superfood cacao benefits

What You Need To Know: Chocolate – a superfood? Believe it! In its raw, unprocessed state, cacao is filled with nutrients and health benefits. This South American evergreen seed (which is harvested from the tree’s pods) is at the core of many well-loved desserts, but has actually been used for centuries in Mexico and Central and South America specifically for its healing, energizing properties.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT: Cacao is not only a yummy dessert ingredient, but a rich source of many antioxidants and minerals. In its raw state, cacao raises levels of tryptophan and therefore serotonin, a neurotransmitter that releases mood-boosting endorphins, and provides a sense of calm throughout the body. Its antioxidant flavonoids promote optimal cardiovascular health as well as fighting free-radical toxins. Manganese and iron oxygenate the blood, magnesium balances brain chemistry and sulfur builds strong nails, hair and skin. No wonder it makes us feel so good! But the number one reason you should try cacao? It’s delicious!

LET’S GET TOGETHER: We love to use cacao in recipes as either powder or nibs. Add rich cacao powder to a smoothie, like this calming mineral-rich banana whip-up, or throw in to a sweet, yet nutritious indulgence like raw cacao pudding or Abigail’s pistachio chocolate rolls. For an alternative to chocolate chips, try cacao nibs in – well, everything! We love it here in this drool-inducing batch of cookies!

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