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Raw Cacao Nibs Health Benefits

This Sweet Superfood Will Make You Happier

Raw cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, which means it's much less processed and significantly higher in antioxidants than plain old cocoa powder or store-bought chocolate bars. Studies have shown that it may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce your blood pressure, but there's another reason to enjoy it ASAP: it can improve your mood big time.

In one study, participants were given a dark-chocolate drink to consume for 30 days, which contained 500 milligrams, 250 milligrams, or 0 milligrams of polyphenols (the chemicals in plants that have antioxidant properties). The findings? The participants who received the highest dose of cocoa experienced a significantly higher rate of calmness and happiness than those who drank the placebo. If you could use a little extra happy in your day, raw cacao is an ingredient to try.

Culinary director of Sonima Wellness Center Joy Houston is a huge fan of raw cacao powder in her smoothies, since it gives her blends a flavor that's reminiscent of a classic chocolate malt without all the processed junk. Try singer Ellie Goulding's go-to coconut-water smoothie that's sweet, hydrating, and tosses cacao nibs into the mix.

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