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Raw Cocao Bean

Cacao – Ancient Mayan Superfood for Men

Known as the “Food of the Gods”,  the ancient Mayans can be thanked for their discovery and cultivation of cacao tree, from which cacao powder (also referred to as cocoa powder) and chocolate are made. In fact, Cacao was considered so nutritious that Mayan kings drank up to 30 cups a day to maintain their vigor and virility.

The health benefits of cacao are enormous. Recent studies have shown that cacao improves brain function, is a natural mood booster and improves blood flow – all very important for the bedroom. Cacao even provides the brain with phenylethylanime, which is that chemical that makes you “feel like you’re in love”.

However, the Cacao powder typically available in the supermarket isn’t this rich nutrient cacao we are talking about. For real health benefits of Cacao powder, it needs to be raw – It’s still very easy to find in your local health food store.

Importance of Raw Cacao Powder

Most cacao powder, also known as coco powder is “Dutch processed” which means temperatures up to 150c are used to extract the coco, and in the process destroys much of the nutritional benefit of the coco. Most of the dark chocolate (and cacao) available today is so highly processed that the most of the nutrient and antioxidant strength has been lost leaving only excess sugar and fat.

This is why it is important to only purchase raw cacao. Raw cacao can be easily found in many health food stores as well as organic varieties. Avoid labels which read “roasted” chocolate or cacao, as high heat has stripped these beans of much of their nutritional value.

When choosing Cacao, try and find raw and unprocessed cacao beans. If this is not possible the next best choice is organic unroasted cocoa powder (not treat with alkalis). The key to the nutritional benefits of cacao is in its unrefined form.

 

Nutritional Benefits of Cocoa

Nutritional Benefits of the Cacao BeanThe cocoa bean contains many necessary and important vitamins and minerals specifically important for men. Such as magnesium, and other essential minerals as calcium, zinc, iron, copper, potassium and manganese.

It is full of vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and E

Contains protein, fiber and heart- healthy fats such as oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat). The bean also contains the very important Arginine, which helps to improve Nitric Oxide production.

Studies have shown that the flavanols, theobromine and many other ingredients found in cacao can lower blood pressure and enhance circulation. Improved circulation is very important for the bedroom.

The theombromins has also been shown to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles (similar to the effects of Viagra), dilate blood vessels and give the body a boost of energy.

Cacao even provides the brain with phenylethylanime, which is that chemical that makes you feel like you’re in love.

 

How to include Cacao in your Diet

There are many ways to incorporate cacao into your diet. It can be used as a food additive (adding chocolate flavoring) to desserts or simply added to drinks. Some people are fond of the bitter taste of whole cacao beans. If the beans are too bitter, a sweeter chocolate dipped variety is often available.

Cacao Food and Drinks:

  • Add to your favorite protein drink
  • Make yourself homemade “Hot Chocolate”
  • Add whole beans to trail mix, granola or cereal.
  • Add the powder to it to desserts

Raw cacao beans and powder although very nutritious, are also very potent. Care should be taken when experimenting or using this potent Superfood for the first time.

 

References:

  1. Nutrition Facts for Cocoa and Chocolate
  2. Heart and Vascular Health & Prevention
  3. Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine
  4. Wikipedia – Cocoa Bean
  5. Healthy Dark Chocolate

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