Study: How Much Cacao Powder Per Day

A study reveals how much cacao powder per day which may help keep memory loss away.

A report in the journal ‘Nature Neuroscience’ reveals the following…

A test group of volunteers aged from 50 to 69 consumed a daily cup of cocoa*
(not just any cocoa – details below).

after three months had the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year-old.”

The study revealed that cocoa contains ingredients that (apparently) help reverse age-related memory decline…

But it’s not just any cocoa:

Columbia University Medical Center scientists published (2014) results of a dietary experiment (the effects of flavanols extracted from cocoa beans) on the aging human brain (sources below).

The results were remarkable.

900 mg of flavanols

(Equivalent quantity estimate below)

A group of 37 healthy volunteers aged from 50 to 69 were randomly divided in two. Each day for three months, they had a specially-prepared cocoa drink. One group consumed the drink with 900mg of flavanols, and the other with only 10mg of these compounds.

For those who consumed the high-cocoa-flavanol drink, “If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year-old,” said senior author, Scott Small.

Processing Raw Cocoa, or ‘Cacao’ vs. The Benefits Of Flavanols

A cocoa flavanol-containing test drink was produced for the study. It was prepared specifically using a proprietary process to extract flavanols from cocoa beans.

Most modern commercial methods of processing cocoa remove many of the beneficial flavanols found in the raw plant. Whereas other specific (cold) processing do not.

One such (cold) pressed ‘Cacao powder’ with beneficial flavanols intact:

Navitas Organics Cacao Powder
(view on amzn)

How Much Cacao Powder Per Day

2-Tablespoons of this particular Cacao Powder is apparently equivalent to 900mg flavanoids according to the manufacturer (see data source below). You might do your own research, but this is my estimation…

Chocolate or Cocoa comes from the cacao bean (pronounced, cah-cow). They are the dried seeds of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao). It is also referred to as the cocoa bean.

Pure organic cocoa powder that has not been roasted or processed at high temperatures have the highest levels of flavanols and ORAC antioxidant power.

Must Be Cold Processed

One major reason why flavanols found in cocoa powder are often removed from commercial cocoa is because they tend to have a bitter taste (people like ‘sweet’ things). Unfortunately this process removes an apparent major health benefit…

I have been purchasing the following organic raw cocoa for many years… It’s not your typical processed ‘sweet’ cocoa. Instead, it is cold-press processed from the bean rather than a heat process. I’ve learned to enjoy the unique taste, especially in a few of Mrs.J’s recipe drinks.

Cacao Powder Peanut Butter Cup Protein Smoothie Recipe

Cacao Powder Smoothie recipe
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup butternut squash (frozen)
  • Banana (or 1/2 banana)
  • 2 or 4 tablespoons peanut powder (preference to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder

Mix in blender.

(vary it however you like ;) )

Note: Apparently, to preserve the quality of raw cacao, it should not be heated above 110 degrees. Boiled water should be cooled to that temperature before adding the cacao (for making a ‘hot chocolate’ for example). This is why I like the cold ‘smoothie’…

I asked Navitus Naturals about Flavanoid Levels

UPDATE: I have contacted Navitus Naturals and asked them regarding the flavanoid levels in their cold-pressed cocoa powder. This is their response:

Thank you for contacting us and for your question about flavanols in our Cacao products.

Flavanols are a sub-category of the major antioxidant category of flavonoids. Navitas Naturals uses a third party lab to test for the flavonoid content of our Cacao products.

Cacao Powder: 11% (Serving size of 14g = 1540 mg of flavonoids)

Cacao Beans: 6.8% (Serving size of 28g = 1904 mg of flavonoids)

Cacao Nibs: 3.4% (Serving size of 28g = 952 mg of flavonoids)

The author has no affiliation with Navitus Naturals..

In my estimation how much cacao powder per day = 2 Tablespoons

I have calculated (using my digital scale) the equivalent amount of their Cacao Powder to apparently equate to 900mg of flavanoids (used in the study above) and is as follows:

2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder = 900mg flavanoids

14g = 1540mg (flavanoids)
8.2g = 900mg (flavanoids)

(1 Tablespoon cacao powder weighs 4g)

Cadmium levels in Cocao?

Cacao is grown in Peru where there is a higher level of volcanic ash content in the soil, which makes the product especially nutrient rich and may also cause higher levels of some naturally occurring elements, like Cadmium.

A statement from Navitus Naturals regarding Cadmium:

Cadmium can also result from man-made sources like fertilizers, but fortunately our organic products are not grown with artificial fertilizers.

The amount of cadmium in foods is generally low. In the United States, people typically eat 2.5 micrograms of cadmium per kilogram of their body weight per week.

