Superfood is a term used to describe food that contains high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result.
When cacao bean is mentioned, are you thinking about including dark chocolate? If you have heard about health benefits that are related with consuming dark chocolate, but you wonder how “candy” can be beneficial for you, a closer look at cacao beans can clarify things.
What are cacao beans?
Cacao beans are the seed of a fruit that grows on the cacao tree. Cacao trees originated in the Amazon basin, and they will only grow in a very warm, moist, shady environment. Cacao beans were so highly valued by ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations, they were used as money. Cacao beans are naturally sugar free and taste somewhat bitter in their raw form.
In their natural state, cacao beans are a super food. They contain many nutrients that are beneficial to our health in a variety of ways. Not only are they absolutely amazingly fantastic for our body, but they contain an unbelievable amount of:
- Anti-oxidants – Research indicates that cacao beans are one of the richest natural food sources of antioxidant flavonols available. They play an important role in protecting against cell damage and may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, and promoting healthy cholesterol levels in the body.
- Polyphenols – Studies indicate the polyphenols contained in cacao beans may improve insulin sensitivity, which may help to lose weight.
- Serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine – these three neurotransmitters that are associated with promoting a healthy mood and positive mental state.