You certainly know that chocolate is a high-calorie food item.

You may know that it contains antioxidants, and the darker the variety the better.

However, what I bet you don’t know is that chocolate has an abundant amount of health benefits and should be included in a healthy diet… in its purest form that is.

Cacao is the raw version of chocolate before it is processed to become cocoa. It comes from a tree in the form of beans which are then used to create cacao nibs, butter, paste, and powder all of which have immense health benefits.Image result for cacao royalty free

In fact, cacao is considered to be one of the highest sources of magnesium and antioxidants of all food sources. It is also rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber making it a sort of “super food.”

All this sounds great, right? You’re probably dreaming about all the chocolate you can eat now, because it’s so good for you, but be warned…

Due to its lack of processing, cacao offers a fairly bitter flavor to unadjusted taste buds, but this should not discourage its use.

Some of my favorite recipes include smoothie bowls, chocolate oats, and hot chocolate. Personally, I love the taste of the raw powder, but if you prefer a sweeter flavor, the sharp taste can be lessened by adding in natural sweeteners such as stevia or honey as well as flavorings such as vanilla extract or a banana.

As with all foods, chocolate should never be completely eliminated from your diet if it is something you truly enjoy. However, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative that tastes good and will make you feel great cacao is a fantastic alternative!

*It should be noted that cacao is not a low-calorie food.