How to kick chocolate cravings with cacao
What is the difference Cacao or Cocoa?
Cravings are an overpowering desire for certain foods and one of the major reasons of unhealthy weight gain. Chocolate is one of those foods that you cannot help but crave.
Say NO to chocolate.
Why, you ask? Well, for starters, chocolate is bad for you (and that weight loss diet you have been following for two weeks). Secondly, there is something better and healthier than Cocoa, and it’s known as Cacao.
Oh! There’s a lot of difference between cocoa and cacao, more than just their spellings. Let’s jump to it –
What exactly is Cacao?
Cacao is any type of food extracted from the beans of the Cacao tree. Cacao powder, cacao butter, etc. are examples of foods gained from this intense flavoured (and healthy) chocolate replacement.
It is the unprocessed and purest form of cocoa and has a lot of health benefits as it is a dense source of antioxidants, fibre, nutrients and magnesium, amongst other things.
Why cacao is better than cocoa
Raw cacao is basically unprocessed, unroasted and cold-pressed beans. The process keeps the living enzymes intact in the food and removes the butter from it. There are a lot of health benefits of cacao because of this –
- As cacao contains a lot of antioxidants, it makes it a great choice to fight against toxins. This is a beneficial and effective way to fight free radicals that might cause cancer. That's why dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao is great.
- Cacao’s antioxidant quantity also benefits in maintaining a healthy level of nitric oxide (NO) which helps in relaxing the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and avoiding the risk of heart-related diseases.
- Chocolate is known to increase levels of a brain chemical known as phenylethylamine. This chemical is known to lift mood, increase energy and general feelings of well-being. Cacao has a similar effect on our body. It promotes well-being and can boost your mood.
- Cacao intake also provides the body with a lot of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, etc.
How to replace cocoa with cacao
- Use cacao powder and almond or coconut milk to make a delicious cacao milk shake to garner the maximum benefits of the antioxidants.
- Cacao paste can be used to replace chocolate in raw vegan desserts or can be consumed as a healthy snack.
- Replace choco-chips with cacao nibs (cacao beans chopped up into edible pieces) to avoid the added sugar and fat for a more intense flavoured healthy dessert.
- Cacao butter is creamy and buttery in texture and resembles white chocolate in taste (and even appearance).
- Add cacao in your coffee to make a healthy and delicious mocha!
How to kick any craving
Now, that you know how beneficial cacao is over cocoa and ultimately over chocolate, you need to know how to chuck out those cravings which are probably your worst nightmares.
Follow these simple, yet effective, steps to control your indulgences –
- Drink water – The best way to kick out cravings is to have plenty of water. Sometimes your body confuses thirst with hunger, so try having a glass of water first when craving for chocolate. This will help your body feel satisfied and forget about that scrumptious bar of chocolate. Plus, water is always a healthier option.
- Eat more protein – Protein is one of the best options to make your body feel satiated. So next time, include enough protein in your diet so that you don’t have those harmful cravings.
- Deal with the stress – Food cravings are majorly facilitated by stress, so fight your stress and stop yourself from indulging in unhealthy snacking.
Say no to Cocoa and say yes to Cacao. Stay fit!