In order to keep our bodies healthy, we need to have a good supply of minerals in our diet. When we have all the minerals our bodies need, the body functions at its optimal state and our mood and mental states are affected in a positive way.
Some of the most essential minerals our bodies need are calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper manganese, sodium, and potassium, and of course many more that play an important role, but of these eight minerals mentioned, cacao is a high source of six of them; magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, copper, and potassium!
Adding cacao to your diet is a delicious and heart-opening way to replenish the minerals in your body, especially since large-scale agriculture has reduced the mineral density of many foods.
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Some of its functions include maintaining healthy bones, regulating blood sugar levels, and supporting cardiovascular health and nerve health.
Cacao is one of the richest plant-based sources of magnesium. Adults can benefit from 300-400mg of magnesium per day, and a 22-gram (0.8oz) serving of Ora cacao can give you about 50mg. In this way, cacao can help to reach the recommended amount of magnesium per day if you also include legumes and leafy greens.
Our bodies use iron to make hemoglobin which is a protein in our red blood cells which carries oxygen from our lungs to all parts of our bodies.
Cacao is known as one of the highest plant-based sources of iron. Since it is plant-based, this means that it is non-heme iron which is a bit more difficult for our bodies to absorb. So if you want to use cacao for iron supplementation, you’ll want to keep this in mind. One of the best ways to get the most out of non-heme iron is by consuming it along with foods high in vitamin C.
This may surprise you..cacao is more calcium dense than cow's milk. Cacao contains 160mg per 100g vs 125mg per 100 ml of milk. You won’t be drinking 100g of cacao/day of course (you’d probably shoot out into the sky if you did), but by having a daily dose of cacao in your diet, you are definitely intaking calcium to support your bones.
Zinc is a mineral that is essential for immune system health, wound healing, thyroid function, and even the sense of taste and smell. Our body doesn’t make it on its own so we need to have varied sources of it in our diet.
A regular serving of cacao can help us receive 20% of the daily recommended value of zinc.
Copper is a mineral that our body needs in order to maintain our nervous and immune systems healthy. Beyond that, it helps in protecting our cells, and making red blood cells.
In a study published by NIH, it was shown that 10g daily of cacao is enough to treat copper deficiency and just 5g of cacao maintains normal levels of copper even with a liquids only diet. “10g of cocoa (0.6 mg total copper: 0.38 mg in cocoa and 0.22 mg in other nutrients) is sufficient to treat copper deficiency, and 5 g of cocoa (0.37 mg total copper: 0.19 mg in cocoa and 0.18 mg in other nutrients) is enough to maintain the normal level of serum copper in patients with long-term enteral nutrition.”
By consuming even a small 15 gram (0.6oz) daily dose of cacao you’ll be receiving the full daily recommended amount of copper which is 900 micrograms daily for adult men and women 19+ years.
Potassium’s main job is to maintain normal fluid levels inside of our cells. It also keeps our heartbeats regulated and ensures proper muscle and nerve function.
Potassium can be a helpful mineral to prevent muscle cramping, especially if you are someone who is very active. In just one serving of 22 grams (0.8oz) of cacao, you could be getting up to 400mg of potassium!
The next time you drink your cup of cacao, give yourself the freedom to enjoy it a bit more, knowing that you’re not just providing something that is nourishing to your soul, but nourishing to your body!