Should brewed cacao be your new afternoon pick-me-up?
Many people find that brewing and sipping a fresh cup of coffee is one of the joys of life. But what happens when you drink coffee too often?
That cup of Java can leave you with anxiety, jitters, afternoon crashes, and potential caffeine addiction. What if there is a natural coffee alternative that doesn’t come with such unpleasant side effects?
Read through the end of this article to discover why you should switch to a healthy and invigorating cup of cacao chocolate brew. This article is for chocolate lovers like you!
Get to Know Cacao Brew’s Benefits
Here are some reasons why you should add cacao brew into your morning ritual.
Cacao Brew Is Healthier Than Traditional Coffee
What makes cacao so great?
Coffee constricts blood vessels and raises your heart rate to increase blood flow. But cacao is 99.9% caffeine-free. Instead, it contains theobromine, which translates in Greek as ‘food for the gods.’
Cacao and cacao nibs’ naturally occurring stimulants dilate your blood vessels to increase blood flow, giving you a comparable energy boost that coffee does. But the energy you get from the cacao lasts longer and does not have adverse side effects. In addition, it is packed with polyphenol antioxidants, flavonoids, and mood enhancers that improve focus, decrease stress and enhance sleep.
Besides boosting your immune system and being a natural cough remedy, cacao lowers blood pressure, prevents the risk of stroke, promotes overall cardiovascular health, aids in digestion, and builds strong bones.
Cacao Can Improve Your Mood and Help You Lose Weight
Cacao has its fair share of mood enhancers like phenylethylamine, otherwise known as the ‘love drug.’ It consists of the same chemicals your body releases when you are in love. Hence, it can improve your mood and increase focus and alertness.
However, the naturally occurring mood enhancers in cacao do not end there. It also contains bliss-inducing chemicals, such as anandamide, serotonin, and tryptophan. These are natural antidepressants released by the brain.
Still not convinced?
Coffee may also be helpful in your weight loss journey. A cup of brewed cacao naturally suppresses your appetite and promotes weight loss. You don’t have to worry about the cacao being acidic and harsh on your digestive system in the same way as coffee. The pH level of cacao usually ranges between 6.4 and 6.8; seven are neutral.
Cacao Tastes Like Melted Chocolate
You might be wondering what cacao tastes like?
If you have indulged in a dark chocolate bar with a high cacao percentage of 55% to 80% in the past, imagine that bar melted and mixed with some hot water. Sounds heavenly, right?
But if you prefer milk chocolate varieties instead of dark chocolate, you can replicate that flavor by infusing milk and sugar into your brewed cacao.
Brewed cacao is great because you can add anything to it, and it will still taste fantastic. If you are not into the sweet stuff, you can skip the sugar and cream and enjoy the potent and savory dark chocolate flavor on its own.
An Invigorating Cacao Brew Can Improve Your Athletic Performance
Epicatechin, a polyphenol found in cacao, increases the production of nitric oxide in the blood. The optimum levels of nitric oxide support circulation and decrease the amount of oxygen you use while engaged in moderate-intensity exercises. Hence, you can maintain the workout intensity for longer.
Cacao Boosts Your Brain Function as if You’ve Just Had a Shot of Espresso
Flavonols found in dark chocolate positively impact cognitive function, such as better reaction time, visual-spatial awareness, and stronger memory recall. Although research is still ongoing, this beneficial effect can be traced to flavonols’ ability to increase blood flow to the brain.
Cocoa Brews Just Like Coffee
Brewed cacao is an ideal addition to most diets. Whether you are following a keto, paleo or Whole30, non-GMO diet, 100% pure ground cacao beans are compliant with each.
In addition, cacao can be served hot, cold, or iced. And because it brews just like coffee, you don’t need to purchase special equipment to enjoy a cup. Brewed cacao is also healthy and safe for children to drink, especially if you buy an organic brand.
How to Brew Cacao
Place two tablespoons of ground cacao beans in a French press to brew the perfect cacao cup. Add one cup of water at boiling point and stir.
Steep this mixture for 5 to 7 minutes prior to pressing. You can enjoy brewed cacao plain black, infused with milk or non-dairy creamer, or with a touch of your favorite sweetener if you so desire.
Also, the left-over grounds make for excellent compost, and your compost heap will smell wonderfully chocolatey!
Chocolate has a rich spectrum of flavors enjoyed for thousands of years in South American civilizations. In these ancient cultures, cacao is revered as the drink of the gods. It is a beverage prised for its energizing and restorative properties and served to kings in a golden cup.
This ancient clean, pure, dark, and nutrient-rich cacao is now making a huge comeback. You’ve probably come across this original cacao on grocery shelves and in organic stores.
Hopefully, this article has helped you discover cacao’s superb benefits for your health, wellness, and your gastronomic pleasure!