May 29, 2019 · Written by Foodtolive Team

Cacao Butter: Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses

Although it has only recently started gaining recognition for its incredible benefits, people have used cacao butter for centuries. You may know of its use in foods such as chocolate or products like lotion or lip balm, but due to its nutritional and skin care benefits, it has many more less known applications.


What is Cacao Butter

Cacao (or cocoa) butter is a versatile ingredient used in a variety of products from skin care to food. Unlike other products, cacao butter is dairy, gluten, and sugar-free.

It is derived from cocoa beans harvested from parts of Central and South America, where for centuries, people used it as a natural moisturizer. Today, cacao butter’s subtly sweet smell and smooth, creamy texture make it a desired ingredient around the globe.

How Cacao Butter Is Made

Before cacao butter becomes the rich cream we know, it starts as a cacao bean that grows on the same tree that produces chocolate and cocoa powder.

Once harvested, the beans are then cold pressed, a process that extracts oils from the cacao beans that are similar to olives. The oil pressed from the cacao beans is called theobroma oil and behaves much the same as coconut oil. It is a solid at room temperature, but when rubbed on the skin, it quickly absorbs and moisturizes.


The Top Health Benefits

Cacao butter isn’t just for skin care; it has many health benefits when consumed as well. Just like coconut and olive oils, cacao butter is full of healthy fats and antioxidants.

It contains large amounts of omega-3 and other fatty acids that help your skin, hair, and eyesight. Additionally, studies have shown that cacao butter can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and inflammation if consumed as part of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Is Cacao Butter Keto-Friendly

Yes, it is! Cacao butter is a perfect way to supplement the keto diet with a good source of fats. Since it contains zero carbs, it is useful as a substitute for non-Keto ingredients in a variety of Keto-friendly recipes.


Is Cacao Butter Good for Skin

The fats in cacao butter give it the hydrating properties that make it a great way to moisturize your skin. Research is still underway to decide how well it can be used to treat scars and stretch marks. It my not make them disappear, but it can help improve their appearance. However, cacao butter does have the potential to protect the skin from premature aging, and possibly prevent and treat skin diseases.

Cacao butter as a skincare product is similar to shea butter but smells much sweeter. And since it is edible, you can use it on your lips like a balm. The antioxidants in cacao butter can help reduce inflammation and redness in your skin and fight free-radicals, which cause your skin to age, develop dark spots, or become dull.

How to Use Cacao Butter

When using cacao butter as a skincare product, you can either use it on its own or combine it with other ingredients for added skin health benefits. Plus, you don’t even need to rub it on yourself to enjoy its benefits!

You can scoop a small handful from the jar and use it in the tub during baths, or melt some in a bowl of warm water for an at-home spa treatment that soothes dry, cracked hands. Instead of shaving cream, use cacao butter for a natural alternative that will nourish and protect your skin from nicks and cuts.

In the kitchen, you can use cacao butter for homemade chocolate, smoothies, ice cream, and even your favorite nut butter for a low-carb, keto-friendly treat.

Cacao butter’s versatility makes it a staple in both the kitchen and beauty cabinet. Even if you aren’t on the Keto diet, it’s the perfect substitute for dense carb ingredients that contain unhealthy fats. Once you try cacao butter, you’ll wonder how you ever went without it.