Peruvian Cacao is arguably the most popular and recognized superfood. It’s delicious flavor makes it easy to pair with all kinds of foods. You can even add it to your morning coffee!
Cacao king of Superfoods?
A superfood is a food that contains a large number of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. These foods are thought to contribute to the health and well-being of the body. Peruvian Cacao is not only delicious but also offers many health benefits, making it a superfood. Cacao has more antioxidants than blueberries and red wine, which means that it can help fight free radicals—molecules in the body that damage cells—and protect against cancer and heart disease. It also improves cholesterol levels and aids digestion—it contains prebiotics, which are substances that help good bacteria grow in your gastrointestinal tract.
Cacao in Peru
Peruvian Cacao is known for its rich flavor and many health benefits. Peruvian Cacao is the product of prime climatic conditions. The climate in Peru has a lot of humidity and rain, and is also surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The region where Peruvian Cacao grows is called none other than the Amazon! The beans are harvested during the dry season, which is from May through September. There are more than six varieties of Cacao in Peru. However, there are only four main varieties that are cultivated on a large scale: native, national, hybrid, and trinitario.
Origin of Peruvian Cacao
Peruvian Cacao is widely accepted by experts to have been used as a currency in ancient times. The Inca Empire, which began around 1200 AD and was conquered by the Spanish in the 1500s, traded Cacao beans as they would any other commodity—for gold, silver, and weaponry. Cacao is a national staple of Peru to this day. In terms of exports, it's only second to gas! The country's main growing regions for Cacao are in Tumbes and Piura in the north and San Martín and Ucayali in the center-east of the country.
The ancient Olmecs cultivated the bean and used it to make a drink that they believed had medicinal qualities. The natural Cacao bean trees of Peru don't produce large pods, but the quality of their beans is good and they have a pleasant aroma. Their pods are medium-sized and measure about 9 inches long and 4 inches across. The seeds weigh between 20 and 25 grams each, and it takes about 40 seeds to make 1 pound of chocolate.
Benefits of Peruvian Cacao
Peruvian Cacao can produce a higher yield than other varieties of Cacao, so it's used by many of the world's leading producers of chocolate and many artisanal chocolate makers as well. It is prized for its complex flavor and health benefits. Cacao contains many flavonols, which are antioxidants that benefit the body in several ways. It also includes many beneficial nutrients including minerals like magnesium and iron, which are essential to healthy muscle and brain function. Some of the potential benefits of Peruvian Cacao include:
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of heart disease and improving heart health
- Increased longevity
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving circulation
- Increasing cognitive function
The higher alkalinity means that the chocolate tends to be less bitter. That's right—Peruvian Cacao is naturally sweeter than most other kinds!