When in its pure form, cacao is one of nature’s most fantastic superfoods. This is the very best cacao powder available — we’ve researched them all, tried them all, and not only is Sunfood cacao powder incredibly nutritious, it’s the most delicious we’ve ever had. Deep, complex, winey, and fruity-floral, this cacao powder leads the superfood industry in quality, flavor, and antioxidant value. It’s gorgeous and clean — one of the most unique, beautiful and primal chocolate products on earth.
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
Cacao is the seed (nut) of a fruit of an Amazonian tree that was brought to Central America during or before the time of the Olmecs. Cacao Beans were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them as money! When in its pure form, cacao is one of nature’s most fantastic superfoods.
Sunfood's cacao powder is made from only the finest variety of certified organic heirloom cacao beans, which have never been hybridized or genetically modified. The cold-pressing process reduces the fat content of the cacao, allowing them to grind it down to create a fine, richly flavored, easy-to-use powder. Through this low temperature process, they are able to preserve the delicate nutrients and true, natural taste of cacao.
Sunfood's and organic cacao powder is packed with the antioxidants, neurotransmitters, vitamins and minerals you need to lead a vibrant, healthy, radiant lifestyle. With full-bodied flavor and a rich aroma, it’s amazing in smoothies and desserts, savory dishes like soups or chili, and hot or cold chocolatey beverages that give you a delicious lift along with a superfood boost.
What is organic cacao powder?
All chocolate is made from cacao beans (also known as cocoa beans). Cacao is chocolate! All the antioxidant value, mineral benefits, neurotransmitter rejuvenating properties, and overall health-giving qualities of chocolate are found in cacao beans.
All chocolate comes from the Theobroma cacao tree. The cacao pod grows from a stalk on the tree. When you open a cacao pod, you find cacao fruit and seeds. The seeds are also known as cacao beans. Cacao beans (cocoa beans) are the purest, most natural form of chocolate. All chocolate comes directly from these cacao beans.
Sunfood’s organic cacao powder is prepared by cold-pressing cacao beans to yield a decadent, antioxidant-rich powder and to separate the oil from the fiber. The remaining dry ‘cake-like’ material is then cold-ground, fine-milled and sifted so that only the finest, most bio-available cacao particles filter through into the finished product.
Why cacao powder is so great for you
Cacao (raw chocolate, cocoa) is one of nature's most fantastic superfoods due to its high mineral content and wealth of antioxidants. Since many of the special properties of cacao are destroyed or lost by cooking, refining, and processing, planet earth's favorite food is still unknown to most of us. Now we get to reconnect with the power of real, raw chocolate! Cacao offers fantastic hope for chocoholics everywhere. You can turn cravings for cooked, processed, chocolate into super-nutrition of the highest order.
Sunfood's Organic Cacao Powder is packed with antioxidants, including polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins. In addition, flavonols help the body produce nitric oxide, a compound essential for proper heart function. Cacao powder offers a powerful boost of phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide, which both enhance positive feelings. Raw cacao is also a natural source of trace minerals, such as manganese, zinc and copper, which help to maintain healthy blood while theobromine, iron, chromium, magnesium and omega-6 fatty acids play an important role in heart health, brain function, growth and development. Cacao is one of the most phytochemically complex foods on Earth, and we could write a dissertation on the health benefits of raw cacao, but here’s some fascinating detail about some of the primary beneficial ingredients in cacao, and their health benefits(just count 'em!!):
Cacao appears to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium is one of the great alkaline minerals. It works to support the heart, boost our mental focus, and relieve constipation. Magnesium, along with other components of cacao, has been linked with a lessening of PMS symptoms. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during their monthly cycle. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and has been tied to increased happiness and improved mood. Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral on the Standard American Diet (SAD); over 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in magnesium! Raw cacao has enough magnesium to help reverse deficiencies of this mineral.
Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. This point is so astounding that it bears repeating: No food exhibits greater antioxidant capacity than cacao! These antioxidants include polyphenols, catechins, and epicatechins. By weight, cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates, and goji berries COMBINED.
Cacao contains approximately 314% of the U.S. RDA of iron per 1 ounce (28 gram) serving. Iron plays an essential role in the body, working to carry oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body. Consuming cacao is one of the best ways to keep our blood healthy.
Many of the enzymes in the human body would not exist without the presence of zinc. This mineral is a vital component in over 200 enzymes throughout the body, and it is a cofactor of hundreds more. Raw cacao contains zinc, which plays a critical role in the health of the immune system, liver, pancreas, and skin. Additionally, zinc is essential for sexual development, fertility, and cell growth.
This mineral plays a crucial role in the formation of bone, cartilage, and connective tissue. Manganese helps assist iron in the oxygenation of the blood and formation of hemoglobin, and helps to promote healthy joints.
Traditionally known as a powerful antimicrobial, copper also works to cleanse the lymphatic system and stimulate peristalsis. In the human body, copper helps to build healthy blood, making it a natural partner to iron and manganese.
Cacao contains high levels of Phenylethylamine (PEA). Often known as “The Love Chemical,” PEA is the chemical produced in our bodies when we fall in love. This is likely one of the main reasons why love and chocolate have such a deep connection. PEA also plays a role in increasing focus and alertness.
An essential amino acid which is transformed into important stress-protective neurotransmitters including serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan is heat sensitive and therefore it is cooked out in many high protein foods and in conventional processed chocolate products.
The primary neurotransmitter in the human body, Serotonin is similar in its chemistry to tryptophan and melatonin. Serotonin helps us build up our stress defense shield which supports our immune system in times of high demand.
Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Cacao contains essential omega 6 fatty acids, which form an integral part of our cell walls and allow for more efficient communication between cells.
The human body naturally produces endorphins after exercise, neurotransmitters which flood our brains with positive feelings. One of these neurotransmitters is anandamide, also known as “The Bliss Chemical.” While humans have to work hard to produce enough anandamide to reach higher levels of ecstasty, only one plant produces this chemical as part of its normal metabolism: cacao! Not only does cacao contain anandamide in high concentrations, it also contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies' ability to break down the bliss chemical. When we eat raw cacao, the anandamide produced by our brains along with the anadamide found in cacao may continue to circulate in the body for extended periods of time, helping us feel great all day long.
Cacao contains about 1% theobromine. Most commonly found in cacao, this chemical element is an effective anti-bacterial substance which works to kill Streptococci mutans (the primary organism responsible for cavities). Theobromine is a chemical relative of caffeine but it does not act as a nervous system stimulant. Theobromine dilates the cardiovascular system making the hearts job easier. The combination of theobromine and magnesium make cacao an important part of a heart-healthy diet.
How to eat this wonderful stuff
Add Sunfood's Cacao Powder (cocoa powder) to all your favorite smoothies, elixirs, teas, coffee mixes, protein drinks, yogurts, desserts, fresh fruit, or anything else you can think of. Just one or two spoonfuls can transform any recipe into a healthy chocolate treat. Or you can go savory, and add raw cacao powder to chilis, stews, braises, soups, dips, anywhere you want a deep dark complex taste and a nutritional boost.
We especially love making deep delicious beverages with cacao powder — using a nut milk base, and as much coconut sugar, salt, and spice (cinnamon, chili, vanilla) as our palate is craving, we find ourselves blending up amazing chocolatey drinks constantly — iced in hot weather, and warmed in cold weather.
Sunfood Organic Chocolate Powder has a delightful, full, rich chocolate flavor. We recommend starting with one tablespoon a day.