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Nutritional Benefits of Cocoa Nibs

Updated on December 11, 2011
cocoa nibs
cocoa nibs

About Cocoa Nibs/Chocolate Nibs

Cocoa nibs are also known as chocolate nibs. The nibs come from cocoa beans that have been roasted, the husk peeled and then broken up into smaller pieces. All chocolate comes from the cacao beans which are also known as cocoa beans. More and more we are learning about the healthy benefits of dark chocolate.

Because the cocoa beans are a seed inside a fruit, it is botanically a nut. Cocoa nibs contain between 12 and 50 percent fat depending on the variety and growth conditions.

1- Key Nutrient and Benefits - The key nutrient provided by cocoa nibs is magnesium. Just 100 grams of cocoa nibs will provide 272 milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium must be included in the diet because the body does not naturally produce the mineral.

Magnesium relaxes muscles and nerves while also building and strengthening bones and helping blood circulate smoothly. A magnesium deficiency may also cause premenstrual symptoms. Those common chocolate cravings may be an indication that the body needs magnesium.

2 - Antioxidant Properties - Cocoa has twice the antioxidant levels found in red wine and three times more than green tea. Antioxidants from cocoa are stable and easily available for human metabolism. Per 100 grams of beans, cocoa nibs provide 10 grams of antioxidants.

Antioxidant benefits include a reduction in blood pressure, improved circulation, improved digestion, improved function of the endothelial cells of the circulatory system, protection from free radicals and the promotion of cardiovascular function that fights heart disease.

3 - Additional Nutritional Benefits - Cocoa nibs also provide an additional amount of nutritional benefits. This includes the minerals iron, chromium, manganese, zinc and copper, as well as vitamin C. Cocoa nibs contain omega 6 fatty acids, serotonin, phenethylamine (PEA), tryptophan and anandamide which is known as the "bliss" chemical.

4 - As an Appetite Suppressant - Cocoa nibs appear to help suppress the appetite. This may be due to monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors) contained in cocoa. Cocoa also contains chromium, a mineral that helps stabilize blood sugar and reduces appetite. (see link about dark chocolate controlling the appetite).

5 - How to Add to the Diet - There are many ways to add cocoa nibs to the diet. Cocoa nibs can be ground with coffee beans, sprinkled on ice cream, blended with herbal teas, mixed with smoothies and added to oatmeal, trail mixes and cereals. Look for a high quality, organic brand.

6 - A Bit of History - Cocoa or cacao is the nut of a fruit from an Amazonian tree brought to Central American before or during the time of the Olmec people. Cacao was so revered by the Aztecs and Mayans that it was used as money. An 18th century Swedish scientist considered the tree so important he named it Theobroma cacao which translates to "Cacao, the food of the gods."

For more healthy chocolate information, see the links below:

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    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So glad Kay Creates - those nibs are quite good and for some reason - you feel like you are having a lot of fun when you eat them.

    • Kay Creates profile image

      Kay Creates 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Great information and good news to me as chocolate is my favorite food :-)

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for the awesome comment. Yay!

    • profile image

      Ana Gajic 

      6 years ago

      Very useful information:) Awesome hub:)

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome Lady_E. A friend just bought over a chocolate bar with nibs in it - quite good and all gone!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks for the info. They are very nutritional.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're very welcome creativelycc! I'm so glad we are returning to real food and reaping the benefits. Yay!

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      6 years ago from Maine

      I never heard of cocoa nibs. Wow, no wonder I feel so good after eating dark chocolate! I feel even better now knowing that I'm getting all of those good health benefits by eating it. Thank you so much!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      6 years ago

      So glad to hear that cocoa nibs have so many health benefits. You've suggested a number of ways to include them in the diet--I love that. Rated up.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 

      6 years ago from Lagos

      From all indications, you re one helpful, creative, talented writer. You provide basic information at the right time. Be blessed. Voted useful and interesting

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome Coolmon2009 - thanks for writing!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      I like your Cocoa Nibs article, good information and I thank you for sharing.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Isn't it great to know KoffeeKlatch Gals - that food is good for us. Yay!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I'm so glad to hear that the chocolate nibs have health benefits. I never thought to try them.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Isn't it wonderful Dardia that we are taking back control of our health! And imagine, real food is actually good for us.

      I think you will get a real kick out of these nibs.

      Thanks for the vote and thanks for writing!

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Very interesting! Fellow hubber, Jennyjenny, has been told by heart specialists since her heart attack to take calcium, magnesium, and zinc. This she was told is good for the heart, muscles, and diabetes.

      I had bad menstrual cramping and chocolate did seem to ease it some. I don't have to worry about that anymore but I could use the chocolate nibs to lower my blood pressure some times. I have not seen them yet but I will be looking for them as I love dark chocolate, the more cocoa and the less sugar the better. :) Wonderful info. Voted up.

    • CountryCityWoman profile image

      CountryCityWoman 

      7 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      You know I find that as I eat more dark chocolate I no longer crave all that milk chocolate filled with sugar. This sounds so perfect and healthy. I'll try it.

      Thanks a million!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome Om Paramapoonya! It does sound soooooo good!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      7 years ago

      I'd love to grind them with coffee beans! That just sounds divine. I'll look for cocoa nibs next time I go to the store. Thanks so much for sharing this. :)

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome quicksand!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      7 years ago

      Now I know where to get my minerals and anti-oxidants! Thanks. :)

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks sweetie1. Hope you enjoy it!

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 

      7 years ago from India

      Very informative hub BK. Though we Indians are not much cocca drinkers, but i think i am going to add it to my diet from now on. voted it up

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Crave on Multiman. Yay!

    • profile image

      Multiman 

      7 years ago

      Interesting and informative, I voted up. Think I am getting a chacolate craving now!!!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You know akirchner - I've read so many articles about the benefits of sniffing a good aroma. I love to sniff the empty bag my coffee beans came in. Mmmmmm. Sounds like a great hub idea.

      You're welcome Hello, hello. It is one of theose wonder foods that have always been there.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      I learned so much more about my favourite food. Thank you. I swear by dark chocolate.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      I only wish I could eat chocolate anything because I love, love, love it - maybe if I sniff it - will I get some healing or nutritional properties?

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome KiaKitori - I now like the idea of incorporating the chocolate in the diet rather than just eating a chocolate bar. Wonder what else we can do with them.

      So glad for your input HealthyHanna - there is nothing like the feedback from a personal experience. I'm glad now too that we have become savvy enough to look for the dark only.

      Hope you can easily find them Paradise7.

      Oooh, I didn't notice nubs Tracy Lynn Conway - although that would be a fun name for a dessert using the nibs. "Hey, try these nubs!" Fun!

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 

      7 years ago from Virginia, USA

      BKCreative, yes nibs, not nubs. I do love possibility of healthy, sugar free chocolate :-)..Thanks!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      I'll have to look for them in the store.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 

      7 years ago from Utah

      I am a believer. I had a magnesium defiency many years ago and I really craved chocolate. At that time I didn't realize why. I now eat dark chocolate everyday and it just makes me feel good.

    • KiaKitori profile image

      KiaKitori 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for infos BKCreative. I'll look for them for my coffee. It's so cool.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      We may know them better as chocolate nibs Tracy Lynn Conway - but if the package says cocoa nibs - we are less likely to think of them as user friendly. I tell you I have not been satisfied with dark chocolate bars of late so this I will think about using instead.

      Hope you like them drkathleenfuller.

      I think it's the idea of adding them to coffee cameciob that got your attention - you being the coffee maven. They are not sweet like chocolate bars - but I am willing to give them a try as is - it's the chocolate that is beneficial without the sugar. Loooove that you mother made chocolate!

    • cameciob profile image

      cameciob 

      7 years ago

      BkCreative, you always come with something new. I've never heard of cocoa nibs and probably i've never ate them either. Can you just keep them on your counter and have them for a snack, like peanuts? I love cocoa. My mother used to make homemade chocolate and I never learnt how.

    • drkathleenfuller profile image

      drkathleenfuller 

      7 years ago from 322 SW Ocean Blvd, Stuart, Florida 34994

      Great idea - I'll be looking for them to buy.

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 

      7 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Great information and hub. I think I have heard of these but didn't know what they were. I keep a stash of chocolate around for once a month cravings, but now might consider using these nubs since they seem healthier than a chocolate bar. I wonder if there are any negative aspects to the nubs. Voted up and useful.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome marellen. Hmmm yes, probably excellent for baking as well. Thanks for writing.

    • profile image

      marellen 

      7 years ago

      I must of seen these and don't remember because I'm not a real chocolate lover like most people. I do like to bake and these should be good for that. Thanks for the informative hub.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Honestly, I never thought about just getting the nibs and how great would it be ground with my coffee beans. I see them all the time but just never thought about them - I always look for a bar of chocolate - but those bars seem to be losing their flavor. Hmmmm.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 

      7 years ago from New York City

      You know as much as I love dark chocolate it never occurred to me to pick up a bag of those cocoa nibs. I see them all the time - organic too - in the market. I always grind my own coffee beans so why not throw in a few nibs. Oh, joy - I may never leave home with all this 'nib' loving going on. I am not always happy with the dark chocolate bars out there so this can work very well. Oh yay!

      Thanks a million. And Rated up!

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