Nutrition

Cacao Nibs | Smart Snacking Benefits And How To Use

 Cacao Nibs And Their Benefits

Cacao, or Theobroma cacao, is chocolate at its most natural. Deriving from the Theobroma Cacao tree it is the superfood that keeps on giving. So why should you make this your go-to snack?

Raw and organic, cacao nibs contain phytonutrients, including magnesium, phenylethylamine and sulphur, all of which have the excellent benefits for both your physical and mental health, from increased energy and focus to brighter moods.

Cacao nibs also make for better antioxidants than tea or blueberries, which up until now may have been your top readily available sources. In fact, cacao has been used for its health benefits for more than 3,000 years, with the main benefits coming from the flavanol, epicatechin, which is found in cacao. This is one of the main differences between cacao and cocoa, but there are other important ones that highlight precisely why cacao is known as a superfood and cocoa is altogether its less healthy cousin; cacao is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, cholesterol-free saturated fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber, natural carbohydrates and protein.

To ensure you receive all of these nutrients in their prime without chemical alteration or additional sugars, cacao nibs are a good option. This is because they undergo the least processing from the original beans themselves. Cacao nibs are basically cacao beans that have been roasted and separated into husks – then made into small pieces (perfect for a healthy, energy-boosting snack).

Lose Weight And Keep Your Bowels Regular

Full to the rafters with fiber, that means that you will feel full when you snack on cacao nibs. That is the exact opposite of what happens when you eat a chocolate candy bar, right? Just one ounce of cacao nibs has nine grams of fiber. As well as keeping you from wanting more to eat, which can help you to cut down on how much you ingest and thus see you shed a few pounds, the high fiber content also serves you well by keeping your bowel movements regular, providing relief from constipation.

On the flip side of this, cacao can keep you from getting the runs. It can help with diarrhoea because of its polyphenols content, which can put an end to intestinal secretions.

health benefits of cocoa

A New Antioxidant For Your List

Cacao has forty times the antioxidants of blueberries. Antioxidants can prohibit and put a stop to the oxidation of molecules in your body by removing potentially health-risky oxidising agents. In doing this they provide your body with a kind of cleaning service, which results in healthy skin, by cleaning up all the waste from your cells before they can cause any damage. These waste products are called ‘free radicals’. Cacao has an ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, while blueberries have 2,400. An ORAC score measures antioxidants’ ability to absorb free radicals.

This means that they play an important role in preventing coronary disease and strokes. The high antioxidant content can help to increase cellular life and prevent premature aging.

Get Your All-Natural Magnesium Energy Boost

Raw cacao is known as a strong source of magnesium, which helps your body to produce energy as well as the functioning of your brain and nervous system. It also supports your strong bones, teeth and healthy blood pressure. Magnesium helps to turn glucose into energy for your brain to focus – that’s why if you’re studying, working or training at the end of a long day, cacao nibs will give you the natural pep you are in need of.

Magnesium is key to the functioning of your muscles and nerves. Thanks to its high magnesium content, along with the effects of epicatechin, cacao improves muscle structure and enhances nerve function.

Full Of Iron

It’s true: eating cacao nibs could help to fight anaemia. Cacao is, in fact, the highest plant-based source of iron, featuring 7.3mg per 100g. If you thought you were missing out on iron by being a vegetarian or vegan,: beef and lamb features only 2.5mg of iron per 100mg, and spinach has only 3.6mg.

health benefits of cocoa

High Calcium Content

Cacao powder is a great source of calcium, which is good for your teeth and bones among other things. In fact, it has more than cow’s milk, with a whopping 160mg per 100g while milk has 125mg per 100ml.

Brighten Your Day With Cacao Nibs

Cacao is a proven source of serotonin, tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylethylamine, which are neurotransmitters that are produced as an adrenalin-related chemical when you are excited. This is what gives you that heightened focus when.

 

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye has an MSc in Sport Physiology and Nutrition, and puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. She enjoys a pun, and in her spare time loves dog walking and eating out.


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