Cacao trees were first tamed about 5,000 years ago in South America. Today, they can be found in equatorial regions all over the world. Both cocoa powder and its less well-known cousin, cacao powder, are made from the beans of these trees.
Before being turned into cacao or cocoa powder, cacao beans go through a fermentation process that gives them flavor and texture. Cocoa powder is made by heating cacao beans to very high temperatures. This gives the powder a smooth, sweet taste that people like in baked goods or hot cocoa. Cacao is more bitter than cocoa powder, but some of its health benefits are lost when it is turned into cocoa powder.
Cacao beans that will be turned into cacao powder and cacao nibs are not roasted at these high temperatures. Instead, they are processed at low temperatures and then ground into a powder. Cacao powder is very bitter, but it has more of the original health benefits of the bean.
Cacao powder can be used instead of cocoa powder in recipes that call for it.
Cacao powder is good for your health.
The fiber in cacao powder helps your digestive system work well and can reduce the risk of irritable bowel syndrome and its symptoms.
Here are some more ways cacao powder is good for your health:
Bring down blood pressure
There are a lot of flavonoids in cocoa powder. Researchers have found that these nutrients help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and help keep blood from clotting.