They come from the same plant and look the same when powdered, but are Cacao and Cocoa the same thing? Both are derived from the dried and fermented seed that comes from the Theobroma cacao tree, from which we also get cocoa butter. Are there any other differences?
Cacao beans naturally contain fiber, sulfur, essential fatty acids and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc. They also contain phenylethylamine and anandamide, which keep you alert and make you feel happy.
Cacao and cocoa powder rate high on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, often being scored in the top 10, which means it is a good source of antioxidants. Like most “nutrient powerhouses”, the more processing done to the cacao beans, the less benefits they retain.