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Cacao (pronounced "cu-COW") refers to the Theobroma Cacao tree from which Cocoa is derived, and is used when referring to unprocessed versions of cacao beans.
What is Cacao Powder
Cacao powder is essentially, a less processed raw version of cocoa. It is made by crushing raw cacao beans into powdered form.
What is the difference between cocoa and cacao?
While both cocoa and cacao come from the same cacao bean, the difference is that cocoa powder has been obtained from roasted cacao beans. The cacao beans are roasted at ultra high temperatures. This can cause much of the nutritional value of the cacao bean to be lost in the cocoa manufacturing process.
Regular cocoa powder and chocolate have been chemically processed and roasted, which destroys a large amount of the antioxidants and flavanols. A recent study suggested that between 60% and 90% of the original antioxidants in cacao are lost through common "Dutch processing", used to reduce the bitterness, darken the colour, and create a more mellow flavour to chocolate, but unfortunately also eliminates a great deal of the nutrients. Non-organic cocoa (and non-organic chocolate) has also been treated heavily with toxic pesticides and fumigation chemicals, and may contain genetically modified (GMO) products.
Benefits of raw cacao powder
Raw Organic Cacao on the other hand offers a plethora of benefits, and can be added to the diet in a myriad of ways such as adding organic cacao to smoothies and desserts, without the need for any guilt attached to its incredible taste. Some of the health benefits that Cacao has to offer include:
Contains over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. With an amazing ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs blueberries at a mere 2,400. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to diseases such as cancer.
The highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at a whopping 7.3mg per 100g. This compares to beef and lamb at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg. Note the iron in cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so to get the maximum benefits you'll want to combine it with some vitamin C, like oranges and kiwi fruit
One of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, the most deficient mineral in the Western world. Magnesium is important for a healthy heart, and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with laser-sharp clarity and focus.
Contains more calcium than cow's milk, at 160mg per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk.
A great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals - serotonin, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethylamine, which are associated with feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression.
How much cacao per day?
It doesn’t take much to get all the benefits you need from cacao powder. Between two and three teaspoons (60 grams) per day will be enough for you. Before starting to add cacao to your diet, be warned that those who are allergic to caffeine as cacao does contain this substance.
Where to buy cacao ?
If you’re looking for where to buy cacao powder or any other form of cacao, then there is no better place in Australia than the Buy Organics Online website. We have sourced the very best organic cacao products available and are proud to give you the opportunity to buy them,