Cacao, the raw form of chocolate, has numerous health benefits backed by scientific evidence. It is rich in flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote heart health, improve brain function, and enhance mood. Cacao also contains theobromine, a natural stimulant that can boost athletic performance. However, it is important to watch out for added sugar and high calorie content, as well as potential interactions with medication and allergies.
Adding it to your meal plan:
Cacao can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and baked goods for a healthy and delicious boost. A popular example is adding cacao powder to a banana smoothie for a chocolatey twist.
Other foods that share similar health benefits to cacao include dark chocolate, berries, and green tea. For a plant-based option, try incorporating cocoa nibs into your meals.”