The EU recommended daily limit is 2.5 micrograms per kg body weight per week which for a 150 pound person translates to 170 micrograms per week or 24 micrograms per day.

One serving of our Organic Cacao Powder was well below the current EU daily limit for an average sized adult.

Many foods have trace levels of cadmium, including meats, grains (especially rice), vegetables (especially leafy greens) and sunflower seeds.

The Children’s Food Project report of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found cadmium in 57% of the foods tested. The highest level of cadmium was found in breakfast cereal at .284 ppm. Ninety-seven percent of the nut-based products contained cadmium with an average of 0.053 ppm. Health Canada did not consider that any of the tested foods represented a concern to human health with respect to the cadmium levels.

If you are concerned about your cadmium levels, ask your health care provider.

 [ Read: Top 100 ORAC Value Antioxidant Foods ]

Sources include:

Dietary flavanols reverse age-related memory decline

Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults


  1. I make brownies from unsweetened chocolate = any idea if this would be the same or similar?

    1. My understanding is that by heating it up (baking) that some (or most?) of the benefits are negated.

  2. Been using it for a few years, this is one product that works. I mix my with a protein mix just add water and heat it up in the microwave, by not having to mix it with other stuff makes it a great prep item.

    1. Unfortunately, heating Cacao will destroy an amount of the flavanoids that is dependent upon the intensity and duration of heat applied.
      And also, what the purveyors of protein powders know, but seldom mention, is that protein powder should be taken on an empty stomach, with lots of water, without mixing it with other foods. This is because, if made into a “smoothie,” or such, your stomach will recognize the whole concoction as food and dump hydrochloric acid and pepsin all over it, which will break down the amino acids into their constituent monomers. If you are using protein powder strictly for its food value that doesn’t matter, but if so, you might as well just eat a piece of chicken. The amino acids, intact, have several specific health benefits. if you are going to rip them up and negate those benefits well, again, you might as well eat a piece of chicken.
      The protein merchants tout making smoothies and such because they can sell much more of it as part of a yummy drink than as the sole ingredient in an insipidly bland, watery solution. That doing so negates the reason you buy the stuff is of no concern to them. They just want your money. If you don’t want to drink it the most effective, but much less enjoyable, manner, you really should keep your money.Or give it to me instead of the merchants.
      Unless you are as old as dirt, and me. In which case you need more protein and you are less able to extract it from, say, a piece of chicken. Then protein powder is necessary for its food value alone. But still better for you as intact amino acids.

  3. NRP,

    I take a special formula that keeps my memory razor sharp. I just can’t remember what it is.

      1. @ Blue Goose & Dennis

        Like many here have commented, ahhhhhh what?

        On the slight serious side, I have a 45 minuet discussion with the local “Health Food Nuts” store yesterday afternoon about all sorts of stuff, quite interesting some of the responses.

        I did mention the Cacao (and ordered some), my mix for Turmeric, the Lecithin and some other ideas, actually got the homeopathic Doc involved in a discussion that grew to about 12-14 people. The major thing She said was — When was the last time you felt or were sick, even with a ‘common’ cold? When was the last time you forgot something important? Do you have anything that’s “bothering you” as far as aches and pains? Then she asked the general age of the group there, “64”.

        Her recommendations,
        1. Keep doing regular “check-ups” blood work, and your health program, (of course)
        2. Eat “right”, don’t pig-out, and get exercise
        3. Keep doing what you’re doing if it’s working.
        4. DON’T fix it if it’s not broken.
        5. Heal the soul as much as the body
        6. Vote for Johnson, we all got a laugh from that one. LOL
        7. Listen to your body; it will talk to you if you listen
        8. Relax and enjoy your life, “you all have ‘made it’ to the best times in your life”
        9. Remember that nobody leaves this world alive, prepare yourself mentally
        10. Do NOT over-do the “special” supplements, “you are what you eat, so eat healthy”

        It was a GREAT off the cuff conversation with some very knowledgeable people regarding foods and supplements, I will add the Doctor asked me aside afterwards and did ask me about where I learned about the Turmeric and how I came up with my concoction. I told her about losing all of the inflammation and arthritis in my knees and hands. She was very impressed and said she would look more into this combination and probably be recommending it to some of her people.

        Last thing she said…… “Sounds to me like you have a great source of information, keep listening and let them know to keep passing along this sort of help to others”….. Made me feel might darn good….

        Not bad Ken, not bad at all Old-Man.


  4. I don’t drink coffee but miss having a morning cup of ‘something’ hot, especially in our Fall and Winter seasons. The idea of making myself a special cup of hot cocoa from this cacao sounds great. Then I remembered that this doesn’t work as well when heated. Rats!

