Organic cacao nibs are the ultimate superfood source of antioxidants

Organic cacao nibs are the ultimate superfood source of antioxidants

Switching to a healthy diet involves making a lot of decisions, such as doing away with unhealthy foods you’re used to eating. Another aspect of healthy eating is transitioning to whole foods or foods that are minimally processed.

But taking these huge steps is a must and is guaranteed to be rewarding. Processed foods, after all, don’t do much for your health other than increase your risk of chronic diseases, thanks to all the bad stuff added to them (e.g., sodium, sugar, chemical preservatives) during processing.

Take chocolate, for example. Chocolate comes from the seeds of cacao pods, which are the fruits harvested from cacao trees (Theobroma cacao). Also known as cacao beans, these seeds are highly nutritious and contain plenty of protein, fiber, healthy fats and essential minerals. [1]

After harvesting, cacao beans are sometimes stored for 3 to 5 days before undergoing fermentation for 6 to 10 days. They are then left to dry for 5 to 10 days before being sold to chocolate manufacturers. [2]

Once cracked open, the meat inside the dried beans is crushed to produce raw cacao nibs. Cocoa and chocolate products are made by roasting cacao nibs (cocoa powder), melting them (cocoa liquor) or grinding them into a paste and adding sugar, milk and flavorings (chocolate bars). [3]

Although these processes make chocolate the delicious, addictive treat that it is, they unfortunately make it unhealthy. Food processing generally results in the loss of nutrients. What’s more, added sugar and fat as well as additives are all linked to serious health problems, especially if you consume excessive amounts. [4][5]

This is why raw cacao nibs are a much better and healthier addition to your diet than chocolate. Because they’re minimally processed, raw cacao nibs deliver more nutrients than chocolate and other cocoa products. Cacao nibs are also naturally low in sugar and rich in fiber and protein.

To give you a clearer picture, here’s how raw cacao nibs differ from processed chocolate in terms of nutrient content (based on % Daily Value, DV): [6][7]  


Raw cacao nibs (28 g)

Milk chocolate bar (28 g)







Vitamin K































On top of these nutrients, raw cacao nibs contain beneficial phytonutrients, such as caffeine, theobromine and polyphenols. Many of the qualities that make cacao nibs an incredible superfood are attributed to these compounds, especially those with antioxidant properties.

According to a study published in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, cacao nibs contain higher amounts of polyphenols than most foods, making them one of the best superfood sources of antioxidants. [8] Polyphenols are extensively studied for their ability to protect healthy cells from oxidative stress, which is linked to many serious diseases. [9]

Thanks to their protective benefits, antioxidants are highly valued as components of a healthy diet. Research has proven time and time again that eating antioxidant-rich foods like cacao nibs is key to maintaining good overall health. [10]    

The importance of a healthy antioxidant defense system 

Your body is constantly under threat from harmful substances. These range from disease-causing microbes to environmental pollutants and ultraviolet radiation. But danger doesn’t just come from outside your body; the threat to your health also comes from within.

Your cells function by means of various chemical reactions. When reactions happen, different products and byproducts are generated, which are either recycled or consumed for other cell activities. While most of these products are useful, beneficial even, there are some that become downright toxic to your cells if allowed to accumulate.

Free radicals are a classic example of these. When your cells break down food components for energy, they inevitably produce free radicals. Some immune cells – the first ones to respond to an infection – also produce free radicals to help destroy invading pathogens. [11]

The destructive capabilities of free radicals are due to their unstable nature. Because they’re formed with one or more unpaired electrons, these molecules are highly reactive and constantly in search of unpaired electrons to stabilize themselves.

But free electrons are hard to come by, so free radicals resort to stealing from other biomolecules. Unfortunately, these include valuable cell components like proteins, DNA or lipids. The damage caused by free radicals can lead to cells malfunctioning or dying. According to research, these events could trigger the development of disease. [12]

Fortunately, your body has a system in place to deal with the threat of free radical damage. This defense system consists of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants which play various roles and come directly from your cells and your diet, respectively. [13]

To keep free radicals at acceptable levels, your cells naturally produce antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase to suppress free radical formation. These natural antioxidants constitute your body’s first line of antioxidant defense.

Your second line of antioxidant defense consists of molecules that can scavenge active radicals. They render free radicals harmless by donating electrons to stabilize them. These electron donors are then dealt with by other antioxidants so they can’t harm your cells.

Some examples of these free radical scavengers are glutathione, your body’s master antioxidant; vitamins C and E, which come from the foods you eat; and antioxidant phytonutrients that you can get from plant-based foods like cacao nibs.

According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, it is very important that you get bioavailable antioxidants from foods or supplements because they work together with the antioxidants produced by your cells. In fact, their synergistic interactions are what constitutes a strong and healthy antioxidant defense system. [14] 

Organic cacao nibs offer more than just antioxidants 

Different types of antioxidant compounds exist in nature. According to phytochemical analysis, cacao nibs are particularly rich in one type of flavonoids known as flavan-3-ols, or flavanols. These potent antioxidants are also present in other superfoods like apples, green tea and grapes. [15]

Flavanols are also referred to as catechins, which are considered the most readily absorbable flavonoids in food. This is because they are not attached to sugar molecules. [16] Cacao nibs contain four main catechins, namely, (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin, gallocatechin (GC) and epigallocatechin (EGC).

