Are you a cacao nib drink aficionado? If so, you’ll be surprised by its benefits for your health.
Cacao nibs (cocoa nibs) are tiny bits of dried cacao beans from cacao trees. Producers of cacao nibs wither and crack cacao beans into smaller pieces. These beans are also used in the production of chocolate candies.
While you can see them grow in other regions, this type of bean plant is native to the upper region of the Amazon. A vast majority of these beans grow in Brazil, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, and Ghana.
So, besides its famous sobriquet ‘nature’s chocolate chips,’ these beans are an excellent addition to your diet due to their health benefits. Here are some of them.
Cacao nibs provide more antioxidants than other superfoods, such as acai, green tea, pomegranates, and blueberries. They are essential to your health because they fight off free radicals that damage our cells. You might probably think snacking on dark chocolates is healthy, but not really. Cacao nibs, instead, have almost four times the antioxidants that dark chocolates.
Another great thing about organic cacao nibs is that they signal your brain to release serotonin—your feel-good hormone. The moment you eat them, you’ll feel your mood lift right away. They also have anandamide, a type of amino acid that is known as a ‘bliss molecule’ together with phenylethylamine.
The compound phenylethylamine triggers the release of endorphin and other feel-good chemicals in your brain. These chemicals boost your mood and further balance it, including a woman’s menstrual cycle.
When protecting your heart from cardiovascular diseases, cacao nibs can be a great help. They contain flavonoids, the anti-inflammatory antioxidants that help protect the arteries in your brain and heart. Flavonoids help prevent clots and thin your blood, prevent stroke and heart disease, improve blood circulation, and lower blood pressure.
Apart from this, cacao nibs also have polyphenol and 700 compounds that work together to lower LDL or bad cholesterol, and they then raise your HDL or good cholesterol level. Cacao may be better at protecting your heart than any medicinal drug.
The naturally occurring compound polyphenols, which protect your heart, belong to the same family as green tea and wine antioxidants. They keep you looking and feeling young by protecting your cells from oxidation.
Different compounds found in cacao nibs, including flavonoids, help increase blood flow to your brain. This also enhances your memory, problem-solving and attention span, and reaction time. Furthermore, they can lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s as you grow older.
Cacao nibs are also rich in magnesium, crucial for an active, healthy brain and overall mental health. It is said that magnesium deficiencies may have been linked to panic attacks, anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder.
You will be surprised that the amount of fiber found in cacao nibs is astonishing. For just a single ounce serving, there are 9 grams of fiber, which is enough to stimulate your bowel and digestive enzymes. A thread is also vital for keeping your blood pressure and blood glucose in check.
Cacao nibs contain MAO (monoamine oxidase), which naturally suppresses your appetite and is always added to products intended for weight loss. Another benefit is that MAO allows your serotonin to circulate continuously at a greater rate than other appetite suppressants. This is good if you want to keep yourself from getting crabby while losing weight.
It’s understandable that the annoying stress hormone—cortisol—makes your body retain fat that you would instead cast off. The good thing is that the properties found in cacao nibs can lessen cortisol levels in your bloodstream, improve microbial activity in your gut and elevate the fat-burning process.
Cacao nibs have a crystalline extract, which helps strengthen your tooth enamel, and it’s even more effective than fluoride in preventing cavities.
Whenever you hear ‘cacao,’ you might think it’s creamy and sweet, so its bitter, nutty flavourful taste might surprise you. Yet, with its great benefits to your health, cacao nibs will be on your list of top healthy food.
Now that you already know how beneficial cacao nibs are, you know that cacao nibs are way healthier than a 70% cocoa bar. They are already good just out of the bag, but you can use different recipes to level things up. However, you may need to get used to the lush, slightly bitter taste.