Anxiety is a common medical condition affecting millions of people around the globe. While you can take medications for anxiety, research found that there are certain foods that help you treat your anxiety. Among those foods is Cacao.
Cacao is totally different from cocoa powder. Although they both come from cocoa beans, but the methods of obtaining them are very different. Cacao is obtained by cold pressing the non-roasted cocoa beans, which retains all its nutrients instead of stripping them away.
Despite containing caffeine, cacao is also excellent at helping banish stress, thanks to its high levels of the stress-reducing substances.
Cacao Components Boost Your Mood
Cacao contains several components that are known to keep anxiety systems at bay and reduce irritability.
- Polyphenols are present in cacao, and they are known as mood food, according to a study published in 2012.
- Salsolinol activates the pleasure neurotransmitter dopamine.
- Anandamide is responsible for feelings of euphoria and improves mood.
- Magnesium is vital for energy, muscles, and nerves. Moreover, it aids in muscle relaxation.
- Phenethylamine in cacao releases endorphins, also known as pleasure chemicals of the brain. It relaxes the brain and reduces stress and anxiety.
- Tryptophan in cacao is a natural anti-depressant. It transforms into stress-protecting serotonin and melatonin.
- Raw cacao contains a small amount of serotonin, it known to be our stress defense in the body.
You can buy cacao beans but it also is available in baking bars, powder and nibs which are great for adding to your smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. The nibs themselves are very low in sugar, and contain alkaloids (such as caffeine or theobromine) which are bitter so you won’t want to pop a handful in your mouth.
There are numerous recipes that you can easily work cacao into your diet. Check out 21 Best Superfood Cacao Recipes – ON SALE NOW FOR $0.99!