    I really do like the idea of the cold smoothie that Mrs. J has concocted. I enjoy making smoothies so I’m w/ NRP and will order some to try.

    At 62, I’m not seeing that my memory is fading yet. Then again, maybe I have forgotten what I used to remember…

  5. There is also research being done on coconut oil and Alzheimer’s which looks promising. It has to do with ketones. I have started taking a tablespoon a day, while Alzheimer’s patients take a tablespoon three times a day.

    Today I had the butcher slice up a loin of pork and then forgot about it until I got home. An hour’s drive to pick it up.

    Maybe I should try coconut oil in a cup of hot cocoa. Remind me, sometime.

  6. I know this works. I personally know a man who suffers from memory loss and gets quite “FOGGY”. This happened from an accident BTW. (He’s 42.)

    He gets the actual cacao beans, grinds them up and ingests it. He has tried the almost pure cocoa in the baking section. It works OK but not as good as the beans. I can tell when he has not had any to take.
    It is literally night and day in his behavior. He can tell the difference himself.

    There is something to a lot of these remedies. I can tell the difference in my aches and pains if I miss taking the turmeric mix recipe for a day.

    Ya just gotta know Big Pharmacy and TPTB are pissed they can’t make any coin on these simple remedies. ..Thanks Ken!

    1. We have purchased various ‘powdered peanut butter’ brands depending on the grocery store availability… Currently using something from ‘bellplantation’ all natural, no additives, ‘PB2’. From Walmart this time.

      1. Never tried PB in powdered form. What’s it taste like? Is it very similar to regular PB? What’s the average shelf life?

        1. It is not like regular PB in that it does not taste sweet. It tastes more like ordinary peanuts, no salt, no sugar, etc.. and unfortunately is relatively expensive. I don’t know about its shelf life, since it doesn’t last long enough around here till its gone ;)

      2. @Ken

        What are advantages of the peanut butter powder? I saw a jar of this stuff at Sam’s club the other day… don’t remember the brand. Longer shelf life ??

        1. With regards to the smoothie recipe, it helps to offset the somewhat bitter taste of the cacao. Also, it provides some protein to the drink (about 5 grams in two tablespoons).

          I haven’t really found other recipes for it yet.

  7. I love the Lindt 85% cocoa bars. It must work because I remember to have a square everyday!!!!

  8. Could you please send me that recipe for the turmeric mixture?

    1. NRP’s recipe:

      1 Cup Turmeric Powder
      1/4 Cup Garlic Powder
      1/4 Cup Ginger Powder
      1/4 Cup Cayenne Pepper Powder
      1/4 Cup Black Pepper very fine grind

      (The black pepper helps the absorption of the rest.)

      Mix in a glass bowl with a wire Whisk very well and store in Glass.
      Mix 1 teaspoon full (of the mix) in an 8oz glass of V8 tomato juice

        1. @ Miss I Made It Myself

          I might add, I take one dose a day, I really felt the difference after about 2-3 weeks, and my ooooohhhh my what a difference in the joints.


  9. I have cocoa powder to my drinks every day. I’d better reduce the amount because 3 of my coworkers aged 76 to 67 hated the fact I remembered too much and too detailed because they said it made them look like dementia patients.

  10. back of Navitas package

    2.5 tbsp (15 gram) has 195 mg of flavonals.

  11. Thinking of using a cold brew coffee maker for this. Perhaps mix in some coffee. Anyone try this?

    1. You can make strong coffee and add the cacao with creamer and sweetener then add ice to chill it for iced coffee

      1. I make my bulletproof coffee with it. I use pour-over coffee, 2table spoons of grass fed butter, 2table spoons of MTC oil, 1table spoon of cocao, and 1teaspoon of cinnamon, then use a blender and enjoy the best coffee you’ve ever had.

    2. I make my bulletproof coffee with it. I use pour-over coffee, 2table spoons of grass fed butter, 2table spoons of MTC oil, 1table spoon of cocao, and 1teaspoon of cinnamon, then use a blender and enjoy the best coffee you’ve ever had.

  12. Notice some mention ‘fogginess’ try Gingko Biloba first thing in the morning before food.

  13. Raw cacao seeds are white-ish. I have seen them growing in Costa Rica. I have cut open the fruits and even tasted the raw seeds (disgusting), so I know first hand that they are white. They get the brown color only from being roasted over high heat – just like coffee beans. I have watched my Costa Rican mother-in-law roast the seeds and grind them into powder many times. It is the roasting that turns them brown. So how does this company turn their cacao brown without heat? What is this magical “cold-processing”?

