The Difference Between Cocoa And Cacao
Cacao is raw cacao made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter). So, cacao is simply pure, raw cacao beans requires minimal processing and preserves all the antioxidants and other beneficial phytonutrients.
Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa is processed cacao beans that has been processed and roasted at high temperature.
Even the top quality cocoa brands, such as Rapunzel 100% Pure Organic Cocoa Powder – while being an excellent product, are roasted.
Studies show that the darker chocolate is the better choice (contains higher percent of cacao). 70% + percentage of cacao in dark chocolate has a higher concentration of antioxidants than milk chocolate. Keep in mind that milk chocolate is also higher in added sugar and unhealthy fats. Not to mention the inhibition of antioxidant absorption from cacao when adding dairy to chocolate.
Do you know?
Cacao is rich in minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.
Cacao can increase levels of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. It is the same brain chemical (phenylethylamine) that is released when we experience deep feelings of love.
Also, of the many flavonoids in cacao, two in particular, epicatechin and quercetin, are believed to be responsible for the cancer-fighting properties. Eating real chocolate can help keeping cancer cells under check!
The easiest way to tell whether you are getting cacao or cocoa? Look for the word RAW on the packaging! And then check the rest of the ingredients.