From our previous article, we dove into the history of cacao and how it came to be the modern chocolate. In one form or another, you might have consumed a chocolate bar or any chocolate flavored food stuff since you can easily find one anywhere. We all know how chocolates taste like, but in this article, we will share to you the benefits it gives our bodies. Read more to find out.
Cacao, Cocoa and Chocolate: Any difference?
Although they are technically one and the same, there is one simple difference between the two. Cacao is a pure form of chocolate, as it is the closest you can get from the original seeds of the cacao tree. Cocoa, on the other hand, is cacao that was processed with high heat. So, if you’d check packaging labels, some would state that they use cacao as an ingredient, while others would put cocoa. Chocolate, however, is the more processed version of both, since cacao or cocoa are mixed in with various other ingredients and flavoring to give you that sweet taste that we all know and love.
Cacao is an excellent source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and manganese. It also contains plant fiber for better bowel movement, stimulants like caffeine although in a much smaller dosage than coffee, phytochemicals, and antioxidants for your cardiovascular health. Cacao can also boost your mood after consumption.
If cacao is this healthy, why is it always advised to eat chocolates in moderation?
Well, anything in excess is bad for your health, even exercise. Also, going back to the thing that we said earlier: cocoa is the processed version of cacao, while chocolate is the more processed version since it contains other ingredients. Said ingredients includes sugar, vanilla, nuts and other flavorings. Since processing of cacao into cocoa and chocolates involves high heat and various other steps, the nutrients that you’ll be getting from its raw version becomes less and less further down the processing line.
As a rule of thumb, the darker the chocolate is, the closer it is to its raw form, hence the more nutrients. Also, look for cacao-based products with less sugar and other additives, since eating high sugar content has been known to be the leading cause of various health issues in the modern world.
The next time that you stop by the grocery store to buy cacao-based products, be sure to read the label and know more about the product that you will be consuming.
Good Harvest aims to provide the best cacao in the country, and in the region, by ensuring productivity and involving the community with respect to the environment.