Cacao Nibs (150g)

6.45 inc. VAT

Cacao is one of nature’s greatest superfoods. The core ingredient in chocolate, when consumed in its raw unprocessed state it is extremely rich in nutrients and health benefits.

198 in stock

SKU: RK013. Category: .

Product Description

What are Cacao Nibs?

Cacao (pronounced Ca-Cow) is the purest, most natural form of chocolate that has a delicious chocolate flavour without the sweetness of processed chocolate. Since our product is certified organic by both the Irish Organic Association and the European Commission, you know our Cacao Powder has been processed without any nasty pesticides, fumigation or any GMOs, sourced with respect for nature and packed to the brim with goodness!

Our Cacao Nibs come from the cacao bean which grows on the Criollo cacao tree’s in Peru. The bean is carefully and ethically harvested and processed to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients and benefits the cacao bean has to offer, ready to use in loads of different ways. The dried out bean is cracked up into little bits or nibs that are easier to chew and enjoy!  They smell like a giant mug of super-rich hot chocolate, but their taste is more bitter.

It’s important to not confuse cacao with cocoa (or chocolate). Although they are harvested from the same bean on the same tree, the way in which they’re processed makes a massive difference to their nutritional properties.  Our Cacao Nibs are processed at really low temperatures because we find heat destroys the antioxidants and flavanols that are found naturally in the bean. This is the good stuff but it can often give cacao a bitter taste. Cocoa nibs, on the other hand, are roasted to give them that sweeter taste, however losing most of the nutrients.

The antioxidants and flavanols found in cacao are responsible for some of the amazing benefits of the powder. In fact, it contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any known food by far (yes, we’re talking way more than blueberries, goji berries, red wine, or green tea!). The antioxidants have been linked to loads of health benefits including lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and improving blood flow. Flavanols are a plant-based antioxidant that can reduce tiredness and fatigue, improve heart health, and cognitive function. Flavanols have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can potentially reduce the risk of dementia and slow down ageing. It has also shown potential anti-cancerous properties can help combat symptoms of asthma, diabetes, and depression.

Where do Cacao Nibs come from?

Our Cacao Nibs (pronounced CA-COW) is sourced ethically and organically from the beautiful country of Peru in South America. Cacao comes from the cacao bean which grows on the Criollo cacao tree (this tree is known to produce the best quality source of cacao), an evergreen tree that is native to the tropical regions of South America and the Caribbean Islands. Once the bean is harvested, we allow it to ferment for a few days so that it can develop that lovely chocolate flavour and a nice texture. Once the beans are dried out, we crack it up until the bits are broken up into small little nibs that are ready to be packaged up!

It’s important to not confuse cacao with cocoa. Although they are harvested from the same bean on the same tree, the way in which they’re processed makes a massive difference to their nutritional properties.  Cacao is processed at really low temperatures because we find heat destroys the antioxidants and flavanols that are found naturally in the bean. This is the good stuff but it can often give cacao a bitter taste. On the other hand, cocoa is made from cacao beans that are roasted and processed at a higher temperature (this is known as ‘Dutch processing’). This way, the product is less bitter but has lost a lot of its nutritional value. Many cocoa products can also be found to include extra sugar and flavourings. Our Cacao Butter is naturally sugar free, sodium free, and an excellent source of iron. It’s not hard to see why we at Nua Naturals all agree cacao is the better and healthier option!

Since our product is certified organic by both the Irish Organic Association and the European Commission, you know our Cacao Butter has been processed without any nasty pesticides, fumigation or any GMOs, sourced with respect for nature and packed to the brim with goodness!

