Cacao Powder for Weight Loss
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Cacao powder comes from the same cocoa beans that are used to make chocolates. But in terms of health benefits, cacao powder is far more nutritious and often used as a healthier substitute for standard chocolate. Surprisingly, while chocolate is often linked with weight gain, experts suggest multiple benefits of cacao powder for weight loss. You might be wondering how it works. Keep reading to learn the fact.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the benefits of cacao powder for weight loss in a scientific way. But before we get into how cacao powder can help in losing weight naturally, it’s worth knowing exactly what cacao powder is and what nutritional value it has. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is cacao powder?
- Cacao powder: nutrients and properties
- Benefits of cacao powder for weight loss
- How to use cacao powder
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is cacao powder?
Cacao powder is made from the natural, raw, and unprocessed version of chocolate beans called cocoa. Cacao and cocoa both come from the same beans that grow inside the fruit pods of the cacao tree scientifically known as Theobroma cacao. But the main difference between cocoa and cacao powder lies in the way they are processed.
Unlike cocoa powder, cacao powder is unroasted and least processed, making it more nutritious and containing most of the nutrients closely intact in their natural forms. It’s why cacao powder is often considered “raw cocoa” and is widely promoted as a highly potential “superfood”.
Besides, cocoa products often contain added sugars and dairy compounds, while cacao powder, in its pure natural form, does not have any added sugars or dairy compounds, making it a safer, healthier, and more efficient alternative to cocoa products, especially for vegan people or for those who otherwise anyway do not want to take animal foods.
Cacao powder: nutrients and properties
Cacao powder is rich in a varying range of plant nutrients and active compounds. It’s high in protein and dietary fibers, but low in fats and sugars and thereby, low in calories, making it potential for natural weight loss.
Besides, it contains significant amounts of essential vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin E, vitamin K, and more, and various important minerals, especially magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and selenium as well as others.
Moreover, cacao powder is extremely high in plant polyphenols such as flavonols, epicatechins, catechins, procyanidins, and anthocyanins, all of which have been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties that are highly efficient to scavenge free radicals and protect the body cells, tissues, and organs from damage induced by oxidative stress.
Finally, cacao powder has ample quantities of caffeine and theobromine, which have been found to possess noticeable neuroprotective and stimulant properties. In essence, the vital nutrients found in cacao powder have huge potential to promote physical and mental health and protect from diseases.
Benefits of cacao powder for weight loss
Cacao powder and the plant chemicals (phytochemicals) it contains may help you shed extra fats and body weight in many ways. The benefits of cacao powder for weight loss seem to come from the pharmacologically active ingredients it contains.
Let’s take a look at some common ways how cacao powder can aid in your natural weight-loss regimen:
Augments metabolism - research suggests cacao powder can increase metabolism and the body’s energy use by improving mitochondrial biogenesis. This helps in better fat metabolism and in turn, helps aid in weight loss.
Alleviates inflammation - cacao powder has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory actions that can help alleviate inflammation, especially in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Gut health is directly linked to digestion and healthy body composition.
Combats stress - stress is a leading cause of unwanted weight gain. Cacao has anandamide, a lipid that helps stimulate the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain and enhance mood. Cacao powder can also boost serotonin levels, the feel-good hormone which helps better cope with stress.
Suppresses appetite - insulin resistance plays a major role in developing type 2 diabetes and also excess body weight. When a person is insulin resistant, he or she does not ever feel full and stay always hungry. Cacao powder can help balance hormone levels that can suppress appetite and make one feel fuller for a longer time.
Detoxifies the body - the antioxidants and high fiber content in the cacao powder help neutralize free radicals including harmful toxins and waste products and help in detoxification by removing them from the body. The less you bear waste, the less weight you will have.
How to use cacao powder
You can take cacao powder in a variety of ways. For example, you can consider adding small amounts of cacao powder to your breakfast smoothies, a lukewarm glass of milk, or a bowl of oats. There is no standard recommended dosage so far.
Recommended daily intake depends on personal needs and health goals. Therefore, starting with moderation is always a good idea. However, it’s always best to work with a certified nutritionist or professional natural health practitioner to know your best dosage.
Precautions and side effects
Though cacao powder is usually safe and well-tolerable, too much intake may cause some unpleasant side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, nervousness, and sleeplessness. But these side effects are rare and uncommon.
Besides, people with hypersensitivity may experience allergic reactions as well. Most clinicians do not recommend more than 40 gm of cacao powder per day. However, always work with a professional nutritionist or healthcare provider before starting cacao powder to avoid any adverse effects.
Cacao powder is densely packed with vital nutrients and active compounds that can help in weight loss in many different ways. The benefits of cacao powder for weight loss come from its favorable effects on fat metabolism, stress, and inflammation. Excess intake may cause side effects. Hence consider asking a professional nutritionist how much to take safely.
Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural Organic Cacao and Ashwagandha Powder