What Is Drinking Cacao Good For?

For centuries, cacao has been cherished as a decadent treat, satisfying our sweet cravings in the form of chocolate. However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in consuming cacao in its purest form—by drinking it. Beyond its rich, indulgent flavour, drinking cacao offers a myriad of health benefits that might surprise you.

In this article, we’ll explore what drinking cacao is good for and how incorporating it into your routine can contribute to overall well-being. Check this website to know more. 

Cacao vs. Cocoa

Before delving into the health benefits, it’s essential to distinguish between cacao and cocoa. Cacao refers to the raw, unprocessed form of the bean, while cocoa is the term used for the processed and roasted version. To retain the maximum nutritional value, it is recommended to opt for raw cacao powder or cacao nibs.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Cacao is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with essential nutrients that contribute to overall health. One of its most notable components is flavonoids, a type of antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids play a crucial role in protecting cells from oxidative stress and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Heart Health Benefits

The heart is one of the primary beneficiaries of cacao consumption. Flavonoids in cacao have been linked to improvements in cardiovascular health by promoting healthy blood flow and reducing blood pressure. Regular intake of cacao may contribute to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, making it a heart-friendly addition to your diet.

Mood Enhancement and Stress Reduction

Beyond its physical benefits, cacao has the power to positively impact mental health. It contains various compounds, such as phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide, often referred to as the “bliss molecule.” These compounds can enhance mood and create a sense of well-being, potentially alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Furthermore, cacao stimulates the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, in the brain. Incorporating cacao into your routine may act as a natural mood enhancer, providing a delicious and healthier alternative to conventional comfort foods.

Rich Source of Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in numerous bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, and bone health. Cacao happens to be an excellent source of magnesium, making it an ideal choice for those looking to boost their magnesium intake.

Adequate magnesium levels contribute to the prevention of conditions such as muscle cramps, hypertension, and osteoporosis. By regularly drinking cacao, you can support your body’s magnesium needs and promote overall well-being.

Improved Cognitive Function

Cacao is known to contain substances that may enhance cognitive function and support brain health. The flavonoids in cacao have been associated with improved blood flow to the brain, which can enhance cognitive performance and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Additionally, cacao contains small amounts of caffeine, which, when consumed in moderation, can contribute to increased alertness and improved concentration. Theobromine, another compound found in cacao, has been linked to cognitive benefits, including enhanced memory and focus.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is a common factor in the development of various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and arthritis. Cacao’s rich antioxidant content, particularly flavonoids, contributes to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Consuming cacao may help mitigate inflammation in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health. This anti-inflammatory effect is not only beneficial for physical well-being but may also play a role in preventing cognitive decline associated with aging.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial for overall health, especially for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. Cacao has been shown to have a positive impact on blood sugar regulation.

Flavonoids in cacao may improve insulin sensitivity, helping the body better manage glucose levels. While it’s essential to approach any dietary changes with caution, incorporating cacao into a balanced diet may offer some support in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Antioxidant Boost

Cacao boasts an impressive array of antioxidants, surpassing even blueberries and acai berries in terms of total flavonoid content. Antioxidants play a crucial role in neutralizing free radicals in the body, which can cause cellular damage and contribute to the aging process.

Regular consumption of cacao can provide a significant antioxidant boost, supporting the body’s defence against oxidative stress. This, in turn, may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and promote longevity.

Weight Management Support

For those seeking to manage their weight, cacao can be a valuable ally. Despite its rich flavour, cacao is relatively low in calories and sugar when consumed in its pure form. Additionally, the presence of fibre in cacao contributes to a feeling of fullness, potentially reducing overall calorie intake.

Furthermore, the compounds in cacao, such as theobromine, may have a mild stimulant effect that can increase energy levels and promote physical activity. When combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, drinking cacao can be a satisfying and nutritious component of a weight management plan.

How to Incorporate Cacao into Your Diet

Now that we’ve explored the various health benefits of drinking cacao, let’s discuss how you can easily incorporate it into your daily routine.