Cacao Nibs Benefits

  • It’s full of antioxidants and flavanols! Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any known food by far (yes, we’re talking way more than blueberries, goji berries, red wine, or green tea!). Cacao is one of the richest sources of polyphenols. These are naturally occurring antioxidants that have been linked to loads of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and improving blood flow. Flavanols are a plant-based antioxidant that can reduce tiredness and fatigue, improve heart health, and cognitive function. Flavanols have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can potentially reduce the risk of dementia and slow down ageing.
  • It has anti-cancerous properties! The antioxidants and flavanols found in cacao protect our cells against damage and invasion, fight inflammation, and inhibit cancerous cell growth. They also prevent the spread of cancer cells and induces cancer cell death. There have been studies undertaken with humans that show cacao has a positive effect on cancer cells and may potentially play a factor in preventing cancer.
  • It may improve cholesterol! Cacao has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol in our bodies. LDL (low-density lipoproteins) are the “bad” cholesterol that cause a build-up of cholesterol in your arteries. As well as that, cacao has blood thinning properties that can reduce inflammation and improve blood sugars.
  • It can reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attack! Our circulatory system has the job of transporting nutrients, oxygen, and water to every single cell in our body through a complex network of blood vessels, arteries, and capillaries. In order to keep our heart, brain, immune stem, digestive system, and organs working properly, we need a healthy blood flow in our bodies. There have been various studies on the effects of cacao on subjects and they all conclude that cacao is effective in lowering blood pressure. The flavanols found in cacao powder improve the nitric oxide levels in our blood which works to relax and dilate our arteries and blood vessels. This is a natural way to improve our blood flow, and reduce blood pressure. What’s more, it takes some of the pressure off our hearts and keeps our bodies (and heart!) healthy.
  • It can improve brain function! This is down to those fantastic antioxidants and flavanols that are found naturally in the cacao bean. The nitric oxide that flavanols help to produce relax the muscles of our blood vessels that improve our blood flow, especially to the brain. Healthy blood flow to the brain mean that our brain can continue to function to repair nerve and brain tissue, improve cognition, and prevent neurodegenerative diseases that are age related.
  • It can improve your mood and help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s no secret, chocolate makes everything better. However, the reason we perk up eating chocolate is because of the cacao content. Raw cacao is a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that creates niacin. Niacin is a vitamin that works to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and serotonin is the chemical that stimulates happiness and enjoyment! Serotonin is critically important to stabilizing our moods and making our moods better. Those who suffer with depression and/or anxiety often lack serotonin in their systems so consuming foods that stimulate the creation of serotonin help those to combat symptoms of depression such as low mood, lack of appetite and tiredness. Studies show that eating cacao in any form can contribute to reducing stress levels and improving calmness. Cacao also contains endorphins, phenylethylamines, magnesium, and potassium, all of which contribute to positive and enhanced mood. So, it’s not just an internalised idea that cacao or chocolate makes us happy, it’s a scientific fact!
  • It can help manage symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes! We know too much chocolate is not good for blood sugar but cacao, on the other hand, has shown some anti-diabetic effects. Some studies have shown that cacao can improve insulin secretion, reduce inflammation and stimulate the uptake of sugar out of the blood and into the muscle. The antioxidizing polyphenols have a positive impact on preventing and controlling diabetes. A flavanol rich diet can reduce insulin sensitivity, and improve blood sugar control in both diabetic and non-diabetic people.
  • It can aid weight control (no, really!). Remember, we’re talking about cacao, not cocoa or chocolate. We know that overconsumption of chocolate (milk or white) can cause weight gain however, cacao is different. Cacao is high in healthy fats that help us stay satiated (satisfied & full) for longer and energised. Energy helps to burn calories and because we feel full, it reduces our appetites and our calorie intake throughout the day. So, if you’re craving a chocolate fix try reaching for our Cacao Powder or Cacao Nibs instead of a milk chocolate bar because in the long run, it’s definitely the healthier option.
  • It’s good for your teeth and skin (let your inner child celebrate!). Cacao has antibacterial, anti-enzymatic, and immune-stimulating compounds that contribute to improving oral health. Raw cacao powder can promote healthy teeth by fighting the bacteria that causes cavities (who knew?!). Our skin loves antioxidants and we know cacao has plenty of them! Polyphenols help to improve blood circulation, texture and hydration of our skin – making it soft and glowing. On top of that, the antioxidant properties in cacao help to protect out skin form the sun, boost the production of collagen, and increase cell healing which are counteract signs of ageing!
  • It’s promotes good digestive & gut health! Cacao is a natural source of fibre. Fibre is super important because it makes such our digestive system is working properly, our bowels are working regularly, and promotes good gut health. Regular intake of fibre can also aid with weight management because it absorbs nutrients from food and helps us feel fuller for longer!
  • It’s one of the best sources of iron! Did you know that the cacao bean boasts the highest plant-based source of iron known to man? Well, now you do! The iron found in cacao is non-heme iron which means it’s harder to be absorbed into the body than heme iron. However, you can boost the intake of iron by teaming it with a source of Vitamin C (some orange juice or maybe a citrus fruit). This means cacao is one of the best sources of iron for anyone on a plant-based/vegan diet or anyone who is looking for a potent and effective source of iron.
  • It can reduce tiredness and fatigue! Magnesium works wonders for our energy levels and nervous system. It stimulates over 350 enzyme reactions in our bodies that help our nervous system, turn glucose into energy, and vitalise our metabolism. Consuming foods or supplements with magnesium is a natural and easy way to reduce fatigue and tiredness. So, the next time you find yourself craving chocolate during that 3pm slump, try reaching for cacao instead as a healthy and effective alternative! Magnesium can also contribute to healthy heart function, mental cognition, and bones and teeth, so there’s no downside!
  • It’s a fantastic source of protein! We know that protein is essential for muscle growth and repair and it’s so important to build it into our daily diets. Protein high foods contribute to cell and tissue repair which helps to make muscle mass. Cacao is a rich source of electrolytes that regulate water levels in our body and contribute to muscle recovery. The quantities of protein, magnesium, and potassium in cacao make it an excellent addition to your favourite post workout smoothie, shake, or snack!
  • It can help with symptoms of asthma: Cacao is a natural source of theophylline and theobromine. These are anti-asthmatic compounds that are often used to treat respiratory illnesses such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma. Theophylline is an anti-inflammatory that helps our lungs to dilate and our airways to relax. Regular use can reduce wheezing and shortness of breath. Theobromine is a stimulant that works like caffeine but while caffeine stimulates the nervous system, theobromine relaxes our muscles. Cacao only contains a little amount of theobromine which is perfect because our bodies break it down very slowly and taking too much in a short period of time can be harmful to our systems.

