February 27, 2021 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Cacao Beans: Health Benefits and Ways To Use
Cacao beans attract the gourmands of almost every culture, as this wonderful fruit is a valuable source of chocolate, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter. Absorbing the benefits of tropical forests, cacao beans are enormously good for everyone regardless of age or sex.
Cacao beans – oval dark brownish seeds, in other words, chocolate nuts that grow on a chocolate tree. These beans are rather bitter in taste though they are widely eaten raw. Nevertheless, this product is mostly known as being grounded for chocolate.
Even though we do hear a lot about cacao, hardly anyone can single out the utmost pros of the item. So let’s explore Cacao beans health benefits:
- Contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals, including potassium and copper – which are an invaluable support for the health of the cardiovascular system;
- Rich in vitamins B1, B2, PP, calcium – which are necessary for all major organs to function properly;
- Consist of more than 300 healthy compounds like phenylethylamine, theobromine, and polyphenols (polyphenols are one of the most powerful antioxidants, they have the ability to break down fats and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease);
- A great source of antioxidants – magnesium, iron, zinc and flavanol. The latter improves brain performance, normalizes blood pressure, and improves cerebral circulation;
- Can be used as a cosmetic product – due to the content of procyanide which makes the skin tone soft and improves skin elasticity;
- Natural antidepressant because it contains dopamine, phenylethylamine, and serotonin which maintain mental health, improve mood, help with stress and depression. It enhances the pleasure of physical activity, and relieves fatigue;
- The enhancer of sexual sensations.  (the cacao beans contain theobromine that can improve your sex life).
The healthbenefitstimes.com reports about the following Cacao Beans Nutrition facts: 
Cacao Beans side effects
As any other product, cacao beans have useful properties and contraindications. Remember that consuming cacao beans means consuming a lot of calories: there are 400-500 kcal in 100g of cacao. Due to the high caloric content, it is important to maintain a dosage limit when it comes to including cacao in your diet.
Caffeine, which is the component of cocoa, raises blood pressure, so it should be used with caution especially by people with high blood pressure. It is not recommended to use this product in cases of diarrhea and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, as the condition may only worsen.
An allergy reaction is an uncommon instance, however, it may still occur. This can be caused only by a low/poor quality product that may have been chemically treated during cultivation. Our advice is – shop your Cacao Beans from the supplier you trust.
How to use Cacao Beans
The beans can be eaten raw yet you would hardly eat more than a few pieces as they have a very particular bitter taste. If you are a sweet tooth, you are most likely to eat beans with honey as it decreases bitterness. Just two pieces can energize you for a few hours.
Fresh cocoa beans can be used for making desserts: peel beans, mix chopped nuts, and honey. This dish has a pleasant mild taste and almost no bitterness.
Enjoy another simple recipe that is sure to come in handy in your kitchen – a cocktail.
50g of crushed cocoa beans; 15g of crushed pine nuts (or meal); 15g of cocoa butter; 1 tbsp honey; 1 banana; 300 g of water; 100g of warm water.
- Grind cocoa beans and pine nuts in a coffee grinder.
- Mix in a blender cold water, cocoa beans, nuts, honey, and banana to a thick homogeneous mass.
- Add cocoa butter and warm water, mix again for 3-5 minutes.
An integral element of the beauty industry:
Not only do we use cacao beans in cuisine, but we can also find this product as an effective component of cosmetics. Grated cacao beans are normally used for self-care – they improve the skin tone due to the intensive removal of toxins and excess fluid from the tissues.
If you are a sun lover or just want to add a nice bronze shade to your skin, cocoa butter is a perfect choice. It will give you a nice and even tan while leaving your skin smooth and hydrated. However, please don’t forget to use sunblock while tanning!
Furthermore, rub pure cocoa butter on hands, nails, and a cuticle! Your nails “will say thank you” for the shine and a smooth surface.
And finally, the following question arises: what could be tastier than chocolate? The cacao beans only. They aren’t just delicious, but also extremely useful.