7 Delicious Cacao Health Benefits
That Will Blow Your Mind
Supports A Positive Mood
Chocolate lovers are probably already familiar with this benefit. If you’ve ever bitten into a piece of dark chocolate and felt blissful, it’s not your imagination! Cacao contains natural mood-lifting “bliss chemicals” like tyrosine, phenylethylamine, anandamide, and theobromine.
Tyrosine is the precursor to dopamine, which is the brain chemical responsible for feelings of reward and motivation (2)[/] Phenylethylamine is an adrenal-related chemical that occurs when you feel excited or in love. Anandamide is a natural chemical molecule that helps support a state of bliss. And theobromine is a compound that positively affects our mood and energy levels. *
Supports Healthy Blood Pressure
Cacao is especially high in flavonols, which are secondary metabolites found in plants that have an antioxidant effect.
Studies have shown that the flavanols in cacao can increase the formation of endothelial nitric oxide which signals the arteries to relax and promotes normal blood pressure (3)[/]. *
Supports Heart Health
Supporting a positive mood and healthy blood pressure are both likely to have a positive effect on heart health, but cacao shows the heart even more love than that. Raw cacao is a good source of potassium, which is a key nutrient in hearth health (4)[/].
Studies have also shown that regular consumption of cacao is associated with improvements in cholesterol levels (5)[/]. Cacao can also help prevent the clumping of blood platelets (6)[/]. The bottom line: cacao loves your heart! *
Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is key to overall health and the flavonols in cacao can help! Cacao flavonoids have been shown to support healthy insulin sensitivity and secretion, helping your body manage appropriate blood sugar
In addition, cacao can help slow the digestion of carbohydrates. *
Supports Healthy Inflammatory Response
Inflammation gets a bad rap but a healthy inflammatory response is crucial to maintaining health and overall well-being in your body.
And regular consumption of flavonol-rich cacao has been shown to help support your body’s inflammatory response (8)[/]. *
Supports Brain Health
Want to feel even better about your chocolate obsession? Turns out, cacao is good for your brain, too! Once again, the flavonols in cacao get the credit. Those flavonols have been shown to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain and could even be effective in supporting healthy cognitive function (9)[/]!
Theobromine also plays a role here, helping you feel more alert. Sounds like cacao and studying should go hand-in-hand. *
Supports Digestive Health
The health benefits of cacao just won’t quit, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also
Cacao has been shown to have positive effects on the gut microbiome similar to prebiotics and probiotics, promoting friendly bacteria populations (10)[/]. And we all know a happy gut means a happy body. *