Why Cacao Is A Super Mood Boosting Food

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Cacao is one of mother nature's most powerful mood boosting foods, with a host additional benefits that you would expect from a so called "superfood".

Everything from stress, to anxiety and menstrual pain can be improved and soothed with raw, organic, unrefined cacao.  

Also, raw cacao supports supports heart and cardiovascular health, energy levels and more. 

Cacao is the source ingredient of chocolate, but unfortunately most chocolate products on your supermarket shelf are laced with processed chemical and sugar that undo most of the benefits of consuming "real" chocolate.

Similar to coffee, cacao comes from trees in the form of pods that split open to reveal cacao beans. The beans are fermented and then processed into cacao powder or cacao nibs that have incredible mood-boosting benefits.

In a day and age where millions are suffering from some form of depression or anxiety, it's important to highlight why raw cacao is a readily available, natural food that can regulate and boost mood without nasty side-effects. 

Keep reading to find out why you should consume raw cacao for every day physical and emotional health and wellbeing.  

1. Mood Boosting Powers

One of the main reasons cacao is such a powerful mood boosting food is that it contains a number of potent compounds that promote happiness and joy.

One of these compounds is called phenylethylamine (PEA), which helps to boost dopamine levels. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that can increase feelings of pleasure and reward. The PEA compound has been shown to improve your mood, increase energy, and could be why chocolate is so appealing (aside from the delicious taste). Together, PEA and dopamine give us a boost that can even mimic the feeling of love.

Another is anandamide, which is the same chemical produced by your body when you get a workout “high”. It helps us feel blissful and happy, and even euphoric. Tryptophan is another important ingredient in cacao because it helps the body release serotonin, which is crucial for mood regulation, sleep, memory, and so much more.

Arginine is also present in cacao, and it’s been shown to have a wide range of health benefits, including alleviating anxiety, increasing blood flow, reducing high blood pressure, and more.  

With all these natural chemicals in cacao that cause no side effects and help make you happier, it’s easy to see why chocolate and cacao has been used medicinally for most of history.  

Learn more in 6 “Feel Good” Foods & Habits That Support Your Endocannabinoid System. 

2. Anti-Oxidant Rich

Another reason cacao is a mood boost food is because it is rich in free-radical fighting anti-oxidants.  Free radicals are toxic particles produced by the body under stress and also due to lifestyle, diet and environmental factors over time, which can cause the immune system to weaken and the body to break down.

Cacao helps to clean up these free radicals as well has deliver over 300 nutrients, vitamins, minerals, compounds and amino acids into your blood stream to support robust health and vitality.

Also, with high levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, omega-6 fatty acids, beta-carotene and more, it’s clear that cacao is a potent addition to any healthy diet.

By eating superfoods like cacao, you’re helping fuel your body, providing it with what it needs to perform at its peak and run most efficiently.

3. Boosts Heart health 

Cacao has a number of positive health benefits, but increasing heart health is hard to ignore. Heart disease is one of the most prevalent out there, so finding ways to naturally improve heart function is more important than ever.

Cacao is naturally anti-inflammatory, it increases blood flow, and the antioxidants and polyphenols help reduce bad cholesterol levels. 

Eating cacao regularly can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, so that you can lead a longer and happier life. While this is a mood booster on its own, eradicating the daily health problems that lead to heart disease and heart issues can help alleviate a ton of stress and discomfort in your day-to-day life. 

Learn more in How to Reduce Cholesterol Levels & Live Longer.

4. Natural Stimulant 

Another feature of raw cacao, is its ability to help your body get up and go.

The ingredient theobromine actually widens blood vessels, helping more oxygen travel through your body and increases heart rate. This can have an energising effect that can bring your mood to the next level.

At the same time, theobromine also reduces blood pressure, which gives cacao certain aphrodisiac properties. 

5. Potent Source of Magnesium 

Magnesium is incredibly important for many of our bodily functions, but the reality is that most of us are deficient and need to get more of it in our diets.

Cacao is one of the best food sources for potent magnesium, and it can boost our moods by helping calm the fight or flight response in our brains.

It also improves clarity and focus for our brain function, which can improve our day-to-day, and it balances blood sugar to prevent energy spikes and crashes throughout the day.

The magnesium in cacao is easy to absorb by the body, so adding more cacao into your diet is a smart move for your health and mood. 

Learn more in Why You Need Magnesium: Benefits & How to Prevent Deficiency. 

6. Digestive Health

Digestive health is a vital key to overall health and longevity.

When the good bacteria in your gut are doing their job, it helps every aspect of our health thrive too from heart health to skin, and everything in between.

Cacao can improve our digestive health because it helps promote healthy gut bacteria and the natural fibre helps with regularity. By eating cacao regularly, you can expect to see an improvement in any digestive issues you’ve been facing, as well a boost to your immunity and less susceptibility to sickness and dis-ease.

 7. Anti-Ageing Properties

Cacao won’t stop you from ageing, but the antioxidants in it can help slow down the signs of ageing so that you can look and feel more youthful.

We associate youth with energy, happiness, and vigour, so it’s no wonder that cacao is a good mood food!

If you want to look and feel younger, while improving your mood, make cacao a regular dietary staple. 

Learn more in Elevating Your Emotional Wellbeing. 

How to consume Raw Cacao:

  • Include a tablespoon, blended into your morning smoothie
  • Add a teaspoon of cacao nibs to everything from oatmeal to trail mix and home made cookies
  • Use cacao powder to prepare delicious raw deserts and energy balls
  • Prepare a hot chocolate with warm nut milk and a dash of maple syrup.

Make sure the cacao you use is always high-quality cacao and try to consume it raw as often as you can for the maximum health and mood benefits.

Though the names are very similar, CACAO is completely different from "cocoa powder". Cocoa powder is highly processed and less healthy than the superfood cacao.  

Try to incorporate some cacao into one meal or snack a day to start.  The easiest way is to add it to a morning hot drink or smoothie.

Soon, you’ll find easy ways to incorporate more of this superfood into your diet and you’ll start to notice less anxiety and stress, less mood swings, and more of a general feeling of contentment and bliss. 

Tolman Self Care.

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