Raw Cocoa Nibs( Cacao Plant) Vs Chocolate Nutrition, Health Benefits & Side effects

Cocoa nibs - healthy and tasty
    Already, the Incas knew how powerful cocoa nibs is. As the name already suggests, cocoa nibs is obtained from the cocoa beans or from the cocoa. Although cocoa is well known in this country. The raw cocoa has many advantages. For this reason, cocoa nibs as a Superfood is traded and increasingly finds its way into the Western households.

    Cocoa nibs is always rich in magnesium and calcium and this form of cocoa is also suited even for vegetarians and vegans. Where does the cocoa nibs come from?
How the cocoa really come is not accurately proved. But, it is believed that the tree is native to South America.

    It is believed that, it already existed for about 1000 BC. The cocoa bean, and importantly the sugary pulp was used in brewery industry which is usually fermented into an alcoholic drink. The Aztecs, however, knew the cacao tree since the 14th century and the plant was used then as sacred and as a gift of God Quetzalocatl.

    Accordingly, the cacao tree was also worshiped. The fruits then were used as sacrifice, and also as a means of payment. By the Aztecs, the name "Xocólatl" (bitter) originated because the drink consisted of water, cocoa, vanilla, corn, salt and cayenne pepper.

    After the Spanish conquistadores, Mexico discovered the "brown gold" in 1519, Thus, the production of cocoa in Europe or the European colonies spread. The cocoa tree was first cultivated in the region of Guayaquil in Ecuador and Venezuela (Caracas).

    Bahia and Belém in Brazil were then added at the end of the 17th century. In the Dutch colonies in South America, as well as the Caribbean, the tree was cultivated in the 18th century. Portugal and the islands of Príncipe and São Tomé were around 1900 the world's largest cocoa producer.

The cocoa tree
    The cocoa tree is a thin and long undergrowth. It has heavy-like leaves that are smooth. By Carolus Linnaeus, a botanist, it was so called "Food of the gods" and also called Theobroma.

    The cocoa tree grows well only in tropical areas and is grown only in areas up to about 20 degrees of North and South latitude, because here the air is perfectly warm and also humid. In addition, the cacao tree can not withstand direct sunlight and must be protected accordingly with cocoa mothers.

    Cocoa mothers are plants such as coconut, rubber, mango or avocado and banana trees that protect the cocoa tree from too much sun exposure. In Nigeria, banana is mostly planted as cocoa mother.

    Also, native forest trees are used for mixed planting on the plantations. To protect from the wind, the cocoa tree's growth is limited to a height of 6 meters growth. The height also serves to facilitate the harvesting of fruits as a cocoa plant can be up to 15 meters high.

    The pollination of cocoa flowers is carried out not by bees, but by small gnats. At the age of about 5 years, flowers of the tree sprout for the first time and then, can bring the full yield from the 12th year. The cocoa tree is an Evergreen plant and thus
bear fruits for almost the whole year.

    The fruits, which are greenish-yellow to red, depending on the variety can be about 30 cm long and weigh up to 500 g. The cocoa beans are embedded in the flesh of the fruit which are then processed into cocoa nibs.

   The harvest of cocoa fruit takes place twice each year, usually at the end of the rainy season until the beginning of the dry season and the beginning of the next rainy season. However, the first crop has higher quality.

    What are cocoa nibs and how are they made? Chocolate is loved and consumed by many people in the United States, especially among teens; and most especially male. Acording to a British study, men eat even more chocolate than women.

    However, more than 40 percent of women indicated are addicted, while only 15 percent of men claimed to be addicted to chocolate. However, chocolate has more accessories and is far more unhealthy compared to cocoa nibs because they are made from the raw chocolate and with other chemical additives and sugar.

    Cocoa nibs are made from the cocoa pods of the cacao tree. The cocoa beans are made soft first, peeled and broken into small pieces before they are fermented and dried carefully.

    The production, in particular, determines the quality of the cocoa nibs, and while it is very important that 45 ° C is not exceeded for the production; because, that's when they would be able to get their ingredients fully.

    To ensure the temperature is not exceeded, the cocoa beans are used repeatedly by hand, so that it can fully develop the excellent aroma nuances. The cocoa nibs are the most primitive form of cocoa and have a very tasty and tart flavor.

    Already, the Incas knew how to appreciate them and cacao beans were used in South America as a means of payment, and they were so valuable.

How to taste the cocoa nibs?
    Cocoa nibs are pieces of cocoa bean, which have rather bitter taste. However, the taste is very hard to describe because the flavors are now different. Usually, you will find it difficult to compare cocoa nibs to a chocolate, which has a cocoa content of 85%.

    Of course, everyone must decide for itself whether the taste is suitable and whether the product is the best choice. Of course, the taste varies depending on the recipe. Especially for the classic chocolate mousse, cocoa nibs are perfect.

