What Are Cacao Nibs?
Cacao nibs are simply chocolate in its purest form, before anything else is added — nature’s original chocolate chips! (A “nib” is the edge or point of something.) They are dried and fermented bits of cacao beans. The texture of our raw organic cacao nibs is similar to that of roasted coffee beans. They have a deep chocolate flavor which can be described as slightly bitter and nutty. Raw cacao nibs are the less processed version of chocolate with no unhealthy additives, so they preserve all the nutrients of the natural cacao bean. Cacao nibs are packs with powerful nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and excellent sources of the minerals iron and magnesium. These crunchy cacao bits offer plentiful health benefits and are yummy to boot!
Health Benefits Of Cacao Nibs
1) Nutritional Powerhouse: Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Raw organic cacao nibs are an excellent source of fiber and iron. A single one-ounce serving of cacao nibs provides 18% of the DV for fiber and 21% of the DV for iron.
They are also exceptionally rich in antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. These include a class of polyphenol antioxidants called flavonoids. In fact, cocoa and chocolate products have the highest flavonoid content by weight of any other food– cacao nibs have more antioxidants than other superfoods, including green tea, acai, blueberries and pomegranates! Flavonoids are associated with many health benefits. For example, research shows that people who consume diets rich in flavonoids have lower rates of heart disease, certain cancers, and mental decline.
In addition, they are rich in many minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and copper.
In fact, raw cacao nibs are one of the best food sources of magnesium: an essential mineral involved in over 300 enzyme reactions in our body, from nerve function to bone health. Phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese are vital for healthy bones, while copper and iron are needed for producing red blood cells that supply oxygen to your body.
Cacao nibs have a ton of potassium in them (183 milligrams per ounce), which is essential for health.
If you don’t get enough potassium in your diet, you risk a range of diseases and disorders, from infertility to heart disease to cancer.
2) Brain Food: Organic cacao nibs are one smart snack!
Various compounds, including flavonoids, found in cacao nibs increase blood flow to the brain, which improves memory, reaction time, problem-solving and attention span. This additional blood flow lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia as we age. The high polyphenol content of cacao may also be protective against declining cognitive function.
3) Boost Immune Health: Research shows that cacao has beneficial effects on your immune system. For example, cocoa flavonoids help decrease inflammation, which can help improve overall immune response.
4) Stabilize Blood Sugar and Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Cacao consumption may benefit those with blood sugar control issues. Studies have shown that the flavonols present in organic raw cacao nibs may play an important role in lowering diabetic risk, can help regulate blood glucose levels and improve sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb blood sugar.
5) Heart Healthy: Eating raw cacao can support the cardiovascular system and has been shown to reduce numerous heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Cacao nibs contain flavonoids flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory antioxidants that protect the heart and the arteries in your heart and brain. Flavonoids thin the blood and prevent clots. They help prevent heart disease, stroke, lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Cacao also contains over 700 compounds and complex antioxidant polyphenols — including catechins and anthocyanins — which decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol.
6) Lift Your Mood: If you’re feeling a little down, a serving of raw cacao nibs can act as a powerful mood-enhancer. Cacao is packed with compounds that increase levels of endorphins and serotonin in our brain; these are the chemicals that cheer us up, reduce anxiety, and give us a general sense of well-being.
7) Prevents premature aging: The polyphenols that protect your heart are in the same family as the antioxidants found in red wine and green tea. They protect cells from oxidation, which keeps you feeling and looking young.
How To Incorporate Cacao Nibs Into Your Diet
1) Eat them plain: Enjoy them straight or accompanied by your favorite cup of coffee or tea.
2) Trail mix: Make a trail mix by mixing a handful of organic cacao nibs with nuts and dried fruit.
3) Smoothies: Grind a tablespoon of cacao nibs and then blend them into a fruit smoothie for a unique chocolate kick.
4) Breakfast foods: Incorporate a spoonful of organic cacao nibs into your morning cereal or oatmeal for an antioxidant boost. Thrive Tribe Cacao Nib Snack Bites are PERFECT for this!!
5) Baked goods: Substitute part chocolate chips for cocoa nibs in baked goods like brownies or muffins to add a deep chocolate richness.