How to use Cacao Nibs

Cacao Nibs are such a handy way to satisfy those cravings quick and easily. As with all natural foods, it is best to start small and work up to the recommended daily dosage. We think that 5-20 grams daily is plenty but this can vary depending on the recipe you use. Cacao Nibs have all their nutritional benefits perfectly preserved so you can easily grab a small handful straight out of the tub and eat them on their own. Otherwise, if you want to get a bit more creative with them have a look at our favourite ways to take them below:

  • Some like it hot! Melt our Cacao Nibs and stir into your favourite hot milk (dairy or plant based – our favourite is oat milk), sweeten with a little vanilla essence or cinnamon to taste for a delicious and healthy hot chocolate;
  • Prefer a cold drink for a hot day? Our Cacao Nibs are perfect to make this Spiced Cacao Cold Brew Coffee.
  • Blend it into your favourite healthy smoothie, shakes or juices to beat those chocolate cravings;
  • Get baking (kind of)! The antioxidants can burn away when the cacao is overly heated so in order to keep all the good stuff in, we recommend no-bake recipes but if you do prefer to bake, our Cacao Nibs are still a fantastic substitute for chocolate chips in cookies, brownies or muffins;
  • Mix it into a granola mixture or cereal to have at the ready for breakfast or lunch over some natural yogurt. Our Cacao Nibs also make a lovely addition to your morning porridge or overnight oats. We absolutely love this paleo, low carb granola recipe!;
  • Make a homemade trail mix to have an on-the-go snack! Simply grab a handful of goji berries, nuts, hemp seeds and our Cacao Nibs to give it a little extra sweetness.

Cacao Nibs Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Energy 578 Kcal / 2420 KJ
Protein 13g
Carbohydrates 18.2g
−         of which sugars 1g
Fat 50.3g
−         of which saturates 34.2g
Fibre 13.4g
Sodium 0g
Potassium 366mg (183% RDA*)
Iron 3.6mg (26% RDA*)

Ingredients:

Our Cacao Nibs are made from 100% Raw Organic Criollo Cacao, sourced with respect for nature from Peru. It has been certified organic by both the Irish Organic Association and the European Commission (you can identify whether or not products are certified organic by finding the logos on the packaging!). This product is also suitable for our vegetarian and vegan customers to consume.

Allergens:

This product may contain traces of nuts.

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