The Ancient Cacao Bean
The cacao bean has been prized since ancient times. I suppose all through the centuries humans have known the deliciousness of chocolate! The photo to the right is one I took in Costa Rica, where we actually watched them chop the pods right off the tree, and I discovered that the actual bean is nestled inside.
Just like I mentioned in my article about turmeric, those of us trying to get back to the basics of health, find ourselves referring back to to the ancient wisdom of our ancestors.
So What is the difference between Cacao and Cocoa?
Simply put, It’s the same bean, but the difference is in the processing. Cocoa is simply the raw cacao bean, except it’s been roasted and processed. Left unroasted, and unprocessed, with no additives, it’s still simply cacao, and it is the purest form of chocolate.
Cacao beans are also full of antioxidants and minerals, and we all know antioxidants fight inflammation in our body. The shocking fact is that cacao has 8Ox the amount of antioxidants of green tea, and 15% the amount of antioxidants of blueberries.
Most of us following the keto lifestyle are doing everything possible to avoid inflammation, by avoiding preservatives and extra processing when possible. So read on, and find out WHY cacao should be an important weapon in your fight for better health.
So the Benefits of Cacao Are:
1. Cacao has flavanols. These are plant based antioxidants, making raw cacao popular with vegans. Flavanols can also be found in grapes, tea, and blueberries and have been shown to improve the elasticity of our blood vessels which is great for heart health! Flavanols have also been proven to reduce blood pressure.
2. Cacao has fiber! We need fiber to sustain a healthy gut because this is where our bodies flight inflammation first. It stimulates the guts enzymes and helps with the absorption of nutrients.
3. Another aspect of cacao that makes it especially beneficial for keto, is that it contains potassium and magnesium! Now this was exciting for me, because bodies in a ketogenic state do not retain as much water, and since our electrolytes are being depleted daily, we have to be very aware of the amount of potassium, magnesium and sodium we have in our bodies so that it is able function properly. A lack of electrolytes is also the main reason people new to keto experience the ‘Keto flu’. But the keto flu does not only strike beginners, it can sneak up on you at any time, causing headaches, heart palpitations, and lethargy among other things. A lack of electrolytes can cause an electrical imbalance in our bodies and this can have an effect on both our muscle and nerve functions. Having muscle cramps? Try taking magnesium and potassium.
4. Cacao has polyphenols, which is another type of antioxidant. Polyphenols protect our cells and prevent premature cell oxidation. Better stated, polyphenols keep our cells intact and helps prevent aging.
5. Another benefit of cacao is that it contains iron. Most of us are deficient in iron, and it is important because its main function is to help our red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s other cells and tissues.
6. This last benefit found in cacao is probably my favorite, since this is the main
reason I follow the keto lifestyle, and that would be that it contains flavonoids. Flavonoids have a positive effect on the brain and helps cognitive function. Flavonoids also help produce a more efficient blood flow to our brains and nerve tissues.
One Study of healthy volunteers showed that just after 5 days of consuming cacao there was improved blood flow to the brain. It also improved thinking skills.
While doing all my research on cacao, I came across a product that I fell in love with and I know you will too. I really wanted to share it with you, because it is a pure, organic, and unprocessed cacao, but this brand also contains turmeric, MCT oil, Lucuma, organic cinnamon, Himalayan sea salt and black pepper fruit making this not only unbelievably delicious and nutritious, but a true superfood. I’m addicted to it.
This product is called Cacao Bliss and comes from EarthEcho, the incredible new food line created by Danette May.
We loved it so much we obtained her cookbook and tried out some of her Cacao Bliss recipes! We were so blown away with the all the deliciousness that we dedicated an entire YouTube video with a couple of her recipes. We also created one of our own very unique recipes using Cacao Bliss! Cacao Basil Vinaigrette.
Click HERE , and try this wonderful product with a 15% discount by using coupon code KETOINTHECOUNTRY.
If you haven’t been following Danette May like Kristen and I have for years, check her out at @thedanettemay and her products at @earthechofoods.