Cacao nibs? Don't you mean cocoa? Well in this case, no. Cacao nibs are a much less processed form of chocolate and have some amazing secret super powers. It's crazy what changing a few letters around can do! There are a plethora of cacao nibs health benefits out there, but first off, what exactly is a cacao nib?

What are Cacao Nibs?

Cacao nibs are a popular superfood that represents chocolate in its purest form. The "nibs" are dried and fermented edges of cocoa beans with a texture similar to that of a coffee bean. The flavor resembles cocoa but is more bitter and nutty than your standard Hershey's bar.

Why are They Better Than Chocolate?

Cacao nibs are still part of a cocoa bean, but the fact that they are unprocessed has given them the title of a superfood. No unhealthy additives mean the nutrients of the natural cocoa bean are preserved. Some of their superpowers are attributed to their abundant amounts of antioxidants, fiber, iron, and magnesium.

What are the Specific Health Benefits?

1. Happiness

Both cacao and chocolate alike release neurotransmitters from the brain that stimulate feel-good hormones. Phenylethylamine, aka the "love drug", releases endorphins. This increases alertness and overall happiness.

2. Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight off damage to the body, such as DNA damage, premature aging, and certain cancers. Flavonoids are key antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties and help protect against HIV.

3. Heart Health

Cacao helps prevent the risk of heart disease and strokes. It also benefits your brain, arteries, and heart. Basically, they're the super heroes of the cardiovascular system.

4. Fiber-Filled

Cacao nibs are chock full of fiber! One ounce contains 9 grams of fiber – enough to keep your systems running smoothly.

5. No More Bananas

If bananas aren't your favorite snack, you're in luck! You can get a good portion of your potassium from cacao nibs, 183 milligrams per ounce to be exact.

6. Iron Fist

Being a vegetarian can have its challenges, such as lacking the regular amount of iron the body needs. Thankfully these little nuggets give me that little extra push to reach my requirement. One ounce can give me 6% of my daily needs! So I should just eat 17 ounces of chocolate a day, right?

7. Magnesium

If you want an overall healthy body, it's important to eat an appropriate amount of magnesium. 64 milligrams in one ounce help with muscle function and regulate blood pressure.

All these health benefits? From chocolate? You better believe it. There's no limit to what you can create with them to add in all these cacao nib health benefits into your diet. Not that I need an excuse to eat these little guys, but it's good to know that I can treat myself and feel great all at the same time.