Firstly and foremost, Happy New Year! If like me, you have over indulged and enjoyed the Christmas period to the maximum, then you might be thinking about hitting the health train to get back on track with your health and fitness goals.
Although I don’t necessarily believe in the whole ‘new year, new me’ resolutions I do see a new year as a chance for a clean start and an opportunity to try something new. One of the issues that I have chosen to focus on is supercharging my diet, thinking about food as fuel and really considering what I’m putting into my body. Now one of the key considerations with these broad resolutions is to break them into manageable and achievable chunks. So first and foremost I am looking at my good old friend the cocoa bean (aka Chocolate) and the healthiest, most nutritional way to consume it.
Cocoa or Cacao?
When cacao first broke onto the scene a few years ago I honestly thought that it was a pronunciation issue with a hefty price tag, but over the past year as I’ve been taking more consideration over my health I have learned otherwise.
Cocoa and cacao start the same way, from a cocoa bean, the difference is in the processing which in turn alters the nutritional benefits and antioxidant effects of the final product.
The cacao bean hosts an array of health benefits when eaten in its purest form, such as:
- Being jam-packed with phenolic phytochemicals and flavonoids, which protect your cells against damage from free radicals.
- Containing feel good chemicals that can boost your mood and cognitive performance.
- Being rich in nutrients such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese!
Of course, these benefits diminish significantly when eaten as a part of a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, and in order to see any of these we need to keep the cacao as unprocessed as possible. This is where the difference between cacao and cocoa begins to appear.
Cacao powder is processed at a very low temperature, separating the fatty cocoa butter whilst leaving the nutritional properties of the bean intact.
Cocoa, on the other hand, is heated at a much higher temperature; this gives the cocoa powder a slightly sweeter taste but does diminish the nutritional values significantly.
The remaining cacao can then be consumed as crunchy nibs or ground into a versatile powder for use in baking, smoothies and all manner of chocolate goodies!
The guys at ‘Some Good’ have developed organic super-food powders to fit into even the most hectic modern day lifestyles. They understand that making achievable lifestyle tweaks can have amazing influence on our personal health and wellbeing. As well as the chocolaty favorite of mine, cacao, they also stock a number of other wonderful super-foods including the skin savior Lingonberry powder, nature’s multivitamin Moringa and the ultimate plant-based supplement, Pea Protein.
What’s more, to celebrate their partnership with SKIP, Some Good are donating £1 from every bag of Cacao powder sold to support kids in Peru. A brand that gives back is always something I like to support.
So make a little change and feel a lot better in 2017!