Chocolate lovers, rejoice!
The delicious treat we adore isn’t just an indulgence – it also promotes healthy skin.
That’s right, cacao, the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa powder, is packed with benefits that go beyond satisfying your sweet tooth.
Let’s delve into the world of cacao and discover how it can transform your complexion.
What is Cacao?
Originating from the lush landscapes of Central and South America, cacao earned its moniker “food of the gods” for good reason.
Its seeds give birth to the beloved treasures of chocolate, cocoa powder, and an array of cocoa-based delights.
Cacao’s Skin-Enhancing Benefits
The bounty of nutrients within cacao presents a myriad of skin benefits, including:
This can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Rich in healthy fats like oleic acid, cacao nourishes and moisturizes the skin, improving its barrier function and preventing moisture loss.
Cacao boasts a wealth of antioxidants, like flavonoids, which combat free radicals – those pesky molecules that damage skin cells and accelerate aging.
Think of them as tiny shields protecting your skin from wrinkles, fine lines, and sun damage.
4. Improved Skin Texture and Tone
Minerals in cacao, such as magnesium, copper, and zinc, are important for healthy skin function.
These minerals may help to improve skin texture and promote a more even skin tone.
5. Healing and Repair
Cacao is a good source of skin-nourishing minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron. These minerals help repair and regenerate damaged skin.
6. Improved Blood Circulation
Flavonoids in cacao can improve blood circulation. This promotes better oxygenation and nourishment of the skin.
The result is a radiant, glowing complexion!
While cacao may have potential benefits for skin health, more research is needed to fully understand these benefits.
Additionally, consuming large amounts of chocolate, which contains added sugars and fats, may not be beneficial for overall health.
You can learn more about foods that protect and beautify the skin in this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – 7 Antioxidant Foods for Glowing Skin.
4 Ways to Add Cacao to Your Diet
Below are a few ways to reap the health benefits of cacao:
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains higher amounts of cacao solids compared to milk chocolate. This means it contains more beneficial compounds. Look for dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao for maximum benefits.
- Cacao powder: This powder is finely ground cacao beans. Add it to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt. You can also use it in baking recipes for cakes, brownies, or cookies.
- Raw cacao nibs: Nibs are small pieces of crushed cacao beans that have a bitter taste and crunchy texture. Add these nibs to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or baked goods for a nutritious boost.
- Cacao butter: Cacao butter is often used as an ingredient in recipes like chocolate bars, truffles, and baked goods to add a rich, chocolate flavor and a creamy texture.
You can also make cacao skincare products. Learn more in our post – DIY Cacao Skincare Products: Indulge in the Benefits.
Cacao in skincare and cosmetics is part of an up-and-coming beauty trend known as Beauty Nutrition.
These products moisturize and nourish the skin. They may also provide additional benefits such as reducing inflammation.
Chocolate skincare products come in various forms. Including masks, scrubs, moisturizers, and body butter.
They may also include other natural ingredients such as honey, coconut oil, and shea butter.
Caution for Cacao
Those who are sensitive to caffeine, take certain medications, and/or have allergies should use caution when considering cacao.
- Caffeine: Cacao contains a small amount of caffeine, which can have a stimulating effect on the body. Use caution if you are sensitive to caffeine.
- Medications: Cacao contains compounds that can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners. If you are taking any medications, talk to your healthcare provider before consuming cacao or cacao-based products.
- Allergies and sensitivities: Some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to cacao. If you have a known allergy or sensitivity to cacao, it’s important to avoid consuming it or products that contain it.
Takeaways from Cacao Benefits for Skin
Consuming cacao or using skincare products that contain cacao can provide benefits both internally and externally.
However, cacao should be consumed in moderation, as it still contains calories and fat.
Additionally, using pure, high-quality cacao products ensures you are getting the maximum health benefits.
Overall, incorporating cacao into your wellness routine can be a delicious and beneficial way to promote healthy skin!
Hungry for More?
Interested in more information on foods that benefit your skin?
Check out the Age-Defying Dietitian’s Skin & Beauty Nutrition section of the blog!
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Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management. She has 20+ years of nutrition experience working in a variety of healthcare settings. Her passion is to provide evidence-based nutrition information that supports vitality and longevity!