Who doesn’t love cacao? And who knew that cacao is so nutritious?
Cacao. Indisputably one of the most popular superfoods in the western world, cacao is the plant from which we derive cocoa and make chocolate. But unlike the fat and sugar-laden commercial chocolate that tempts us in the supermarket, cacao powder is simply packed with nutrients for the whole body.
Cacao contains a supply of several critical minerals, including copper, manganese, and zinc. Additionally, cacao contains vitamin B5 and antioxidants called flavonoids, thought to prevent the degeneration of healthy cells. So while popular fads and diets may disagree on the place of chocolate in the diet, science is clear that cacao is incredibly healthy.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of cacao.
The Real Good of Cacao
- Copper—Copper increases the absorption of iron, and thus directly impacts the body’s ability to form red blood cells. Like other minerals, copper supports many bodily functions, keeping our blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones healthy.
- Manganese—Manganese (not to be confused with magnesium, another important nutrient!) is a mineral that helps prevent and slow down bone loss. When taken in combination with other nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, manganese improves bone mass. And good news, ladies: early research shows that manganese might relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
- Zinc—Zinc is a trace mineral that is frequently used to treat digestive disturbance and diarrhea. Some athletes turn to zinc for improved performance and lasting energy. Additionally, zinc supports healthy skin and is used to treat acne.
- Vitamin B5—Also called pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is one of the B complex vitamins, which help the body convert food into energy. Like copper, Vitamin B5 is also vital to the manufacture of red blood cells, and it also helps to support the digestive system.
- Antioxidants—Cacao is rich in antioxidant flavonoids, which are connected to improved blood flow and health benefits for the heart and brain.
Next time you feel tempted to grab a chocolate bar, remember that you can satiate your cravings AND boost your nutrient intake with cacao and UB Super! Check out our inspiring recipes and indulge in your wildest cacao fantasy today: