Cacao: The Delicious Brain-Boosting Superfood You Need to Try

Cacao: The Delicious Brain-Boosting Superfood You Need to Try


As someone who loves chocolate, I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate it into my diet. And luckily, there’s a delicious and healthy way to do just that – by eating cacao! But what is cacao, exactly? So put, cacao is the purest form of chocolate, made from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. And not only is cacao delicious, but it’s also been shown to have several cognitive benefits. In this blog post, I’ll explain how cacao can help boost your brainpower and offer tips for incorporating it into your diet and hosting a fun chocolate-tasting party. So grab a cup of cocoa and read on to discover the amazing benefits of cacao!

The Science Behind Cacao 

I’m always interested in the science behind different foods and their cognitive benefits. However, when it comes to cacao, the key compounds responsible for its brain-boosting effects are flavanols and antioxidants.

Flavanols are a type of plant compound that is found in high concentrations in cacao. They have been shown to improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. This increased blood flow can improve memory, focus, and overall brain health. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition found that consuming cocoa flavanols can improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Antioxidants are another important component of cacao. They help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. These unstable molecules can cause oxidative stress and damage to cells. By protecting the brain from oxidative stress, antioxidants can help to prevent age-related cognitive decline.

It’s important to note that not all chocolate products are created equal regarding flavanol content. For example, dark chocolate generally contains more flavanols than milk chocolate since it contains more cacao solids. Therefore, to get the most cognitive benefits from cacao, look for high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao solids, or consider adding raw cacao powder to your meals and snacks.

Overall, the flavanols and antioxidants found in cacao can have a powerful effect on cognitive function and brain health. So go ahead, indulge in some chocolate and feel good about the cognitive benefits it’s providing your brain!

How to Incorporate Cacao into Your Diet

I’m always looking for delicious and easy ways to incorporate brain-boosting foods into my diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty ways to add cacao to your meals and snacks!

One of the easiest ways to incorporate cacao into your diet is to add raw cacao powder to your smoothies or oatmeal. Raw cacao powder is packed with flavanols and antioxidants, making it a great way to boost your brainpower in the morning. You can also use raw cacao powder to make healthy chocolate desserts, like chia pudding or avocado mousse.

If you’re a fan of hot chocolate, consider making your own with raw cacao powder and almond milk. Mix the cacao powder with almond milk in a saucepan, heat it up, and add a touch of honey or maple syrup for sweetness. This is a healthier alternative to store-bought hot chocolate mixes, which are often high in sugar and artificial ingredients.

Of course, one of the most delicious ways to enjoy cacao is through the high-quality dark chocolate. Look for chocolate bars with at least 70% cacao solids, and enjoy a small piece as a treat after dinner. You can also use dark chocolate as a topping for fruit or yogurt or chop it up and add it to baked goods for a brain-boosting twist on your favourite recipes.

Overall, there are plenty of easy and delicious ways to add cacao to your diet and reap the cognitive benefits. So go ahead, get creative, and enjoy guilt-free chocolate in all its forms!

Hosting a Chocolate Tasting Party

As someone who loves chocolate, I’m always looking for fun and creative ways to enjoy it with friends. One great way to do this is by hosting a chocolate-tasting party! Here are some tips for putting together a delicious and memorable event:

Choose a variety of chocolates: When it comes to chocolate tasting, it’s essential to try a range of flavors and textures. Consider including dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolates with different percentages of cacao solids. For a fun twist, you can also have flavoured chocolates, like sea salt or raspberry.

Provide palate cleansers: To fully appreciate each chocolate’s flavor, it’s essential to have a palate cleanser between tastings. Water and unsalted crackers are great options, as they don’t have strong flavors that will interfere with the chocolate.

Rate the chocolates: Encourage your guests to rate each chocolate on a scale of 1 to 10 based on factors like flavor, texture, and overall enjoyment. This can make for a fun and lively discussion as people share their opinions and preferences.

Pair with wine or coffee: Chocolate pairs well with various beverages, like red wine or coffee. Consider providing some options for your guests to try alongside the chocolate.

Have fun with decorations: Set the mood for your chocolate-tasting party with some fun decorations, like chocolate-themed napkins, plates, and balloons. You can also create a fun photo booth area with props like chocolate-themed hats and sunglasses.

Hosting a chocolate-tasting party is a fun and delicious way to enjoy cacao with friends. Plus, you’ll get to share your knowledge of the cognitive benefits of chocolate with your guests. So go ahead, get planning, and enjoy a guilt-free indulgence with your favorite people!


There you have everything you need to know about cacao and how to incorporate it into your diet! As a nootropic expert, I recommend adding cacao to your meals and snacks for a delicious and brain-boosting twist. So whether you opt for raw cacao powder in your smoothies, high-quality dark chocolate as a treat, or a full-on chocolate-tasting party with friends, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the cognitive benefits of cacao.

Just remember to choose high-quality, minimally processed cacao products and enjoy them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. With all the delicious options, making cacao a regular part of your healthy lifestyle is easy. So indulge in some guilt-free chocolate, and let your brain reap the rewards!


Here are some references that I used in writing this blog post on cacao:

Scholey, A. (2013). Cognitive effects of cocoa flavanols. In Cocoa and Health (pp. 169-176). Springer, Boston, MA.

Sorond, F. A., Lipsitz, L. A., Hollenberg, N. K., Fisher, N. D., & Forman, D. E. (2008). Cerebral blood flow response to flavanol-rich cocoa in healthy elderly humans. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 4(2), 433-440.

Buitrago-Lopez, A., Sanderson, J., Johnson, L., Warnakula, S., Wood, A., Di Angelantonio, E., … & Franco, O. H. (2011). Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 343, d4488.

Latif, R. (2013). Health benefits of cocoa. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 16(6), 669-674.

Farhat, G., Drummond, S., Fyfe, L., & Al-Dujaili, E. (2014). Dark chocolate: an obesity paradox or a culprit for weight gain?. Phytotherapy Research, 28(6), 791-797.

I hope you find these references helpful in learning more about the cognitive benefits of cacao!

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George Hernandez

George specializes as a Nootropic Expert with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and a BA in philosophy, George has an excellent understanding of the workings of the human brain. He also helps to synthesize several medical papers regarding the efficacy of nootropics. He also tested the most popular nootropic supplements on the market and is making transparent reviews on each of them on this website.

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