Why we are crazy about cacao
Updated: Feb 2
Cacao is a superfood that is often overlooked due to its cousin cocoa. Some people have the mindset chocolate flavour = unhealthy, which isn't the case at all. Cacao Is an incredible superfood that works magic for the body, which is why here at Pwr Fit, we love it!!
The difference between cocoa and cacao
When buying chocolate, you may have realised that some packages state they use cacao while others mention cocoa. Or, when looking through your local health food store, you may have seen raw cacao powder or cacao nibs, leading you to wonder why you wouldn't just buy standard cocoa powder and chocolate chips. To make this easier to see the proper comparison, a list of cacao vs cocoa is below.
- High in antioxidants
- Contains vitamins and minerals
- Darker in colour and more rich and bitter flavour
- Produced through cold pressing of unroasted beans (preserves nutrients)
- Low levels of cacao
- Heat refined (lowers nutritional value)
- Stripped of nutrients
- Light in colour with a very sweet taste
- Often contains added sugars, milk, artificial flavours, and hydrogenated oils
Cacao benefits for women:
Cacao is an incredible superfood for balancing women's hormones (especially). Still, its high magnesium content helps to turn off the overactive fight or flight response in the body and helps the overall body relax. This intern means when a woman is experiencing premenstrual syndrome or menstrual cramping, this can help reduce the pain caused. On top of this, cacao also has a natural endorphin, a stimulant that isn't caffeine. Therefore as a woman, if you are trying to reduce the caffeine intake in your diet, it can be beneficial (and good tasting)
Other health benefits:
- 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries
- The highest plant-based source of protein
- Magnesium which aids healthy heart and brain function
- More calcium than cow's milk (WOW)
- A natural anti-depressant and mood elevator
- Reduce inflammation
- Lower blood pressure
How you can add cacao into your everyday life:
Adding cacao can be as easy as replacing it for your standard cocoa powder in your healthy baking or including it in your chia seed pudding and oats in the morning to give you a good start. Although buying cacao may seem slightly more expensive when you start to use it, you will notice you won't need to use it as much as traditional cocoa powder. Another easy way of getting your daily cacao hit is through Pwr Fits smoothies. Our Choc Dream, Black Forest, Salted Caramel, Choc Tropeka Superfoods, and Snickers smoothies all have Cacao, Cacao nibs, or both in them!
Check out our blog on how drinking a smoothie a day can add to your macro and micronutrient per day. >>>
Here are two easy recipes to increase your cacao intake for the day!
- 1 banana (mashed)
- 1 egg
- 2 T cacao powder
- 1 T cacao nibs
- 1 T almond butter
- 1 T honey
- 1 T buckwheat flour (or oat flour) **
- 1 t baking powder
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add the desired amount of mixture to a hot non-stick pan and flip when bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake. Repeat this process until the mixture is all used. Top with berries, cacao nibs, and yogurt.
** To make your own oat flour, just add the desired amount of oats to a blender, then continue the recipe as normal.
Happy Hormone Hot Choc:
- 1 T cacao
- 1 T honey or maple syrup
- 1 t maca powder (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Boiling water
- Preferred milk (we like oat or coconut)
Add cacao, honey, maca, and salt into a mug with a splash of boiling water. Vigorously mix the ingredients with a teaspoon until lumps disappear. Add more boiling water until almost full (leaving room for milk), then top with the desired amount of milk.
PWR FIT Coach