Also known as
Theobroma cacao, Cocoa beans, Cocoa pods, and Cacao.
Cacao beans and nibs have a long and colorful history, beginning in Central and South America before 1500 BC. The entire cacao fruit was used medicinally by the Mayan, Olmec and Aztec civilizations. These early American peoples also enjoyed consuming chocolate as a beverage; each culture adding its own mix of spices and flavorings to the drink. After the Spanish conquest in the 1500's, cacao made its way to Europe and began to spread worldwide.
The beans are rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and potassium, and are a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.
Caffeine, flavonoids, phenylethylalamine, anandamide, magnesium, sulfur, oleic acid, theobromine, tryptophan, Cacao beans and nibs contain more flavonoid antioxidants than most other vegetables and fruits, with up to four times as much concentrated antioxidants as green tea.
Beans, either whole or broken into nibs
Eaten raw-as is, or roasted, brewed, and powdered into tea. Used abundantly in food and other consumables. Sometimes found in extract form.
Cacao beans and nibs contain a number of constituents with proven health benefits, but many of these constituents are destroyed or lessened when processed. Health practitioners recommend that anyone interested in eating cacao for its health benefits use raw, unprocessed cacao beans and nibs rather than processed chocolate.
Anyone with a sensitivity to chocolate should avoid eating cacao beans or nibs. The active polyphenols and other substances in cacao can trigger migraines and cause other allergic reactions in sensitive people.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.