What’s better than a delicious warm cup of coco on a chilly day?
Looks like a warm cup of raw cacao is.
Unlike cocoa (coco), raw cacao is produced using unroasted cocoa beans, which are then cold-pressed. This process is believed to keep the valuable enzymes still intact within the cocoa, whilst removing the cacao butter or fat.
In comparison, Coco or cocoa powder has been roasted, which changes the chemical structure, partially destroying the enzymes and decreasing the rich antioxidant and nutritional content.
This is the main reason raw cacao is seen as the healthier choice over cocoa.
There’s a lot of information out there regarding cacao and its pro’s and cons, half of it is speculation and not fact based. So let’s look at what the science is telling us about the good and the bad of raw cacao:
In 2008 a study carried out by the University of Shizuoka, Japan, found that in the short term, large doses of raw cacao (100g body weight) did have the negative effect of increasing symptoms of anxiety. This has been reported by a percentage of consumers too. They feel their heart racing, sweaty palms, and feeling uneasy within minutes of ingesting the raw cacao.
Although in an unexpected twist, within the same study they discovered that the long term use of raw cacao did not impact anxiety at all and had the added benefit of increasing the happy hormone: serotonin release and circulation, as well as positive effects on the neurotransmitter dopamine.
And the list goes on: raw cacao improves inflammation, cardiovascular health, ageing, gut health, brain function and mood.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Honor Tremain - Nutritionist and Health Writer
Honor is a qualified naturopathic Nutritionist and health writer. She is very passionate about nutrition and health, and has been working in the field for almost 20 years. Honor is the head nutrition writer for the multi-national Fitness First magazine, which won best app for an iPhone & tablet device in 2011 for the ‘Magazine excellence awards’. Honor also has her own ‘Ask Honor’ column and weekly health article in the APN newspapers for The Fraser Coast Chronicle and Observer in QLD. She designs weight loss meals and menu’s for Sydney based food manufacturer Core Food Concepts. Honor has lectured and supervised the Nutritional medicine students at one of Sydney’s largest Natural therapies college’s- Nature Care College. You can follow her and many of her articles on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HonorTremain