Chocolate Cacao Beans
In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants I want to talk about health benefits of cacao beans! I don’t know about you but when it comes to me I love drinking hot cacao at night! It makes me feel relaxed and rejuvenated! Probably it’s very true that God gave angels wings and gave human chocolate! However many people do not know that eating raw chocolate (cacao beans) is actually good for you and has a lot of health benefits.
All kinds of chocolates in their unprocessed natural state are full of nutrients and antioxidants with many health benefits. What’s harmful for the body is white sugar or milk chocolates that have gone through process of adding white sugar and other ingredients that do not have much of nutritional value. Cacao beans are protected by a thin shell where you can easily remove it before eating. Cacao nibs are cacao beans that the shell is removed and broken into smaller pieces.
History of Cacao Beans: For thousands of years cacao beans have been grown in Mexico and south and Central America. In the early 16th century cacao beans were known in Europe as a luxury drink for upper class. In the 17th and 18th century the real cacao bean was known for its magical health benefits but it was too expensive for public use. In the 18thcentury chocolate houses first started in London and made chocolate available for a wider range of society. Now a days cacao is harvested over 43,000 square miles in countries like Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Brazil.
The Health Benefits of Cacao beans:
Cacao beans are a rich source for nutrients and minerals such as sulfur, calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and many others. Sulfur is really good for hair and skin. Sulfur also helps to clean the liver and helps pancreas to function well. Magnesium deficiency is a great source for many heart problems, PMT, diabetes and joint issues. Statistics shows that 80% of Americans have magnesium deficiency or are chronically deficient in magnesium. Many people believe that cacao beans are high in fat but the fact is that the fat in cacao bean is monounsaturated fat like the fat in avocado and fish (OMG3 fat that can help the body to fight with cholesterol and animal fat). The studies also shows that the ingredients in cacao beans might also help to reduce the appetite. Cacao beans increase the level of neurotransmitters and serotonin in brain and that helps with reduction of fatigue, stress and anxiety. The increase in the level of serotonin reduces depression and negativity. Cacao also simulates endorphins that make one feel “high and relaxed”. Phenylethylamine also exists in chocolate. Our brain releases phenylethylamine when we feel loved. Phenylethylamine reduces moodiness, depression and help with concentration. Another chemical that our brain releases when we feel great is anandamide. Cacaco beans contain N-acylethanolamines that can temporary increase the level of anandamide in brain and make one feel good for longer. Cacao beans have also antioxidants flavonoids in them more than any other foods, even more than blueberries or green tea.
Antioxidants have many health benefits. They can reduce the chances of cancer and protect body from metabolic or environmental toxins. They dilute blood and enhance blood circulation by reducing the level of cholesterol in blood and reducing the chances of clotting the arteries which can effectively reduce the risk of heart attack, strokes or heart problems. Next time you are in a restaurant in Seattle and want to order a hot cacao do not hesitate! But ask for real cacao beans! Check out the selection of our Restaurant Directory in Seattle and east side!