The Health Benefits of Cacao: Not all Chocolate is created equal

The Health Benefits of Cacao: Not all Chocolate is created equal

Fellow chocolate lovers, this one is for you- Not all chocolate is created equal! 

Want to be sure to get your indulgent fix while simultaneously reaping the health benefits of pure chocolate? Start by understanding what exactly is the difference between cocoa and cacao. They may sound similar, but the differences are huge!


The difference between Cocoa and Cacao:


Cacao (whole cacao paste/liquor)

  • Created by harvesting cacao seeds/beans from the “mazorcas/fruit, fermenting, drying, then typically lightly roasted to enhance flavor and then ground into paste either by hand & stone or with a machine, still containing naturally occurring cacao butter
  • High in flavanols, antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, iron & calcium⁣
  • Contains high levels of the alkaloids theobromine & anandamide
    • Theobromine a mild stimulant which acts on the same receptors in the brain, as caffeine), is attributed to boosting mood, increased focus & creativity. 
    • Anandamide known as the "bliss molecule" is associated with reports of euphoric states of being 
  • Consuming pure cacao also is associated with cardiovascular benefits: reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and acts as an antioxidant (aids in protection of cells against free radicals: associated with heart & other diseases).


Cocoa (Dutch-processed)

  • Processing includes roasting at extremely high temperatures ⁣then treating with alkalizing agent (chemicals) to neutralize pH level, darken the color, increase the shelf stability, and sweeten/alter the flavor ⁣
  • Ground into a fine powder- no longer contains natural cacao butter ⁣
  • Low nutritional value due to nature of high-heat processing⁣ & extraction


Consider this an invitation to take a close look at the chocolate you are consuming, and determine whether or not you'd like to reap all of the amazing health benefits cacao has to offer! 


At Semilla we exclusively offer cacao-based products that withhold all of the immense nutritional benefits that it has to offer. Check out our Cacao products here! 

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