When you search for cocoa powder, you will see "Cacao" and "Cocoa". Many people translate both "Cacao" and "Cocoa" as "cocoa powder". However, please note that they are not the same thing.
Cacao, commonly known as raw cacao, is the processed product of cocoa beans without fat and ground powder, using a low-temperature natural drying process.
Cocoa generally refers to roasted cocoa quickly dried in a factory. The chocolate and hot cocoa commonly found in supermarkets are not natural foods and contain high amounts of sugar, milk powder, and additives, among other things. Bulk cocoa powder with high nutritional value is not commonly found in these products.
Raw cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are not subjected to high-temperature baking or chemical processing. After fresh picking, fermentation is carried out at a low temperature of around 45 degrees Celsius, and it is then directly ground into powder. Nutrients are more easily digestible after fermentation. Most of the cocoa powder sold on the market has undergone chemical processing and high-temperature roasting, which tends to result in a loss of active substances and enzymes. Raw cocoa powder contains double or more levels of activity.
Antioxidant, delaying the aging process of the body.
Helps to maintain a happy mood; stabilizes emotions, improves mood, and refreshes the mind.
Maintains a healthy cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of stroke. It is a food that is very friendly to the cardiovascular system.
Has anti-inflammatory effects, can improve skin texture, and is very friendly to acne-prone skin.
Roasted cocoa powder can be divided into alkalized and non-alkalized types. Alkalized cocoa powder undergoes a process called alkalize (processed with alkali), also known as dutch cocoa. Its purpose is to neutralize the acidity in cocoa beans. Most packaging will indicate whether or not it has been alkalinized.
Non-alkalized cocoa powder is yellow-brown in color and more difficult to dissolve.
Alkaline cocoa powder has a deeper color, is easily soluble, has a better taste, and is more fragrant. However, nutritional components will be lost, especially a large reduction in flavanols (antioxidants).
From the perspective of nutritional value and health:
Raw cocoa > non alkalized cocoa powder > alkalized cocoa. Although raw cocoa powder has the highest nutritional value, unsweetened non-alkalized cocoa also contains antioxidants and other trace elements and is relatively inexpensive and easy to buy, so it depends on personal preference.
From a taste perspective:
Alkalized cocoa > non-alkalized cocoa > raw cocoa.
Pure natural cocoa powder has a low fat content of about 10%, so don't worry about gaining weight. It is advisable to consume 15-20g daily, conditions permitting.
Regardless of the type of cocoa powder, it contains caffeine. Pregnant women are advised not to consume it. After all, there are so many tasty foods available, why focus only on one food? If you have a sweet tooth, it is recommended to reduce intake. For example, occasionally eating low-sugar chocolate will not have any adverse effects.
The most commonly available cocoa powder in the market often contains large amounts of sugar and other procedures, which significantly reduces its health benefits and may aggravate skin inflammation. It is recommended to carefully check the ingredients and product information when selecting cocoa powder.