Science Public Service Announcement on Superfood: Cacao Nibs

Superfoods

Superfoods are everywhere. They are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. The only problem is are all superfoods what they say they are? Do they always benefit your health, can they have downsides? What makes this food so special?

Cacao Nibs

Cacao nibs are the raw and purest form of chocolate. They’re just small bits of fermented, dried, and crushed cacao beans that haven’t been ground or mixed with sugar yet. The wild tree that produces the cocoa beans are called the Theobroma Cacao. Theobroma means “food of the gods”. Cacao has been use long ago in many ways such as food, medicine, and currency. The early people in Mesoamerica used this food even way before christ. Cacao nibs are immensely packed with nutrients and minerals but lacking in vitamins. Cacao nibs contain 28.57  grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams and 14.29 grams of protein per 100 grams. There are also 50.00 grams of lipid (fat) per 100 grams and containing 21.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams. These are all important to your body and have large effect on helping you stay healthy. Carbohydrates are used for energy for working muscles and protein is used for building and rebuilding muscle. Lipid are divided into four main groups consisting of fats, lipids, hormones and steroids. Fats are basically just a subset of Lipids. To continue, Lipids play a vital role when it comes to energy storage and cell structure. Fiber mainly helps support the digestive system. Cacao nibs also hold huge amounts of Potassium and Magnesium. Potassium helps risk of high blood pressure, heart disease ,stroke, cancer, and digestive orders. Magnesium is good for protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.

When compared to other foods, Cacao Nibs have a much greater amount of certain nutrients and  a few minerals but don’t have all the things you need. For example, Cacao nibs hold huge amounts of fiber, lipids, carbohydrates, Magnesium,Potassium and protein while not having any vitamins. Raw apples with skin include small amounts of everything you need so it is still really effective. Raw apples have many different types of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. This includes carbohydrates, Potassium, Magnesium, Protein, and Vitamins D & B.  Vitamin D is a nutrient found in some foods that is needed for health and to maintain strong bones. It also helps the body to absorb calcium.

This food is a great source for certain nutrients but it doesn’t have a variety of nutrients. Cacao Nibs have huge amounts of a few nutrients but whats happens if you eat to many of one nutrient? Cacao Nibs have huge amounts of carbohydrates and fiber but are there health problems coming with that? Fiber is essential for your health by stabilizing  blood glucose levels or lowering blood cholesterol levels but it can cause unfavourable effects such as poor mineral absorption, unpleasant stomach issues, constipation, or even diarrhea. Too much fiber in your diet causes your body to pass minerals iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium without absorbing them. This is crucial due to the fact that all these minerals having important changes to your health. Most people eat about 10-15 grams of fiber per day although most adults are recommended to eat about 30 grams per day. Carbohydrates are very important to keep your muscles energized  but eating too much can lead to bad health problems. This includes from short-term discomfort to long-term chronic disease. Additionally, carbohydrates also contribute to more calories. Each gram of carbohydrates contain 4 calories! Many carb-rich foods contains many carbs which then lead to more calories. Even a healthy wheat tortilla can have over 150 calories. Calories aren’t overall really bad because they can provide energy that you need to stay active but eating too many calories can lead to weight gain because your body will store any extra energy as fat. After all, Cacao nibs could lead to different health issues. Meanwhile, Cacao Nibs are also really expensive. On amazon, Cacao Nibs are sold for about $35 for just 16 ounces! $33 with discount!!! Is this really worth it?

In conclusion, I think the term ‘superfood’ is over rated because I this just means that this food has a high level of one or two nutrients or minerals. This is shown how in the Cacao Nibs have high amounts of only fiber, carbohydrates, and potassium while a really common food like an apple has numerous amounts of a variety of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. This is a lot better for a balanced diet.

Sources:

Peluso, Michael. “Health Benefits of Raw Cacao Nibs.” Healthy Eating | SF Gate. Leaf Group Writer, 18 Dec. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. <http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-raw-cacao-nibs-7364.html>.

 

“Full Report (All Nutrients): 45010024, SUNFOODS, RAW ORGANIC CACAO NIBS, UPC: 803813030208.” USDA Branded Food Products Database. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017. <https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/18331?manu=&fgcd=&ds=>.

 

“Basic Report: 09003, Apples, Raw, with Skin a B.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, May 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2017. <https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2122?manu=&fgcd=&ds=>.

 

Axe, Josh. “Cacao Nibs: Superfood That Boosts Energy and Burns Fat.” Food Is Medicine. N.p., 04 Apr. 2017. Web. 22 Apr. 2017. <https://draxe.com/cacao-nibs/>.

 

Anne, Melodie. “Signs and Symptoms of Too Much Fiber in the Diet.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 10 May 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/301715-signs-and-symptoms-of-too-much-fiber-in-the-diet/>.

 

Tremblay, Sylvie. “The Effects of Eating Too Many Carbs.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 07 May 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/437002-the-effects-of-eating-too-many-carbs/>.

 

Michelle, Kiki. “Difference Between Fats & Lipids.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 05 Apr. 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/415230-difference-between-fats-lipids/>.

 

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar