In the wellness world, there is no shortage of food trends. We've got cauliflower everything (Rice! Pizza crust! Gnocchi!), Instagram-worthy matcha lattes, quarantine banana bread, and anxiety-busting CBD tinctures. Cacao powder is another trend that's made waves in recent years, and it's easy to see why. The buzzed-about superfood satisfies the sweet tooth, and it's easy to incorporate into various recipes. All that said, just because something is cool and trendy doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you. Cacao powder, however, lives up to the hype in the flavor department and nutritional benefits.
Keep reading to learn the top health benefits of cacao powder and how to easily incorporate it into your routine. Fair warning: reading this may trigger a strong craving to get your hands on some cacao powder, like right now.
But first, what is cacao?
Cacao comes from a tree native to South America, which produces pods that contain cacao beans. The cacao beans are then processed in different ways, such as chopped up into small cacao nibs or ground up to make cacao powder. Cacao has long been revered as a special fruit. The Latin name of the tree is Theobroma, which translates to "food of the gods."
Cacao powder is often confused with cocoa. While they both come from the same plant, they are processed differently. Cocoa is typically processed with high heat, which diminishes its nutritional value. On the other hand, cacao powder is processed with low heat, maintaining its pure form and nutritional benefits. The best part? Unlike cocoa, which tends to contain additives and sugar, cacao has zero sugar. So you get all the chocolatey goodness without the unhealthy side effects.
What are the health benefits of cacao powder?
- Cacao powder is high in healthy minerals.
Cacao powder is chock-full of essential minerals that our bodies need to feel nourished and healthy. It's high in potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, copper, and manganese. It also contains high amounts of magnesium, which is said to relax and calm the body, support bone and cardiovascular health, and help with migraines and PMS symptoms. Consider cacao powder blended into your favorite drink as the perfect late evening snack to help you unwind and relax before bedtime.
- Cacao powder is an excellent source of healthy fat.
In addition to essential minerals, cacao powder is also high in healthy fats, which means incorporating the superfood into your regular rotation can help you feel fuller longer (aka no getting hangry). Cacao powder will also help keep your blood sugar stable and your energy levels up throughout the day. Blend some cacao powder into your morning smoothie to help you power through your to do list.
- Cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants.
Cacao powder contains antioxidants called polyphenols that are also found in fruits and vegetables. However, cacao is one of the richest sources of polyphenols, and trust us; you definitely want some polyphenols in your life. Thanks to polyphenols, it has been shown that the intake of cacao products helps improve cholesterol, decreases inflammation, and reduces hypertension. So if you're bored of getting your daily dose of antioxidants from berries, consider swapping them out with some cacao powder in your morning bowl of oatmeal instead.
- Cacao powder helps boost your mood.
There's a reason why chocolate is a comfort food when we're feeling blue—it makes us feel good, literally. Cacao powder also has alkaloids, which are naturally occurring compounds found in plants. These alkaloids send signals to the brain that trigger positive emotions. The post-cacao bliss is real, friends. Mix cacao powder into your coffee whenever you need a quick mood boost.
- Cacao powder is a good source of fiber.
Cacao powder is also a high-fiber food, which helps keep you regular if you know what we mean. Three tablespoons of cacao powder, for example, contains an impressive 7 grams of fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber are also linked to the prevention of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer. In other words, cacao powder really does live up to the superfood title.
How to incorporate cacao into your routine
Ready to try cacao powder for yourself? Take the benefits of cacao powder up a notch with Copina Co's Cacao Calm Beauty Plant-Based Collagen Boost Drink Powder. It is a vegan, keto, and paleo-friendly collagen powder in a yummy cacao flavor. It features a blend of herbalist-approved ingredients, including ashwagandha for de-stressing; bamboo extract and amla for hair, skin, nail, and joint support; tremella mushroom extract for skin elasticity; grape seed extract to boost collagen synthesis; and hyaluronic acid to fight wrinkles and moisturize the skin. *
Collagen is a protein found in the body, which helps keep our skin, hair, and joints looking and feeling their best.* Unfortunately, our body's natural production of collagen decreases as we get older. The collagen boost drink powder helps your body naturally produce more collagen, which may lead to glowing skin, reduced appearance of wrinkles, stronger hair and nails, and improved joint health.*
The collagen boost drink powder is super simple to incorporate into your routine. Just blend one serving of the collagen powder boost with your favorite liquid such as hot water, nut milk, coffee, or a smoothie and voila. You've got yourself a decadent treat that’s essentially a grown-up version of hot cocoa with the same delicious taste and way more benefits. And if you want to get fancy in the kitchen, you can also mix it into recipes like chocolate tahini banana muffins, chocolate peanut butter sea salt beauty bites, and chocolate peanut butter popcorn (yes, really!).