If you are following or have ever tried the keto or paleo diet, you may be familiar with cacao butter. Also called cocoa butter, it is a superfood that has many health benefits. Aside from that, organic cacao butter is also one of the major ingredients in lip balms and body lotions due to its rich moisture content.
However, in this article, we will discuss its use as a food ingredient. Generally, you consume it in candy bars or some baked goods. But before knowing about its uses and the reason for its popularity, let’s discuss what it is.
What Is Cacao Butter?
Cacao butter is derived from cacao or cocoa beans. Despite its name, this organic superfood does not contain any dairy or butter. The manufacturers of cacao butter often ferment its beans after harvesting and leave them for drying and further roasting. The roasted beans further undergo a grounding process to separate cocoa butter from cocoa mass (which often turns into cocoa powder). Since the cocoa beans are available from the Theobroma cacao plant, its separated cocoa fat is termed theobroma oil.
Although it’s basically an oil, at room temperature cacao butter turns solid with a mild chocolate-like aroma. It is also quite hard and brittle to use without melting. However, it has a very low melting point. That’s why it easily melts in the mouth as soon as you have it.
Why is Cacao Butter Popular?
Now that you are aware of the processing and manufacturing of organic cacao butter, let’s find out the reasons why it is so popular. Well, this superfood has gained popularity lately due to the following health benefits that it provides.
Also read: Surprising Benefits of Cacao Butter
1. Reduces Heart Disease
Since cacao butter contains a high concentration of monosaturated oleic acid, it helps in protecting your body against atherosclerosis (build-up of fat in blood vessels) with cholesterol reduction. According to a study, daily consumption of 6 g of chocolate can decrease the risk of heart disease due to the presence of oleic acid content.
2. Diabetes Prevention
According to research from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Cohort, regular consumption of around one ounce of dark chocolate every week can reduce the risk of diabetes by 34%
3. Reduces High Blood Pressure
Another research study on the Kuna Indians on the Caribbean coast of Panamá mentions that the tribal people often have low hypertension incidents. It is due to their regular consumption of cacao with over five cups per day.
Cacao butter includes Stearic Acid, which is a form of saturated fatty acid. Contrary to the myth that saturated fat is not good for your health, research reveals that stearic acid doesn’t cause any risk of atherosclerosis. It helps in reducing LDL cholesterol (cholesterol that’s associated with increased heart disease risk).
4. Reduces LDL Cholesterol
As given above, due to the presence of stearic acid in cacao butter, dark chocolate can help you with cholesterol. Since it reduces LDL cholesterol, it can even decrease high blood pressure, reduce cancer risk, and improve heart function.
Cacao butter even includes Omega-3 Fatty Acids that play a major role in handling the body’s triglycerides. That’s how they also lead to better emotional well-being.
5. Reduces Depression
Having a healthy portion of Omega-3 fatty acids, like that’s available in cacao butter and dark chocolate, can help in reducing depressive symptoms.
That’s the reason why many people crave chocolate when they are not feeling good or women during menstrual cycles. When you’re feeling low, serotonin levels reduce in the body. But the omega-3 fatty acids help in elevating serotonin.
6. Lowers the Risk of Cancer
As per the above-mentioned study about Caribbean natives, cacao butter not just reduces hypertension but also reduces cancer risk. The Caribbean natives have 15-times lower cancer rates compared to fellow Panamanians. It is because they contain high amounts of cacao drinks every day while reducing the risk of high blood pressure as well.
In the kitchen, cacao butter is a good ingredient for homemade smoothies, chocolates, ice creams, and other low-carb, keto-rich treats.
Besides that, you can even use a handful of cocoa butter after bathing to moisturize your skin. Or melt some in a bowl for an at-home spa treatment to cure cracked skin. Even men can use it instead of shaving cream, as an alternative to protect the skin and nourish cuts and nicks.
Organic cacao butter is a very versatile ingredient for use in both kitchen and beauty vanity. Even when you are on the keto diet, it’s a great alternative to carbohydrate ingredients that have many unhealthy fats. Want to include organic cacao butter in your health routine? But the pure product from Diet Angel via their official website.
You can also read: The difference between consuming chocolate and organic cacao powder