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Dieticians vouch that organic cacao is a health game changer

Organic cacao is a worthy addition to the list of superfoods. Picture: cgdsro from Pixabay

Organic cacao is a worthy addition to the list of superfoods. Picture: cgdsro from Pixabay

Published Aug 2, 2022

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Organic cacao is a worthy addition to the list of superfoods.

It’s an excellent source of antioxidants and other nutrients that can significantly improve your health over time if consumed as part of a healthy diet.

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While raw cacao, such as powder or nibs, is produced organically without the use of chemicals, cacao used in most other chocolate products undergoes significant processing, which removes many of its beneficial health properties.

Kirsten Gerrard, a doctor and dietician who consults for wellness brand Tony Ferguson, tells us about five ways organic cacao can revolutionise your health.

Incorporating organic cacao into your diet regularly is a terrific method to improve your health overall. Picture: ally j from Pixabay

1. It’s an antioxidant

Did you know that in comparison to blueberries, raw cacao has 40 times more antioxidants per 100g?

Due to its high antioxidant content, it can renew the skin and repair age-related cell damage. Additionally, antioxidants prevent the growth of free radicals, aiding your body’s defences against cancer.

2. It’s an anti-inflammatory

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Cacao has potent anti-inflammatory properties because of its high flavonoid content. Organic cocoa can aid in reducing inflammation, which is a factor in many chronic illnesses such as hypertension (high blood pressure).

The anti-inflammatory properties of organic cacao have also been demonstrated to enhance insulin resistance, aiding in the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels, and prevent diabetes.

The prevalence of these and other chronic diseases is also found to be lower in populations that regularly consume organic cocoa, according to studies.

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3. It’s high in fibre

Regular consumption of cacao can aid in lowering cholesterol levels thanks to its fibre content. In addition to all the other benefits, fibre generally provides for gut health.

This can lessen the chance of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and other significant health issues.

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4. It has mental health benefits

Organic cacao has a variety of mental health benefits, including mood elevation and stress reduction, but some research suggests it may also aid in memory and concentration.

According to a 2020 scientific study, the flavonoids found in cacao have a positive impact on brain function and can promote higher cognitive performance when used regularly. It’s also high in serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylethylamine, all of which are linked to feelings of happiness and well-being.

5. It has a high iron content

Organic cacao is well known for its high iron, magnesium and potassium content. The iron content of cacao, on the other hand, is particularly impressive: it provides a four times more concentrated iron source than meat products.

However, it is far easier to consume 100g or even 300g of meat per day than it is to consume even 100g of organic cacao per day. The good news is that as a supplement to other iron-rich foods, even 25g of cacao per day can increase your iron intake.

You can add organic cacao powders or nibs to your meal, either by blending them into a smoothie or by sprinkling them on your cereal in the morning. As an alternative, you can create your own using recipes, such as peanut butter and cacao balls.

Incorporating organic cacao into your diet regularly is a terrific method to improve your health overall. You’ll benefit from it most when you combine it with a healthy diet, regular exercise, enough sleep, and stress management techniques.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.

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