Drinking Cacao Instead Of Coffee In The Morning
Looking to kick your coffee addiction to the curb? Or simply trying to switch the morning routine to something different?
Here is why you should be drinking cacao, the raw ingredient of chocolate, each morning instead of coffee.
Drinking Cacao Instead of Coffee In The Morning
For most of us, it is hard to imagine giving up the morning coffee routine, for a cup of cacao or anything else for that matter. Especially for cacao, since chocolate has a stigma of being an unhealthy indulgence.
But did you know, cacao compares in taste to coffee, and it might be a healthier alternative?
What is Cacao?
Cacao beans are grown in oval pods on the Theobroma cacao, also known as the cacao tree. The cacao trees are native to Mesoamerica and grow in a limited geographical zone of about 20° to the north and south of the Equator. Spanish colonists spread the production of the cacao tree to different parts of the empire including the West Indies, Asia, and West Africa during the 18th century. The cacao seeds are used to make chocolate, chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, and cocoa butter.
Benefits of Cacao
Not only does cacao contain caffeine, but also crucial elements that help balance caffeine, such as magnesium. The mineral magnesium helps keep our hormones and mood balanced and provides high levels of energy.
Cacao is also packed with enzymes, antioxidants, and flavonoids. These goodies can help reduce stress, control blood pressure, and increase endorphins.
While the caffeine levels aren't comparable to coffee, it does have theobromine. This compound is related closely to caffeine and is a gentle stimulant.
It offers a similar sensation of euphoria you receive when drinking coffee, but a smoother boost of energy that helps you focus for longer without the crash. If drinking coffee makes you nervous and jittery, cacao might be a good alternative for you.
Is It For You?
Cacao is high in nutrients and offers many benefits. There are a few side effects we should address.
Although there is caffeine in cacao, it is about 1/50th of the caffeine found in coffee. If you have a high tolerance for caffeine, you might not feel as alert as you would when drinking coffee. If you need alertness in the morning, maybe a cup of coffee in the morning and cacao in the afternoon might be the best routine for you. If you are on the other spectrum and a cup of green tea leaves you wide awake at night, cacao might be more for you.
Another side of the note, cacao is not the same as cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is roasted cacao and many of the nutrients are lost during the heating processes and you might not get the full benefits.
If you are looking to curb the coffee addiction, or if coffee is too much caffeine for you, cacao might be for you. It is a natural superfood, with high levels of nutrients and health benefits that can be the perfect alternative for coffee.
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