Discover the Powerful Benefits of Cacao for Optimal Health
Cacao is a source for much more than chocolate!
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We hope you enjoyed the first episode of our new podcast, The Unretired. We are getting in the flow of finding subjects and will have a new podcast next week. We are always open to suggestions for people to interview, so if you have ideas or would like to be featured yourself, please reach out! The Unretired is not only about not retiring in your golden years; it is also about learning and finding out why some people feel so passionately about their jobs that they are not willing to retire.
Let’s move onto the benefits of dark chocolate (really we are talking about cacao and polyphenols)!
We have all been hearing about the benefits of dark chocolate for years. This is because pure cacao is full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties which some studies have shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. It also helps to boost serotonin levels, which can improve mood and reduce anxiety. Cacao can also improve digestion and reduce cholesterol levels.
One of the main reasons dark chocolate is good for us are the polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of antioxidants found in dark chocolate (from the cacao pods first harvested which ultimately become chocolate). Polyphenols can be found in other fruits such as berries, grapes, and apples. Polyphenols are also present in tea and red wine, but they are the highest in pure cacao.
If you want to reach for a bar of dark chocolate to get the benefits of polyphenols, you need to buy a bar of chocolate that is organic, has been sourced from a reputable location, and has a high percentage of cacao. For example, you can buy some bars of dark chocolate are as high as 95% cacao. This type of chocolate will be only mildly sweet, kind of fruity and a little astringent… not much like a square of Hersey’s, and significantly more expensive.
The best way to get the benefit of the polyphenols is to buy pure organic cacao powder that has been tested. Most chocolate has mold and pesticides because it is often made from cacao beans that have not been properly tested for these contaminants. This can happen due to inadequate quality control measures during the production process, resulting in chocolate products with higher levels of mold and pesticide residues.
Here are the top articles from scientific sources on the benefits of cacao:
Medical News Today discusses the 9 health benefits of cacoa.
In this New York Times article breaks down how to consume the healthiest chocolate.
This CNN is about how cacao can improve your memory.
One of the best cacao powders to buy (and this is not sponsored) is the Navitas Organic cacao powder, which has been tested and is safely sourced. You can add it to smoothies or make any number of healthy and yummy treats with it, like Allison’s favorite, Avocado Cacao Pudding. She likes to freeze this in popsicle molds for the kids and they love it! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, folks.
Until next week, Age and Prosper!