What Are The Health Benefits of Cacao?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the health benefits of cacao? Raw cacao powder packs a lot of antioxidants called flavonoids. And one of those health benefits is lowering the risk of heart disease. Research scientific studies have shown that flavonoid rich foods can lower your blood pressure and improve your blood vessels wall function.

Another health benefit is it can help improve your digestive health. It contains fiber and it can help create good bacteria in the gut. Some studies have shown cacao can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

What are the health benefits of cacao? Photo credit: iStock- Clara Murcia

Here are the nutrition facts of 2 teaspoons of cacao:

Calories- 140

Total Fat- 12 grams

Saturated Fat- 7 grams

Trans Fat- 0 grams

Cholesterol- 0 mg

Sodium- 0 mg

Potassium- 0 mg

Total Carbohydrate- 6 grams

Dietary Fiber- 4 grams

Sugar- 1 gram

Protein- 2 grams

Raw cacao contains magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. It is important to know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding try to consume cacao in moderate portions. Eating too much of it can be toxic and harmful.

Raw cacao has been popularized as a superfood because of its high number of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Cacao is basically an unprocessed bean that is used to make chocolate. And frankly raw cacao is really a bean that is just in its uncooked and unprocessed state.

Raw cacao nibs have large doses of iron, zinc, selenium, and magnesium.  Magnesium provides energy production, nerve transmission, DNA synthesis, and insulin metabolism. This mineral does a great job of supporting the proper function of the brain, heart, and muscles.

According to a 2017 research review study cacao nibs contain a large dose of polyphenols. The antioxidants in this can reduce the risk and protect against heart disease, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.

There was a 2015 clinical trial which was published in the American Journal of Clinical nutrition that documented the benefits of cacao nibs as a solid mental health food for the elderly. The compounds have been found to improve cognitive performance and reduce age related cognitive impairment.

Other studies have shown that it can help slow brain aging, support cardiovascular heart health, and increase cerebral blood flow. A 2014 review study that was featured in the Journal nutrients said that cocoa consumption increases lifespan and protects against heart disease.

“Raw cacao has been popularized as a superfood because of its high number of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line studies have shown there are tremendous health benefits to raw cacao if you consume it within moderation. It is considered a solid superfood that contains a high number of antioxidants and can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement  products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals. You can get a discount below at this link. ?utm_source=blog


  1. Deborah Bauer, Joel Pimentel de Abreu, Hilana Salete Silva Oliveira, Aristoteles Goes-Neto, Maria Gabriela Bello Koblitz, Anderson Junger Teodoro, “Antioxidant Activity and Cytotoxicity Effect of Cocoa Beans Subjected to Different Processing Conditions in Human Lung Carcinoma Cells”, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2016, Article ID 7428515, 11 pages, 2016.
  2. Nutrients- Nutrients | Free Full-Text | Polyphenols from Root, Tubercles and Grains Cropped in Brazil: Chemical and Nutritional Characterization and Their Effects on Human Health and Diseases (
  3. Daniela Mastroiacovo, Catherine Kwik-Uribe, Davide Grassi, Stefano Necozione, Angelo Raffaele, Luana Pistacchio, Roberta Righetti, Raffaella Bocale, Maria Carmela Lechiara, Carmine Marini, Claudio Ferri, Giovambattista Desideri, Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study—a randomized controlled trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 101, Issue 3, March 2015, Pages 538–548,
  4. Neshatdoust, Sara et al. ‘High-flavonoid Intake Induces Cognitive Improvements Linked to Changes in Serum Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor: Two Randomised, Controlled Trials’. 1 Jan. 2016 : 81 – 93.

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