Try this simple, healthy swap and your mind, body and tastebuds will reap the benefits
Coffee not only tastes great but also boasts a slew of benefits, from boosting our mood and metabolism to increasing mental and physical performance, yet sometimes we can have too much of a good thing.
For those of us hooked on our morning lattes, mid-morning slump busters and afternoon pick-me-ups, too much caffeine can start to wreak havoc on our systems, transforming us from alert to anxious.
Weaning yourself off caffeine can be a challenge, especially as many of us come to depend on our humble brew to feel awake and alert, as well as enjoying the social benefits of sipping away with friends and colleagues.
Enter cacao, the unlikely superhero that’s about to become your new best friend.
1. Cacao is a serious feel-good mood booster
If you love the way that coffee makes you feel, you’ll get similar effects from a hot cup of cacao.
Cacao also packs a punch of potent antioxidants to keep your cells healthy and support your immune system. Cacao’s antioxidants can also aid your skin in looking refreshed and dewy by fighting wrinkles and the signs of premature aging.
Try it: Add Nourishing Protein in Chocolate to a glass of your favourite plant-based milk, stir and sip slowly, enjoying the benefits of the added 9 essential amino acids, B vitamins for digestion and weight, acai and pomegranate for antioxidants and rosehip for collagen.
2. Cacao won’t take your energy levels on a rollercoaster ride
Cacao has a relatively modest calorie count and provides a nice, sustainable amount of energy without setting you off on a rollercoaster ride. Cacao does contain a small amount of caffeine, however only around a sixth of the caffeine content of a cup of coffee, so the up-and-down effects of too much coffee can be drastically minimised.
Cacao is also high in amino acids that trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good hormone, which can help you feel consistently good throughout the day.
3. Cacao is loaded with vital nutrients
A delicious drink? Check. 'Choc'-full of the good stuff that your body needs? Double check. We love a double-duty drink and not only does cacao taste incredible, it also contains plenty of iron, magnesium and potassium. These essential minerals help support oxygen delivery and stable blood sugar. Cacao is also one of the world’s richest sources of flavanols, free-radical fighters that have been linked in recent research to better cholesterol levels and healthy blood pressure.
Bonus? Cacao has an antioxidant concentration that is double that of a similar serving of red wine, three times greater than a mug of green tea and five times greater than a mug of black tea.
We dare you: give your cacao a tasty Turkish twist.
4. Cacao isn’t anywhere near as sugary as you might assume
If you’ve typecast cacao as a sugar-laden drink, don’t be so quick to judge – it’s actually reasonably modest in its sugar content. The cacao drinks you’ll find lining supermarket shelves may be calorie-laden, but true connoisseurs look to the premium quality stuff to get their fix. Great quality cacao can be enjoyed simply with hot water or plant-based milk and its natural taste means that heaped spoonfuls of added sweetener aren’t necessary.
Bonus: If you do want to add some sweetness to your drink, organic options like coconut sugar or even fruit can be added to give you the flavour you seek, without all the nasties of refined sugar.