Chocolate Cacao Beans
In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants I want to talk about the 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! The fact is that raw chocolate (cacao beans) are actually good for you and have a lot of health benefits.
Raw cacao beans are full of nutrients and antioxidants and have many health benefits. Keep in mind that milk chocolate is full of white sugar and milk and does not have any nutritional value. Cacao beans are protected by a thin shell and you can easily remove it before eating.
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 as a luxury drink for upper class. In the 17th century the real cacao bean was known for its magical health benefits but it was too expensive for public consumption. In the 18th century chocolate houses started in London and that made chocolate available for a wider range of the 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 root of many diseases like heart issues, PMT, diabetes and joint issues. Statistics show 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 off cholesterol and fat). The studies also shows that the ingredients in cacao beans might also help to lower the appetite. Cacao beans increase the level of neurotransmitters and serotonin in brain and helo to lower fatigue, stress and anxiety. The increase in level of serotonin lowers depression and negativity. Cacao also simulates endorphins and help you feel “high and relaxed”. Phenylethylamine is another natural substance in chocolate. Our brain releases phenylethylamine when we feel loved. Phenylethylamine reduces moodiness and depression and helps 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 the brain and make you feel happy. Cacao beans have also antioxidants flavonoids, even more than blueberries or green tea.
Antioxidants have many health benefits. They can reduce the risk of cancer and protect the body from metabolic or environmental toxins. They dilute in the blood and enhance blood circulation by reducing the level of cholesterol. They can also 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!