    1. Salty Dog,I was wondering about that myself…
      Most people would not recognize raw coffee. It starts out in a red cherry looking berry that gets soaked so they can get to the beans. Then they mechanically break up the cherry to get the seeds. The beans are air dried first. Then they’re ready for roasting.
      I imagine the cacao pods go through something similar.
      Enquiring minds like to know their process…

    2. Salty Dog, Fermentation then drying of the beans turn them dark. Check out this detailed description:

  14. Do any of you have high bp? I’m on 6 different meds to no avail and have tried 27 (allergic to all). I was wondering though if I use a little of cacao powder with the turmeric & garlic, black recipe, etc. listed in this forum would it really raise my bp even more? It sounds like your drinks that y’all mention are very healthy & are helping with your memory & joint pain. Every time I’ve tried speaking with my Dr’s over the years to try to control bp & pain naturally – they freak out and yell at me to just take all these bad drugs that make ya sicker than the conditions themselves. Appreciate any feedback from anyone with high bp & joint pain as to what you use. Thank you.

    1. Dee:
      Not a doctor or anything near that, but the turmeric stuff works well for me.
      A question, have you talked with a Naturopathic doctor ? You probably should before starting anything new if you’re on that many pills. Also clear it with the Pill Doctor.
      I personally don’t trust pill pushers, especially after they missed my Shingles Episode when 100% obvious.

    2. Dee, Not a doctor , Watched this happen time and time again..I have seen this work with several people..This is a good place to start…For blood pressure,.. Alpha Lipoic Acid and L-carnitine , in one capsule, is a daily supplement,…on top shelf at nearest big box supplement store in alphabetical order… price close to 8-9$. works as vasodilator, relaxing the muscles of blood vessels. takes 3-4 days to be effective. to begin to lower blood pressure. Also do an epsom salt foot bath 2x a week for 2 weeks. ( this will boost your magnesium- it is necessary for a heartbeat and will help regulate blood pressure and heart function. )If you do not eat seafood daily get some betadyne wash and paint a square on your upper thigh… 3inches square and allow to dry.. unless allergic.will give iodine, boosting immunity and it is also necessary for heartbeat.. For epsom salt foot bath… Be sure to follow directions on box, or bag.. and when you have finished rinse feet well, and dry and apply lotion and socks. For bone, joint , muscular pain…Multi- collagen, type with 5 kinds.( can get t same ig box store if it is a large one…. to build and maintain tissue in joint.with Vitamin K2.(i t moves minerals from blood vessels to bones and teeth..also taken daily.2 months supply cost about 9$. and for pain Moringa Oleifera, ( abt 8$)comes n 3000mg capsules at some wally worlds- not all.I take 2- 2x a day.when i over do and hurt from head to toe. ..
      i have 2 kinds of the “itis” brothers..that visit frequently… avoid tylenol, ibuprophen(s) interfere with healing, they suppress an enzyme needed for healing.I also use willow bark.( don’t use if allergic to aspirin). i can and do use them together often and they are easy on stomach..i don’t get gastric distress with any of these.
      I would try a herbalist.. some will do on line tele conference or phone consultations for a fee… They will listen…and treat you with respect.

      1. You can also buy dulse to eat for iodine. Think of it as a dried sea kale.

    3. Anytime a doctor freaks out on you. is time to find another doctor.. you need to record the ones you are allergic to, and also the ones you are taking and combination why they are not working a certified herbalist or naturopath can help you with blood pressure and also help wean you off of what is not working. WARNING: you must not come off them at one time… you need someone Medical to monitor that process. You could get rebound effect that could cause permanent injury if you should stop “all meds that don’t work” at one time.

    4. Dee,
      In 2000, I was dealing with some symptoms, went to dr. he could hear it with a stethoscope and had an echocardiogram showing mitral valve prolapse…
      I started to supplement with magnesium citrate (I use Pure Encapsulations hypoallergenic).
      Magnesium citrate is very safe, and I being a very sensitive to just about any thing, have no issues with it.
      It also helps me sleep deeper and calm nerves.
      I had another echo sometime later and it was completely fine!
      Dr. Axe (online website) has good info regarding foods and supplements that help blood pressure.
      Magnesium (citrate not oxide) helps with blood pressure too.
      May you find the answers and wisdom you seek…
      I wish you prosperous health and much peace…

  15. Thanks so much for this helpful information about cacao powders.. I hear it’s great for helping lower inflammation in the body. The my question I have is……can I just put the two tablespoons into a cold or room temperature bottled water mix/shake and guzzle it down?

    1. De ce sa nu puneti cacaoa seara in apa calduta, diminata o încălziți putin si o consumati?

Comments are closed.