Cacao comes from the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree. It’s packed with phytonutrients, including sulfur and magnesium. Cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been roasted, then separated from their husks and broken down into smaller bites. They boast more antioxidants than wine, tea and even blueberries. Cacao nibs health benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, improved digestion and the ability to provide a natural energy boost.
Cacao Nibs Health Benefits
1. Maintain Muscle and Nerve Function
Cacao nibs health benefits include proper muscle and nerve function. As a magnesium-rich food, cacao nibs work to maintain healthy muscles and nerves. Cacao nibs contain 272 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. The body uses magnesium to help keep the heart rhythm steady, reduce muscle soreness and prevent cramping. The magnesium in cacao also helps to improve muscle structure and enhance nerve function. (1)
2. Aid in Weight Loss and Digestion
Cacao nibs health benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss. Cacao is high in healthy fats and it also contains fiber, which helps promote satiety. Feeling full longer can help prevent snacking and overeating. As a high-fiber food, cacao nibs health benefits also include improved digestion. The fiber in cacao works to keep the digestive system regular and reduce constipation, diarrhea and other digestive problems.
3. Prevent Anemia
Cacao nibs health benefits include the ability to help prevent anemia. Anemia occurs when the body is deficient in an important nutrient – iron. Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and insomnia. Cacao nibs are loaded with iron, which makes them a healthy anemia-fighting food.
4. Reduce Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Cacao nibs are high in disease-fighting antioxidants and filled with phytonutrients. According to a study published in Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine, regular intake of plant-derived foods reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. The study found that cocoa nibs health benefits include beneficial effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance and platelet function. (2)
5. Treat Digestive Problems
Cacao nibs health benefits include the ability to treat digestive problems. Cacao contains polyphenols which can help inhibit certain intestinal secretions to prevent diarrhea. Studies have shown that the flavonoid compounds present in cacao work to prevent fluid buildup in the small intestine, which is associated with diarrhea. (3)
6. Enhance Mood
Cacao nibs health benefits include improved mood and natural energy. Cacao has the ability to act on the neurotransmitters in the brain that effect mood and behavior. It works by stimulating the brain to release certain neurotransmitters, such as euphoria, to help trigger positive emotions. Cacao nibs health benefits relating to mood stem from two chemicals in cacao – phenylethylamine and anandamide. These chemicals are related to more focus, better awareness and improved mood.