By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that chocolate is all the rage in the health world. Not only is if full of antioxidants, but new studies show it may benefit your brain! Can you say, duh? Those of us who partake in this substance daily, could have told you that! No seriously though, a daily Snickers or handful of M&M’s doesn’t count. 🙂
Let’s take a deeper look at chocolate, cacao and cocoa.
What is chocolate? According to Wikipedia, chocolate is a processed and sweetened food produced from the seed from the theobroma cacao tree. This tree is native to the tropical regions of South and Central America. However, the Ivory Coast in Africa contributes the highest percentage of commercially grown cacao today.
What is cacao? Cacao is the raw substance from the cacao tree before it’s turned into that chocolate bar or cup of hot cocoa. Raw cacao powder is very similar to cocoa powder, but it has retained a lot if its health properties which is why it is a great substance for smoothies or snacks. Raw cacao even has a higher antioxidant rating than blueberries, acai or even goji berries.
What is white chocolate? White chocolate isn’t chocolate at all. It is made from cocoa butter (which is the fatty substance obtained from the cocoa beans), sugar, milk solids and other additives usually.
I start every morning with a raw cacao smoothie. I find it gives me energy and yet, satisfies my craving for something sweet. With all the nutritional benefits raw cacao has, I can feel confident that I’m doing something good for my body, even if it tastes good. 🙂