Integrated and holistic healthcare clinic London


Health benefits of Cacao and Chocolate

What is Cacao?

Cacao is the raw form of chocolate, made from the bean of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. It is unprocessed, and therefore retains more of the nutritional benefits that are often processed out of chocolate.
Cacao nibs are pieces of the cacao bean that have been roasted and broken up into smaller pieces. They have a slightly bitter taste and crunchy texture, and can be used in baking or as a topping on desserts.

Chocolate is made from cacao that has been processed with heat to remove some of the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa powder is what remains after most of the fat has been removed from chocolate liquor, which is made by grinding roasted cacao beans.

The health benefits of cacao

Cacao was already cultivated by the Mayan civilisation over 2500 years ago and introduced in Europe after Columbus discovered America.

Cacao and its derivatives are the sources of the highest concentrations of procyanids, flavonoids, catechins, epicatechins that exists. These substances limit the growth of tumour cells and avoid metastasis.

Cacao is one of the most antioxidant food due to its high content of procainides. Although in less proportion, these antioxidants are also present in red fruit, onions, red wine and green tea. One ounce (28,34 gr) of dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than one glass of red wine.

You should know that milk prevents the absorption of polyphenols, so it’s best to eat chocolate with at least 85% of cacao; in addition, its content of sugar is also lower.

As cacao is very rich in fat, it has to be enjoyed with caution; however, with about 20 gr on a daily basis, you don’t have to fear weight gain. The best option is defatted pure cacao, as it has more antioxidants than chocolate. You can use it to make delicious brownies or, even better, fruit skewers bathed in cacao cream!

Chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin into our brains. The first neurotransmitter reduces pain and decreases stress, and the second is known as an anti-depressant.

Another interesting compound found in chocolate is the lipid anandamide. Anandamide is unique due to its resemblance to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a chemical found in marijuana. Both activate the same receptor, which causes the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which leads to feelings of well-being.

Anandamide, found naturally in the brain, breaks down very rapidly. Besides adding to the levels of anandamide, chocolate also contains two other chemicals which work to slow the breakdown of the anandamide, thus extending the feelings of well-being.

Delicious and healthy!

Your Integrated Medicine holistic clinic in London offers a wide range of the best quality IV drips to help you and your body with any vitamin and nutrient deficiencies that might be present.


  1. Fernández Martínez, Odile; 2013. Mis recetas anticáncer – Alimentación y vida anticancer. ISBAN 978-84-7953-437-0
  2. Keen CL, Chocolate: food as medicine/medicine as food. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Oct;20(5 Suppl):436S-439S; discussion 440S-442S.
  3. Ramljak D et al, Pentameric procyanidin from Theobroma cacao selectively inhibits growth of human breast cancer cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Apr;4(4):537-46.
  4. Hammerstone JF et al; Procyanidin content and variation in some commonly consumed foods. J Nutr. 2000 Aug;130(8S Suppl):2086S-92S.
  5. Natsume M et al; Analyses of polyphenols in cacao liquor, cocoa, and chocolate by normal-phase and reversed-phase HPLC. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2000 Dec;64(12):2581-7.
Dr Saskia Kloppenburg Vieth Medical doscotr and holistic and complementary care practitioner

Consultant in General Internal Medicine (GMC reg. number: 7541548) and Specialist in Complementary Cancer Care
MBBS, MRCIM (Spain), MSc Homeopathy, MFHom, Master practitioner in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and Neurolinguistic Programming, MSc in Nutrition

Integrated medicine Doctor and Holistic Medicine Practitioner


Private Complementary and Alternative Healthcare clinic.
1st Floor
185 Tower Bridge Road
United Kingdom
crossmenu Tap to Call linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram