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Diet & NutritionGeneralWellness

7 Major Benefits from Eating Raw Cacao Powder

5 Mins read

There are many health benefits of raw cacao powder and plenty of reasons why you should incorporate it into your diet. The first thing you should know is that raw cacao powder is considered a superfood because of its many health benefits.

Superfoods are ultra-healthy foods that are very nutrient-dense. Superfoods are disease-fighting, brain-boosting, and even anti-ageing foods. Besides that, superfoods have many health benefits such as high quantities of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Raw cacao is a natural, plant-based superfood from Amazonian trees. Cacao beans are the seeds inside the Amazonian fruit tree. Raw cacao is rich in magnesium, zinc, and iron while also being a great source of antioxidants. 

What’s the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder? It’s all in the processing method. The difference is just a letter. Cocoa powder isn’t nearly as healthy as cacao powder, because it is chemically processed. It is made by roasting cacao beans first. This process loses many nutrients, flavonols and antioxidants.

Many health gurus swear by the coveted raw cacao powder. It is made from cold-pressed, raw cocoa beans. This cold-pressing process retains the living enzymes and nutritional content of the beans. 

Cacao beans are not often consumed raw. Cacao beans are the source of all chocolate and cocoa products on the market. However, when you eat a store-bought chocolate bar, you are not consuming raw cacao. It’s true that raw cacao may not be as easy to find in stores, but it’s worth hunting it down because of all the health and beauty benefits of raw cacao powder. Below are 7 benefits of consuming raw cacao:

1. High in Magnesium

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One of the best health benefits of raw cacao powder is that it’s high in magnesium. It’s important to get magnesium in your diet because magnesium can improve your brain function and mood. The consumption of magnesium has been linked to better mood and brain health. If you increase your consumption of magnesium, you may also find that you experience a more regulated nervous system, and feel less stressed.

Magnesium also helps boost your immune system, regulates your blood pressure, and contains anti-inflammatory benefits. Getting enough of this mineral in your diet can help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Magnesium can even help relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension. These are only some of the many health benefits of magnesium. 

2. Natural Remedy for Anxiety

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Raw cacao contains many essential vitamins and minerals that fight depression and reduce anxiety. Raw cacao contains the amino acid tryptophan, which helps enhance feelings of relaxation while boosting your mood and even improving your sleep. Your body converts L-tryptophan into one of the brain’s most important “happy” chemicals, serotonin. 

If you can naturally increase your brain’s serotonin levels by consuming raw cacao, you might start noticing an improved mood and reduced anxiety.

3. High in Iron

Fun fact: raw cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron. No wonder vegans love raw cacao. It’s crucial to get enough iron, as iron deficiency can lead to a wide array of health problems.

Your body needs iron to make haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that enables oxygen to be circulated throughout your body. If you’re iron deficient and your body doesn’t have enough haemoglobin, your muscles and tissues won’t be getting enough oxygen to function properly, and you’ll likely develop a condition called anaemia.

A low iron diet could lead to extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dry skin, depression, and cold hands and feet due to poor circulation.

This is why consuming iron-rich foods is so important for your health. 

Pro tip: To reap the maximum benefits of this plant-based source of iron, combine it with some vitamin C. In other words, after you drink your raw cacao smoothie, eat an orange if you can. Or, simply add a source of vitamin C to your smoothie along with the raw cacao powder.

4. Skin Health Benefits

You could see skin improvements by eating raw cacao and applying it to the skin topically using creams that contain it.

Raw cacao’s high levels of antioxidants help fight skin ageing and rejuvenate the skin. Furthermore, since raw cacao is a natural anti-inflammatory, skin redness can be soothed with this ingredient. Therefore, raw cacao is a known natural skin healer and skin protector.

Eating raw cacao regularly can also improve blood flow and circulation. Since blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your skin, improved blood flow will likely improve the skin’s complexion.

5. Major Source of Antioxidants 

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A diet high in antioxidants can help lower your risk of many cancers and diseases and help fight ageing. Antioxidants prevent damage from free radicals by fighting free radicals in your body. (High levels of free radicals in the body are linked to multiple diseases and cancers.)

Free radicals are dangerous molecules that attack the good molecules that promote essential bodily functions. By fighting free radicals, antioxidants are your protector and your health booster. 

It’s common knowledge that blueberries (another superfood) have lots of antioxidants, but did you know that raw cacao contains 40 times more antioxidants per 100g than blueberries? It’s safe to say that consuming raw cacao is the best way to get your antioxidants.

6. Rich in Calcium

We’ve known about the importance of calcium since we were kids. Your body needs calcium to build strong bones. Your muscles and your heart also require calcium in order to properly function. That’s why our mothers often reminded us to finish our glass of milk. However, did you know that a serving of raw cacao powder contains more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk? Try mixing raw cacao powder into your glass of milk for a calcium-rich drink full of nutrients.

7. A Great Source of Flavonols to Promote Brain Health

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Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, and have many health benefits. The sub-group of flavonoids, known as flavonols, are found in raw cacao. 

Cocoa flavanols are the special phytonutrients found in raw cacao beans. The cold-pressing process used to create raw cacao powder won’t destroy these flavanols. Flavanols, therefore, get absorbed into the bloodstream when you eat raw cacao. What happens when flavanols accumulate in the hippocampus of the brain? Cognitive function in the brain can improve. 

A 2020 scientific study found that the consumption of cocoa flavanols can improve brain function and cognitive performance.

How To Gain the Benefits of Raw Cacao Powder

To start gaining the benefits of raw cacao powder by regularly consuming it, you’ll want to purchase some raw cacao powder and start adding it to your smoothies. If you’re not a smoothie drinker, you can also sprinkle raw cacao onto your cereal or oatmeal, or mix it into a glass of milk.

The full list of benefits of raw cacao powder might be too long to list. This amazing superfood is also a great source of potassium, protein, essential fatty acids, chromium, zinc and sulphur, among many other essential minerals and vitamins that provide beauty and health benefits.

It’s clear that one of the most important benefits of raw cacao powder is its cancer-fighting and disease-fighting properties. Some people might be more motivated to start consuming raw cacao if their DNA test results reveal a high risk for certain cancers and diseases. People who are genetically at a higher risk for these diseases will want to change their diet to incorporate more disease-fighting foods such as raw cacao.

Your DNA test can also reveal if you’re likely to have higher or lower needs of magnesium, calcium and iron. If your test results indicate that you may have higher needs for any of these, raw cacao would be a helpful addition to your diet.

If you want to find out your genetic risk for certain cancers, diseases, or potential mineral deficiencies, order the CircleDNA Premium kit today. Your future self will thank you for taking preventative measures and taking care of your health.

Erica Gordon
19 posts

About author
Erica majored in Psychology at UBC and has since founded The Babe Report and followed her passion for writing and journalism, with a focus on health and travel writing.
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