Although they cacao and cocoa are very similar (they look almost identical, are practically spelled the same, and both both come from the Theobroma cacao tree) they are not be confused with one another.
Think of cacao as the healthier relative of cocoa: raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, which preserves the beans nutritional content; cocoa is heavily processed, roasted at high temperatures and has a lot of sugar added to it, which almost zaps away the health benefits.
Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
Tipper Lewis, head herbalist at Neal’s Yard Remedies, tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle: “Cacao seems to be the number one source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure.” Such high antioxidant levels supports the cardiovascular and nervous system, by preventing free radicals from forming. “Cacao also has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas,” adds Tipper. “In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea.”