So basically, eating it will make you happier! Studies have shown that cacao contains antioxidants that also help to lower blood pressure and protect your heart. Magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium are some of the many nutrients squeezed in this superfood. Now cacao can be your new “not so guilty” pleasure.