We’ve all heard the word superfoods; foods that contain significantly higher quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and health-boosting benefits. I’m sure you’ve tried a few like broccoli or blueberries but I bet you’d choose chocolate over blueberries or broccoli any day. Here is the first of many super foods I’ll be informing you about so you can choose to make eating habits healthy and delicious, maybe even a little exotic like our first superfood the cacao bean. Grown in the Amazon of Peru, cacao is a fruit that grows on trees. The fruits of the cacao tree are called cacao pods, which contain cacao beans that are used as the basis of chocolate.
Did you know cacao is:
- 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. Move over blueberries because cacao has an incredible ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g versus blueberries at a mere 2,400. (ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals.)
- Highest plant-based source of iron. If you need iron, cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man at a whopping 7.3 mg per 100 g compared to spinach at 3.6 mg. You’ll need to combine with some Vitamin C to get the maximum benefits. Try an Easy Cacao/Banana Smoothie. (recipe below)
- Full of Magnesium. The most deficient mineral in the Western world, cacao is one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium. Magnesium is important for a healthy heart and brain and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with clarity and focus.
- More calcium than cow’s milk. A latte or a couple squares of chocolate? Your choice.
- A natural mood elevator and anti-depressant. Serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phyenylenthylamine are neurotransmitters associated with warm and cozy feelings. A natural, healthy and delicious way to get a happy buzz on.
Eating chocolate is a sensual experience along with numerous studies of its amazing health benefits, it’s a win/win! Here’s to the healthy pleasure of cacao!
EASY Cacao/Banana Smoohtie
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp creamy almond butter
- 1 tbsp organic raw cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 frozen medium banana
- pinch sea salt
- ice cubes
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for about 2 minutes until well combined.
Pour in glass and enjoy!
Rebecca Louise | Realife Co