We all love chocolates, right? But do you know where chocolates come from?
Our favorite childhood treat comes from cacao.
Cacao is the pure form of chocolates. It comes from the Theobroma cacao tree, which means “food of the gods” in Greek.
The tree produces pods that are harvested by hand. White pulp surrounds about 30 or more seeds inside the pod.
So if you’re having some chocolates, you’re actually eating the seeds of the cacao tree’s fruit.
As chocolate’s source, it is also a powerful food that has many benefits since ancient times.
Yes, cacao has many health benefits!
In this article, CDN Digital compiled the powerful benefits that cacao can give us.
Improves your mood
If eating chocolates makes you happy, cacao is responsible for that!
It stimulates the brain to release neurotransmitters that trigger emotions like euphoria or joy.
Consumed cacao produces a natural, adrenal-related chemical called phenylethylamine or “love drug” in the body.
Phenylethylamine takes place when you feel excited or in love, causing your pulse to speed up.
It also allows for more focus or awareness.
Minimize the risk of diabetes
For those who have type 2 diabetes, dark chocolate has been found out to be beneficial.
Research at the Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition found out that cocoa flavanols can slow down carbohydrate digestion and absorption in the stomach, stimulate the uptake of sugar out of the blood into the muscle, reduce inflammation and improve insulin secretion.
But the researchers still promote consuming only small amounts of low-sugar chocolates.
Raw cacao is a good source of magnesium.
Healthy magnesium levels are associated with a lower risk of diabetes as well as healthy blood pressure and more.
Prevents Heart Disease
Many studies already support that dark chocolate with less sugar and no dairy products can prevent heart disease.
A 2011 study showed that there was a 32% reduction of calcified plaque in the arteries when chocolate was consumed two or more times in a week.
Chocolate can protect the heart by inhibiting the oxidation of bad cholesterol.
When bad cholesterol oxidizes, it lingers on the walls of arteries that increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Flavonoids that are abundant in both cacao and cocoa powder inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes in the body.
Good for your brain
It’s hard to believe but chocolate is often listed as the best food for brain health!
So if you’re gonna do another study night, better prepare your chocolates for a snack.
Flavanols in dark chocolate were found out to relax the arteries and increase the flow of oxygen to the brain.
A published study in 2012 showed that regular consumption of cocoa flavanols can be effective in improving cognitive function.
Aside from cacao’s brain-boosting benefits, another study found that consuming up to three servings of chocolate in a week can improve overall mental performance.
Flavonoids were also found to protect neurons from oxidative damage which decreases cognitive function.
Raw cacao contains four times more antioxidants than other varieties of dark chocolates.
Compared to other sources of antioxidants, cacao seeds are a rich source.
Cacao products contribute more to the dietary intake of phenolic antioxidants than other known antioxidant‐rich food and beverages.
Cocoa powder was also found out to contain up to 50 milligrams of polyphenols per gram.
Tell us how much you love products made from cacao in the comments section of this video!