Since the Early Formative Period, cacao has been cultivated throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America and has been used as food, medicine, and even money. Cacao has been used for medicinal purposes for at least 3,000 years, and it was so valuable that ancient natives honored it in a variety of ways and they thought of it as "food of the gods."
Cacao is a superfood rich in a range of phytonutrients, including flavonoids, sulfur, magnesium, and phenylethylamine. They are one of the best sources of polyphenols and have more antioxidant activity than tea or berries.
Because they are rich in antioxidants, they aid in the prevention of oxidative stress, the improvement of heart function, the stimulation of the neurological system, the facilitation of digestion and gut health, and the improvement of kidney and intestine function. Cocoa has also been used to treat anemia, mental fatigue, fever, gout, kidney stone symptoms, and decreased libido.
Cacao's flavor varies depending on how much it is roasted. They usually have a bitter, earthy flavor, like unsweetened dark chocolate, and a crunchy texture like a coffee bean. However, it can be an acquired taste and incredibly delicious when added to sweet and savory recipes.
Add cacao to nut butter, oatmeal, cookies, bars, granola, cakes, and smoothies.