   These cocoa beans are ideal as a cooking or baking chocolate and many more recipes.

Ingredients of cocoa nibs
    Cocoa beans or the cocoa nibs contain numerous ingredients that are good for the whole body. So, for example, they are full of calcium and magnesium and contain even antioxidants.

    The main ingredients and their effects are as follows:
Anandamide: Anandamide was found only in cocoa and is an endogenous endorphins. This binds to the same receptors in the brain, for example, THC in the cannabis plant.

    The endorphin is only secreted by the body when we are happy and we feel good. Hence the name, as "Ananda" - Sanskrit means bliss. This means that if the body is supplied with anandamide, the endogenous anandamide keeps us to feel well and happy for a longer period of time.

    Antioxidants: Especially in the cocoa, it has the highest concentration of antioxidants. Cocoa contains even more pomegranate, Goji Berry, acai and green tea than red wine altogether. Antioxidants protect our DNA from the damage of free radicals and also protect us against age-related diseases and nutritional deficiencies.

    Calcium: Cocoa nibs also contained Calcium in large quantities. To many, it's still the largest supplier of calcium, far more than milk because cocoa has about 160 mg of calcium in a quantity of 100 grams of cocoa.

    Therefore, the cocoa nibs are good and can serve as alternative to milk for vegans, so they can capture the important calcium. Calcium is mainly for the bones and teeth and its of great importance and strengthens significantly. But also for the muscles, calcium is an important substance to support them.

    For this reason, cocoa nibs are so popular among athletes.People with calcium deficiency will have a small wonder with the cocoa nibs.

    Magnesium: The most important supplier of magnesium is cocoa. It has about 415 mg magnesium in every 100 grams of cocoa. Magnesium provides a healthy bone growth, boosts brain performance and on the other hand supports the heart because it improves blood work also. Cocoa nibs are therefore an important part of a heart-friendly diet.

    Phenylethylamine (PEA): This chemical Messenger substance is contained in large quantities in the cocoa. But PEA is included in our body when we are in love. This probably also explains why chocolate makes us so happy.

    Phenylethylamine ensures that the body relaxes, that we feel happy and comfortable. In combination with calcium, PEA among others also acts as appetite suppressant which in turn means that, it is nutritious food.

    Salsolinol: Salsolinol is an alkaloid, which affects the brain practically the same way as an anti depressant. Therefore, the consumption of the cocoa seeds is good for happiness hormones (dopamine) and it makes us happy. In addition, Salsolinol ensures that you feel positive, motivated and in a good mood.

    Trace elements: especially chromium, which is important for the blood sugar and iron are present in cocoa. But also copper, that is for the immune system and blood ofimportance, and manganese are contained in cocoa.

    Manganese is important for the formation of hemoglobin, for example, in combination with iron. Zinc is also an ingredient of cocoa and is for the immune system and it's also important as for the liver and the pancreas.

    Theobromine: The stimulating substance Theobromine acts much like caffeine, it's much milder. It ensures that the nervous system is stimulated and also the blood vessels are widen. Without any doubt, the cocoa seed has a stimulating effect.

    Tryptophan: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which is also included in a remarkable share in the cocoa. Thereby, the amino acid helps in mind improvement, because it is important for the body's production of serotonin. A high serotonin content improves not only the stress defense, it also reduces anxiety.

    In addition, a high serotonin levels will also help us to feel very good. When the serotonin level is low, on the other hand, this leads to despondency and depression, and inevitably leads to mood swings. It is so justified, to say that cocoa and chocolate make one happy.

Studies of cocoa nibs and cocoa
    Many studies were carried out on cocoa which could prove that its nutrients have good effects on the body. So, a study was conducted in Nigeria, for example in the year 2014, which showed that the ingredients of the cocoa might prevent high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels.

    This is very interesting especially for diabetics. Another study in the year 2013 is on the anti-microbial effect of cocoa. In Indonesia, an investigation was conducted in 2016, which showed that Endothelial dysfunction can be steamed with cocoa.

    Endothelial dysfunction is a dysfunction of the endothelium, the inner wall of blood vessels. Errors on the inner wall of blood vessels caused by increased concentration of LDL cholesterol.

Cocoa nibs vs. chocolate
    There are numerous advantages of cocoa nibs and chocolate but cocoa nibs is usually the winner in the "game". The production of cocoa nibs not to a very high temperatures, in turn means that they do not lose the original properties.

    On the other hand, they have a much higher nutritional content and are clearly of better quality compared to chocolate. Still, they are not with additives "contaminated" and it's particularly in pure form. Another advantage is that cocoa nibs are nutritious foods, because they are not enriched with additional sugar.

    As cocoa nibs are processed gently, with not more than 45 ° C, this looks different in the traditional chocolate. The machine is cracked and heated to at least 120 ° C. Mixed with carbonates.

