Although it looks, smells, and tastes like chocolate, raw cacao is far more nutritional than sugar-packed cocoa from the candy store. It contains over 300 identifiable chemical compounds and is a good source of monosaturated fats, cholesterol-free saturated fats, minerals, fiber, natural carbohydrates, and protein. It contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E, and is actually one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, which is great for keeping our hearts healthy!
Additionally, Cacao contains calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, chromium, potassium, manganese, amino acids, Omega 6 fatty acids, as well as a heart-healthy fat known as oleic acid.
Cacao is also extremely high in antioxidants, which protect our cells from free radicals. It is especially high in the antioxidants resveratrol and anthocyanidin, which protect the nervous system and help the body improve deficiencies and physiological problems, respectively.
Cacao has been said to help improve not only physical health, but mental health. Studies have shown that cacao can actually raise serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain - providing feelings of happiness, contentment, and overall well-being. It also has the ability to increase our endorphins, which reduce stress and pain.
Because of their high fiber content, bananas are extremely beneficial to bowel health and digestion. They contain a specific type of fiber known as pectin, which may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite by making you feel fuller, longer. Even better? They contain very little to no fat, making them an excellent snack for those trying to lose weight!
Bananas also house various antioxidants that help keep our cells safe from damage by free radicals. Additionally, they are high in potassium and vitamin B6, which may support the metabolic system and improve heart health.