Cocoa/Cacao Powder • What are the nutrients?

Cacao powder may help lower blood pressure because of the flavonoids it contains. Go for raw, non-alkalized powders since alkalization destroys antioxidants.

Cacao Powder - Image of burlap bags of cacao from Madagascar

Cocoa solids are what remains after cocoa butter is extracted from cacao beans.  Per tablespoon, cacao contains .4 grams of saturated fat and .2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 82 mg of potassium, 1 mg of sodium,1.1 grams of protein and nearly 2 grams of fiber.  There are 12 mg of caffeine in 1Tbsp, so beware if you are allergic to caffeine.

You will also find in cocoa powder in varying amounts:

  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Dietary fiber
  • Flavanoids
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

The amino acid score is 90.  All the fatty acids are Omega-6’s.

Studies hint that cocoa consumption may help a number of conditions (or help to avoid them):

In order to get these benefits, you may have to take supplements, without the sugar and fat that make a chocolate bar so tempting.  All the sugar and fat (if you eat enough chocolate bars for the helpful compounds to make a difference,) may offset any benefits.

Cacao is the best form to consume for health benefits–before all the processing and additions of sugar and fat.  If you’re going to have a chocolate bar anyway, make it a dark chocolate bar with a high percentage of cocoa.