Cacao (Theobroma cacao)

Superfood / Medicinal Herb

Ah, cacao; the Mayan Food of the Gods, most commonly known today as the key ingredient in chocolate (or at least good chocolate). Our herbalist calls this a crossover food herb; it has medicinal effects on the body but is also a regular and delicious part of our food world. Whether you choose to call it a superfood or a medicinal herb, the benefits are the same*. This tasty stimulant packs lots of antioxidants and polyphenols which have been linked to anti-inflammatory effects, improved brain function, reduced depression, and a range of health benefits.

While all of that is (quite literally) super, the main reason we chose cacao for our Energize bars is that it contains theobromine, caffeine’s sister chemical, which releases feel-good hormones and increases energy. And, of course, because it tastes like chocolate, and we can’t say no to a chocolatey treat that’s free of added sugars.

We found over 5300 studies on cacao. Research suggests it may:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase endorphins in the body
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improve mood and symptoms of depression
  • Promote calmness, relaxation, and contentment
  • Improve brain function and mental performance
  • Support neuron production
  • Reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Improve blood circulation, including blood flow to your brain
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Improve cholesterol
  • Reduce risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke
  • Have a blood thinning effect
  • Help protect your skin from sun damage
  • Improve your skin’s hydration
  • Help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Help with weight control
  • Have anti-cancer properties
  • Be beneficial for people with asthma

You’ll find 1000mg of cacao in our Energize bars.

*Note: cacao and cocoa are often used interchangeably when it comes to the powdered form. This is the source of much confusion. Generally speaking, as long as it's not Dutch-processed (alkalized), you can expect your cacao or cocoa to pack the benefits you're looking for.

Learn about our other star ingredients in the Yoe Guide to Adaptogens, Herbs & Superfoods.


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