Cacao, to little surprise, has quickly become my favorite superfood. I was recently introduced to Colorado-based pure liquid cacao maker Cholaca through my partnership with Sprouts, and I now cannot speak highly enough about the many uses of Cholaca and natural cacao. Thank you Sprouts for teaming up with me on this post.
Cacao is quickly gaining popularity across the globe as the newest superfood. Essentially, it’s raw chocolate with an incredible list of health benefits – which is something we chocolate lovers have been anticipating for a while. As just one example, it’s one of the most nutrient dense food on the planet, boasting the highest levels of antioxidants, iron, and magnesium of any food out there!
Recently, Sprouts invited me to check out the nearby offices of Cholaca. This Denver-based business began producing pure liquid cacao back in 2012 – well before cacao became the well-known superfood that it is today. The team dropped some serious knowledge that night, and I left with a whole new appreciation for cacao, both for the health benefits and the easy way cacao can be used in daily life.
Health Benefits of Cacao
While there is a massive list of health benefits related to pure cacao – as one might expect with the term “superfood” – these are the ones that very much stood out to me.
Supports a Healthy Heart
The high levels of magnesium in cacao support both a healthy heart, as well as increase brain function. Cacao also includes high levels of polyphenols, which help to reduce bad cholesterol and prevents arteries from hardening over the years.
Enhances Vegan & Dairy-Free Diets
Cacao contains more calcium than cow’s milk, and substitutes a delicious chocolate-y flavor to create a healthy chocolate milk or hot chocolate. I’ve included directions for how to make hot cacao at home below!
Helps with Weight Management
Cacao naturally includes these crazy, little things called MAO Inhibitors. These help to both reduce our appetite and increase our metabolisms.
Naturally Boosts Energy
Being someone that doesn’t drink coffee, this one speaks directly to me, Cacao contains theobromine, a natural stimulant that releases endorphins. Similar to the endorphins we typically talk about here on SST (and discussed in the cult classic “Legally Blonde”) it gives you natural energy, without the caffeine crash.
Creates Radiant Skin, Hair, and Nails
Cacao contains sulfur and flavonals, which both do wonders for our beauty. Flavonals naturally help to hydrate our skin, and I’ve even included directions below for how you can use cacao in a DIY facial scrub so you get the benefits immediately. Sulfur strengthens nails and helps to build strong, shiny hair.
My Favorite Ways to Use Cacao
It’s no surprise that I struggle with my skin. I’ve spoken many times about my need for extra hydration and the fact that I just cannot get my skincare routine right. It’s likely a mixture of the fact that I live in the driest state in the nation (fact… according to me) and am at the beginning stages of experiencing the aging process.
Because of that, my favorite use has already become using cacao in a facial scrub. Here’s how to make your own at home:
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Apply 2-3 tbsp. and apply over face and neck. Let mask sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off by scrubbing in circular motions with warm water. Apply moisturizer when finished.
After a tough day on the ski slopes, I’ve become obsessed with having a hot cacao in front of the fire when I get back home. It includes all of the health benefits previously mentioned, but also tastes like the tasty hot chocolate I used to enjoy.
Here’s how to make your own at home:
Where to Purchase Cacao
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