   For milk chocolate, the nutrients that remain are destroyed because it is enriched with powdered milk extract and thus, the antioxidant effect of cocoa weakens. Also, the milk powder from factory farms which is usually polluted with antibiotics, artificial hormones and pesticides. Not to mention the amount of refined sugar.

    It's obvious That cocoa nibs much is better especially for vegetarians and vegans. Unfortunately, these two groups in particular give up many things in the diet, it can happen that they suffer from a deficiency. Especially people who have started
to diet, vegetarian and vegan can not correctly estimate the dangers here and feed very one-sided.

    Cocoa nibs, however,are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, and at the same time, free of additives. Also, it has vitamins and antioxidant effects, which protects against free radicals.

    Here, the cocoa nibs are as dairy-free and healthy alternative in the breakfast cereal.

Cocoa nibs and the versatility
    Cocoa nibs can be widely used and can be eaten raw if you like tart taste. On the other hand, they can be used in cooking and baking; and for delicious dishes and desserts, it can so be conjured up. It must be but not always a dessert, which is refined with the delicious cocoa nibs.

    Bause the small cocoa pieces are ideal for hearty dishes. To add a special touch to a Chili con Carne, it can be made with cocoa nibs. The cocoa pieces can be mixed in smoothies, shakes and cocktails or as a baking and cooking. chocolate are also suitable.

    Cocoa nibs are so extremely versatile and therefore particularly appreciated. Cocoa nibs can give a particularly fine and exceptional taste in all meals and drinks, and so everyone in the kitchen with just a few ingredients can conjure up something special.

    Eating the seeds raw with or without shell. A day maximum dose of between five to ten cocoa nibs should not be exceeded.

Side effects of cocoa nibs
    There are many things with their side effects, including food, even if it's spicy, it can have side effects. So also cocoa nibs. Some people say that they suffered from insomnia after a prolonged and daily intake. Also, there were report of some extreme energy spurts.

    Prolonged usage of cocoa nibs may result to strong mood swings, dizziness and a certain aggression behavior. This is because, cocoa can cause psychological and physiological reactions of dependency. Usually, this is the case but only in very few vulnerable people.

    However, you should carefully deal with cocoa nibs and should consume only
quantitative limit from five to ten seeds a day. It is better to consume the cocoa nibs appropriately in order to prevent these side effects.

    Although, many people say that, they are addicted to chocolate, is this likely meant that they are dependent on the sugar? Because it is scientifically proven that sugar can make one hyper-active and addictive. In addition, it destroys the intestinal flora and also weakens the immune system.

Shelf life and storage of cocoa nibs
    Like all other foods, cocoa nibs also have an expiration date. This shows how long the cocoa seeds are at least stable. Here, the expiry date of the seeds is disputed, and whilesome say that the small seeds of the cocoa plant is at least six months durable, others point out that one should assume a minimum durability of two months.

    However, for proper storage, the cocoa nibs are stored cool and dry and not to be exposed to sunlight. They are stable for at least two months. Therefore, if you're buying the product, you buy only the amount which can be consumed in two months in order to be on the safe side so that the cocoa seeds do not spoil.

Buying cocoa nibs
    The purchase of cocoa nibs can be done online, some well-stocked supermarkets provide the delicious cacao seeds for their customers. It is Important to ensure that the cocoa nibs are of high quality because, production AMD harvesting affect its quality.

   Also, care should be taken when purchasing cocoa nibs because the prices can vary greatly and if you're not sure of the quality, you can look of course on the assessment of the dealer, as well as on the evaluation of the cocoa nibs to obtain a good product.

    Cocoa nibs are excellent alternative to chocolate, because, in contrast to traditional chocolate, the cocoa seeds are healthy and have all ingredients that were lost in the chocolate by heating.

    Cocoa nibs lift the spirits and even has long-term antidepressant effect. In addition, they contain a natural aphrodisiac and increase the performance and brain activity. In addition, the body can deal with stress better since the body is supplied with numerous vitamins, proteins, micronutrients, fiber and antioxidants.

    Even the appetite is reined with cocoa nibs and act against heart and circulatory disorders. Cocoa nibs are an exceptional way to indulge your body with sweets. Even vegetarians and vegans can eat cocoa nibs without fear as they are free of animal products and additives.

    It supplied the body with high content of calcium and magnesium, simultaneously with important substances and so, no deficiency symptoms may occur. However, you should Consume in moderation and irregular consumption of  cocoa nibs can do the body real good.

    People with sleep problems should eat the cocoa nibs only in the morning, because they have stimulating effect. As regards Refining of food and beverages, they are however unbeatable and can be made for excellent dishes, desserts or cocktails.

    All in all, this cocoa seed is excellent and healthy.