Hot Cacao Drink:

  • Mix one to two tablespoons of raw cacao powder with hot water or your milk of choice.
  • Sweeten with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup if desired.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon or a sprinkle of sea salt for extra flavour.

Cacao Smoothie:

  • Blend cacao powder with bananas, almond milk, and a handful of spinach for a nutrient-packed smoothie.
  • Include other favourite fruits or vegetables to tailor the smoothie to your taste.

Cacao Energy Bites:

  • Combine raw cacao powder with nuts, dates, and a touch of coconut oil.
  • Form into bite-sized balls for a convenient and energy-boosting snack.

Cacao in Breakfast Bowls:

  • Sprinkle cacao nibs or powder on your morning oatmeal, yogurt, or chia pudding.
  • Top with fresh berries and nuts for added texture and flavour.

Cacao Desserts:

  • Experiment with cacao in homemade desserts, such as brownies, truffles, or chocolate mousse.
  • Use cacao to make a healthier version of your favourite chocolate treats.

What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Cacao?

While cacao offers a plethora of health benefits, it’s essential to recognize that excessive consumption or sensitivity to certain compounds in cacao may lead to side effects in some individuals. It’s crucial to be mindful of your body’s response and consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns. Here are some potential side effects associated with drinking cacao:

Caffeine Sensitivity:

Cacao contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts compared to coffee. Individuals sensitive to caffeine may experience side effects such as insomnia, jitteriness, increased heart rate, or anxiety. Moderation is key, and those sensitive to caffeine should be mindful of their overall intake from various sources.

Theobromine Sensitivity:

Theobromine is another stimulant found in cacao. While its effects are milder than caffeine, some individuals may be sensitive to theobromine and experience symptoms like headaches, nausea, or irritability. People with certain health conditions, such as heart problems or kidney issues, should be cautious about their theobromine intake.

Gastrointestinal Distress:

Cacao contains fibre, which, in large quantities, may cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Gradually introducing cacao into your diet and ensuring adequate water intake can help mitigate these effects.

Allergic Reactions:

Some individuals may be allergic to cacao, experiencing symptoms like itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. While cocoa allergies are rare, those with a known allergy to chocolate or related foods should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional.

Migraine Triggers:

For some individuals, the compounds in cacao, such as phenylethylamine (PEA) and tyramine, can act as migraine triggers. If you are prone to migraines, it’s advisable to monitor your cacao intake and observe any potential correlations with headache episodes.

Interactions with Medications:

Cacao may interact with certain medications. For instance, the stimulant effects of caffeine and theobromine in cacao can interact with medications for heart conditions or stimulant medications. If you are taking any medications, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure there are no potential interactions.

Oxalate Content:

Cacao contains oxalates, compounds that can contribute to the formation of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. If you have a history of kidney stones or are prone to oxalate-related issues, it’s advisable to moderate your cacao intake and stay well-hydrated.

Weight Management Concerns:

While cacao can be a part of a healthy diet, it’s crucial to be mindful of overall calorie intake, especially when consuming chocolate products with added sugars and fats. Overconsumption of calorie-dense chocolate treats may contribute to weight gain and associated health issues.

It’s important to note that the majority of people can enjoy cacao as part of a balanced and varied diet without experiencing adverse effects. However, individual responses can vary, and moderation is key. If you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.


In conclusion, the benefits of drinking cacao extend far beyond its delectable taste. Packed with antioxidants, minerals, and compounds that support heart health, cognitive function, and mood, cacao has earned its reputation as a nutritional powerhouse.

Whether you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular health, boost your mood, or support weight management, incorporating cacao into your diet can be a delicious and satisfying way to enhance your overall well-being.

So, the next time you reach for a comforting beverage, consider indulging in a cup of rich, velvety cacao for both pleasure and health.

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Hi! I’m Annie!

A passionate home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favourite recipes with the world.




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