According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, (-)-epicatechin is the most abundant flavanol in cocoa. This antioxidant is capable of supporting the healthy functions of your blood vessels, which directly benefits your heart. [17]

Meanwhile, a study published in the journal Progress in Nutrition reported that (+)-catechin works well with the flavonol quercetin to support healthy antioxidant levels, particularly antioxidant enzymes. [18] Quercetin is another potent antioxidant present in cacao nibs. [19]

GC and EGC are two of the major catechins responsible for green tea’s health benefits. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these flavanols can support healthy bone formation. [20]

In addition to catechins, raw cacao nibs also contain procyanidins, the principal polyphenols in red wine that are said to support healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. [21] Studies show that these flavanols not only act as free radical scavengers, but they can also help you maintain healthy levels of antioxidant enzymes. [22]

On top of supplying you with exogenous antioxidants, cacao nibs can also provide your cells with the necessary minerals to assemble antioxidant enzymes. Copper, iron, manganese and zinc are important components of superoxide dismutase, while selenium is a crucial part of glutathione peroxidase’s active site. [23] Raw cacao nibs are a good source of these essential minerals.

Thanks to their abundance of powerful antioxidants, raw cacao nibs can greatly benefit your brain. This organ is particularly susceptible to free radical damage because it uses plenty of oxygen. [24] Free radicals are generated when oxygen is split into single atoms with unpaired electrons. [25]

But according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, antioxidant-rich foods like cacao nibs can support a healthy brain by protecting brain cells from harmful free radicals. In fact, the study found that consuming these superfoods can also support healthy cognitive functions. [26]

In a separate study, researchers explored why cocoa products are such excellent brain food. They discovered that the flavanols in cacao nibs tend to accumulate in, and exert their effects on, brain regions involved in learning, memory and focus. [27]

Meanwhile, the fiber and caffeine in organic cacao nibs can help you maintain a healthy digestive system. As a natural stimulant, caffeine can support digestion by stimulating the muscles in your colon. This helps ease the movement of food through your digestive tract. [28]

On the other hand, fiber is known to support bowel regularity. [29] Thanks to the dual action of caffeine and fiber, you can support the healthy functions of your digestive system by incorporating cacao nibs into your daily routine.

Besides digestion, caffeine can also support a healthy metabolism, according to British researchers. [30] Meanwhile, eating fiber-rich foods can make you feel full for longer, which helps a lot if you wish to avoid unhealthy snacking. This means that the combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet that includes raw cacao nibs can support reasonable weight management goals.

And if you’re aiming to build some muscles, cacao nibs can help you with that as well. [31] Research has found that the flavanol (-)-epicatechin can support healthy levels of myostatin, a protein that inhibits muscle growth. [32] Therefore, eating raw cacao nibs regularly may benefit people who wish to gain some muscle mass.

Organic cacao nibs also offer skin benefits. In fact, it is the perfect food to eat to maintain healthy, glowing skin. Raw cacao nibs’ abundance of antioxidants, including caffeine and theobromine, can help protect your skin from free radicals, which are known to break down collagen. [33] Collagen is the structural protein that gives firmness and strength to your skin. [34]

Just like chocolate, eating raw cacao nibs can also positively affect your mood. This benefit is thanks to a chemical called anandamide, which is produced in your brain. [35] According to a study published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, anandamide can naturally uplift your mood by supporting healthy serotonin and norepinephrine levels. [36] These brain chemicals are important for mood regulation. [37][38]

To recap, here are the amazing health benefits of organic cacao nibs:*

  • An excellent source of potent antioxidants
  • Support a healthy brain
  • Support a healthy cardiovascular system
  • Support a healthy digestive system
  • Support healthy muscle growth
  • Support healthy, glowing skin
  • Support sensible weight management plans
  • Naturally uplift mood 

Where to get certified organic, lab-verified cacao nibs 

Organic raw cacao nibs are one of the best superfood sources of antioxidants on the planet. Because they are minimally processed, cacao nibs are low in sugar but rich in essential nutrients, making them the perfect food to add to a healthy diet. Their abundance of beneficial phytonutrients also makes them far superior to any type of chocolate or cocoa product.

To help you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of this antioxidant-rich superfood, the Health Ranger Store is bringing you Groovy Bee® Organic Raw Cacao Nibs. This versatile snack and ingredient is a delicious way to boost your intake of potent antioxidants and other phytonutrients that can support the health of your heart, brain, skin and digestive system, as well as a positive mood.

Groovy Bee® Organic Raw Cacao Nibs are carefully sourced from high-quality cacao beans harvested from Theobroma cacao trees grown under strict organic standards by our trusted suppliers in Peru. Because cacao is very efficient at absorbing heavy metals like lead and cadmium, we have gone to great lengths to secure a super clean lot of this incredible superfood. Rest assured that the product you’re getting has been thoroughly lab tested for heavy metals, microbiology and glyphosate. 

Groovy Bee® Organic Raw Cacao Nibs do not contain GMOs, preservatives, additives or stabilizers, so you can enjoy chocolate in its purest form with every bite. Our premium product is also vegan, non-China, certified Kosher and organic, and rigorously lab tested for quality and purity. Add our lab-verified organic raw cacao nibs to your favorite recipes or enjoy them as a healthy snack to support optimal health and wellness! 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.