If you’re a chocoholic, you’re probably used to trying to decide between many different types of chocolate; however, you might still have overlooked the merits of cacao.
What is cacao? It is, simply defined, the purest kind of chocolate you can eat. As it is highly unprocessed, it can bring many more health benefits than more familiar forms of chocolate.
GETTING A SENSE OF DÉJÀ VU?
We know what you might be thinking: Why does the name 'cacao' ring a bell? That may be because it is very similar to 'cocoa' – a term commonly used for another type of chocolate. However, cacao and cocoa differ in crucial ways, especially when production methods are taken into consideration.
Both cacao and cocoa are made from cacao beans, which come from cacao pods produced by the cacao fruit tree called Theobroma cacao. Cacao butter, which is found in cacao beans and tastes and looks like white chocolate, is taken from the bean, leaving the rest of the fruit to be used in the production of raw cacao powder.
Some moot that Cocoa is a misspelling of Cacao, a mistake made when the beans were first brought back to Europe by the early Spanish explorers.
THE RIGHT KIND OF CACAO
Many health benefits can be derived from consuming cacao as it’s believed to have a higher number of antioxidants than any other food. Nonetheless, exactly how rich in antioxidants cacao is depends on where it was grown; for that reason, you can take comfort from the fact that we source our cacao from South America, which provides better quality cacao than South East Asia, another notable grower of the seed.
Soil Association-certified organic raw cacao capsules can be purchased from our product selection here at Natural Health Market
HOW DOES COCOA DIFFER FROM CACAO?
Cocoa powder is the most familiar form of cacao, and while it is made in a similar manner, cocoa is subjected to temperatures above 40°C, which kills most of the antioxidants the raw cacao powder contains. Also, cocoa is generally blended with sugar, anticoagulants and colouring to keep the product consistent.
As cacao contains around 30% oils, it can clump and change colour when exposed to high temperatures, and as supermarkets and mass food manufacturers don't like inconsistencies or waste, they opt instead for products that are highly processed and less likely to spoil over ones with higher nutritional values. All our cacao products are RAW and unprocessed.
If you want chocolate with as many nutrients as possible, we would urge you to choose a raw cacao chocolate instead – and buying organic cacao capsules from our online store can be a good start if you are currently inexperienced with cacao.
We wish you both the happiest and healthiest chocolate eating this festive and New Year season!
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