Cacao powder, a bitter chocolate powder, can be widely used in several recipes to obtain a distinct taste. Cacao powder is also highly nutritious and can provide several great health benefits and improve bodily functions.
Cacao powder is a healthier alternative to cocoa powder. Even though both are obtained through the same beans, they are derived from these beans in different ways.
You can go through the details pertaining to cacao powder as well as its health benefits and intake levels below.
- What Is Cacao Powder?
- Health Benefits Of Cacao Powder
- Foods With Cacao Powder
- Daily Recommended Dose Of Cacao Powder
- How To Take Cacao Powder
- Side Effects Of Cacao Powder
- Health Benefits Of Cacao Powder: Final Remarks
What Is Cacao Powder?
Cacao powder is a kind of powder obtained from cacao beans that are usually found in the trees of the Amazon or, increasingly, other equatorial parts of the world.
Cacao powder is obtained by fermentation, followed by processing the beans using low temperatures and grinding. This results in a bitter chocolate powder that contains high levels of nutrition within it without losing out on it too much during the extraction and roasting process.
This separates it from cocoa powder which tends to be less bitter but also less nutritious.
This kind of cacao powder can make for a great ingredient when it comes to baking. It can also provide several health benefits while still being a highly versatile ingredient.
Health Benefits Of Cacao Powder
There are several health benefits that you can obtain from cacao powder as long as you consume it in the right and appropriate quantities. You can go through some of these benefits below.
Blood Pressure Regulation
Cacao powder can help maintain and regulate blood pressure since it contains flavonoids that can have a positive impact on the flow rate of the blood, usually leading to improved levels of blood pressure while also reducing the risk of clots. This can then help prevent other major diseases as well.
Cacao powder has antioxidants that can prevent the risk of major heart diseases in your body. This takes place through the presence and function of potassium and nitric oxide that can have a marked improvement in terms of your blood vessels.
This is usually why chocolate consumption in the right quantities and in the right quality is said to reduce the risk of strokes, diabetes and chronic coronary heart diseases.
Improved Mental Health
This is because cacao powder contains potassium and other natural compounds such as tryptophan and theobromine that can result in the production of serotonin.
Cacao powder can reduce levels of inflammation in your body that can otherwise lead to short term as well as chronic diseases. This is because they can limit the creation and production of several proteins and substances that can otherwise lead to inflammation in your body. This is enhanced by the presence of antioxidants.
Cacao powder contains important dietary fiber that can improve digestion in your body while also reducing nausea, diarrhea and stomach aches.
It can lead to better bowel movements while also reducing the risk of bowel-related syndromes. This is made possible through the flavanols and antioxidants present in cacao powder.
There are several other health benefits that you can expect from the healthy consumption of cacao powder that include improved skin health, reduced pain, improved cognitive functioning, better gut health, lower blood sugar levels as well as a reduced risk of cancer.
Make sure you do not overdo it with this consumption either.
Foods With Cacao Powder
There are several foods that contain cacao powder that you can consume on a regular basis. However, it is important to consume these in controlled amounts as too much of it can end up doing more harm than good.
You can go through some foods with cacao powder below.
- Hot chocolate
- Cakes and brownies
- Cacao nibs
- Organic chocolate
You can obtain cacao powder from online or offline stores and use them in your meals to add a boost of nutrition. You can also buy the foods mentioned above from stores or bakeries or you can make them on your own.
Daily Recommended Dose Of Cacao Powder
You can consume cacao powder on a daily basis as long as you consume it in small and limited quantities. You can have up to six servings in a given week as long as the servings are not too much.
Make sure you also account for the caffeine present in the cacao powder. It is likely that a certain dose of cacao powder might affect different people in varying ways depending on their own tolerance and general health.
How To Take Cacao Powder
You can take cacao powder by consuming baked goods or by adding a bit of it to your granola, morning breakfast bowls, smoothies as well as hot and cold chocolate drinks. You can also obtain it by having a bite of organic chocolate that you can buy from reliable brands and sources.
Usually, cacao powder can be a healthier alternative to cocoa powder, although it can be a bit more bitter. You can use the same quantity of it in a recipe, although you might need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
You can also simply sprinkle a small amount of raw cacao powder on toast, yogurt and oatmeal or add it to a delicious smoothie.
Side Effects Of Cacao Powder
Some side effects of cacao powder, if consumed in large quantities, include the following:
- Reduced sleep
- Weight gain
- Increased heart rate
Make sure you do not end up eating too much cacao powder on a daily basis to ensure that you do not feel these side effects. You should also consult a doctor or a nutritionist in case you are unsure about consuming cacao powder and its effects on your body.
Health Benefits Of Cacao Powder: Final Remarks
Cacao powder, obtained from cacao beans, has several health benefits that we have covered above. Make sure you consume this in healthy amounts to feel the benefits while also avoiding too much of it in case you feel any side effects.