Hands up if you've ever heard that chocolate is healthy.
Most times when we say "cacao" people assume we are just mispronouncing cocoa. However there is a HUGE difference. Let's start with a key piece of knowledge to make you feel empowered today. Cacao is pronounced, "Ka-Cow". BOOM. Now you can walk around and have confidence in your superfood name dropping.
In a nut shell, cocoa is the product of heavily heat processed cacao. The processing started in the 19th century was used to reduce the bitterness and darken the color of chocolate. Unfortunately this heat processing changes the molecular structure of cocoa and reduces the enzyme and nutrient content. Many people say cocoa still maintains some nutritional value, but if you are opting for cocoa beware of the additives like food colorings, artificial flavoring, GMO soy lecithin, added sugar, soybean oil, and dairy (dairy inhibits the absorption of antioxidants from cacao/cocoa). A study done by the US department of Ag/Journal of American Chemical Society stated the decrease in ORAC (measurement of antioxidants) from 95,500 (raw cacao) to 26,000 (roasted cocoa).
A quick overview of the benefits of cacao:
Now go grab some raw cacao and throw it in your next smoothie or protein drink! BOOM. Or just buy some Ello Raw Goji Cacao Brownie Bites ;)