Superfood Suggestions: 5 Benefits Of Raw Organic Cacao
Written by our resident beauty and food expert, Buffy Gill, of Be Good Organics.One question I get a lot is 'What is a superfood?' Superfoods are foods that contain significantly higher quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other health-boosting, anti-aging, disease-fighting goodies. Some are every day whole foods that you'll likely have tried before (think brocolli, blueberries; even the humble spud). Others are more exotic, grown in the rainforests of Peru and picked by Amazonian warriors (ok maybe not quite). To help you out in your quest to conquer, or at least delve into, the amazing world of superfoods, here is a little insight into the Amazonian superfood Cacao and five ways it can benefit you... 1. 40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries Raw Organic Cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. Yes 40 times! It has an amazing ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs blueberries at a mere 2,400. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals (that come from pollution and toxins in our environment), which cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to diseases such as cancer. 2. Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron On a plant-based/vegan diet and looking for iron? The search is over! Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at a whopping 7.3mg per 100g. This compares to beef and lamb at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg. Note the iron in cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so to get the maximum benefits you'll want to combine it with some vitamin C. Think oranges, kiwifruit, superfoods like gubinge or camu camu (which have 40x more vitamin C than oranges). 3. Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain Raw Organic Cacao is also one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, the most deficient mineral in the Western world. Magnesium is important for a healthy heart, and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with laser-sharp clarity and focus. The reason why you might turn to a bar of chocolate during an all-nighter at your desk! 4. More Calcium Than Cow's Milk Raw Organic Cacao has more calcium than cow's milk would you believe, at 160mg per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk. Time to switch out the trim latte for a couple of squares of dairy free raw chocolate. 5. A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals - serotonin, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with cosy feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression. A natural, healthy, delicious (and legal) way to get your happy buzz on.
Buffy Gill is not only our editor Tina's BFF, but also the founder and director of Be Good Organics. Get more of Buffy's food and beauty tips at www.begoodorganics.com, where you can also pick up a load of organic goodness. Follow Buffy's foodie wisdom on Twitter and Instagram @begoodorganics and on Facebook www.facebook.com/begoodorganics