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10 Best Cacao Nibs of 2022

Discover the 10 best brands of cacao nibs for a healthy, sugar-free alternative to chocolate.

Steve Theunissen, PT

Written by Steve Theunissen, PT

Last Updated onJuly 4th, 2022

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Cacao nibs are crushed pieces of dried cacao bean packaged into bite-sized portions. They make a very healthy snack and are a great addition to baking recipes. 

Cacao nibs are antioxidant-rich and fight against oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. They also contain theobromine which boosts energy levels and improves cognitive functioning. Other cacao nib benefits are that they help lower blood pressure and improve skin health.

Read on for our ranking of the ten best cacao nibs on today’s market. 

Top 10 Cacao Nibs Tested/Ranked:

How Much Do Cacao Nibs Cost?

CategoryProductNamePricePer Oz CostWhy We Love It
Best OverallViva Naturals Organic Cacao NibsViva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs$12.29$0.77It has a great crunchy texture and checks all the right boxes..
Best ValueFood To Live Cacao NibsFood to Live Cacao Nibs$32.99$0.52Delivers an unbeatable value.
Best OrganicNavitas Organic Raw Cacao NibsNavitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs$7.68$0.96We love the purity of the product and the sustainable farming practices of the brand.
Best for SmoothiesHealthworks CacaoHealthworks Cacao Nibs$11.95$0.75Delivers a smooth, rich taste in smoothies.
Best for ToppingsTerrasoul CacaoTerrasoul Cacao Nibs$12.49$0.78Extremely crumbly, making it ideal for dessert toppings.
Best for AntioxidantsZint CacaoZint Cacao Nibs$20.99$0.66Rich in antioxidants and tastes great. 
Best to Fight Free RadicalsOmg Superfoods Organic NibsOMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs$10.99$1.37It’s high in theobromine and can give you an energy surge. 
Best Dark Chocolate TasteWildly Organic Fermented Cacao NibsWildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs$6.81$0.85Tastes like chocolate but contains no sugar.
Best Mood EnhancerPure Natural Miracles NibsPure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs$17.97$1.12It’s high in fiber and satiating.
Best for BakingNatierra Himalania CacaoNatierra Himalania Cacao Nibs$7.72$0.77They are great for baking and rich in fiber.

Products Reviews

Here are the top 10 best cacao nibs money can buy — 

Best Cacao Nibs Overall

The best cacao nibs product represents the best mix of purity, taste, crunchiness, and price. The company behind the product is well established and reliable. 

Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs

Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs
Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs

Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs delivers a very pure form of cacao, with no additives and minimal processing. This product is gluten-free, vegan friendly, and organic. It is manufactured by Viva Labs, which has been around for over a decade. 

Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs are tasty and crunchy and bring good value for money.

Who Should Take Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a budget-priced product.
  • Those who are after a cacao nib that doesn’t taste like chocolate.

Who Should Not Take Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs?

  • People who do not want a strong aftertaste.

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Viva Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs Coupon

Viva Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs are lightly roasted for peak flavor and are perfect for keto, paleo, or vegan diets. 


Best Value 

The best-value cacao nibs combine the ideal mix of cost, purity, and taste to provide a quality and low-cost healthy alternative to a regular chocolate snack.

Food to Live Cacao Nibs

Food To Live Cacao Nibs
Food To Live Cacao Nibs

Food to Live Cacao Nibs provides you with raw, organic cacao nibs that are ideal for snacking or adding to stews and smoothies. You get great value for money here, with each bag containing 64 servings. The per-ounce cost is 52 cents, about 20 cents less than the nearest competitor. 

Each serving of Foods to Live Cacao Nibs delivers four grams of protein, 26 mg of calcium, and 92 grams of magnesium. There are 137 calories per serving.

Who Should Take Food to Live Cacao Nibs?

  • Individuals who want the best budget-priced cacao nibs on the market.

Who Should Not Take Food to Live Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a low-calorie form of cacao nibs.

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Food to Live Cacao Nibs Coupon

Food to Live Cacao Nibs are arguably the best value cacao nibs on the market and are an excellent source of fiber and iron. They are great for adding to stews and smoothies.


Best Organic

Organic products are completely free of synthetic fertilizers, making the product purer and ensuring no pesticides or other toxins enter your system.

Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs

Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs are thicker and chunkier than most cacao nibs because they are crushed by hand instead of being uniformly cut by a machine. You will notice a dark chocolate aroma and taste that is not as bitter as most forms of cacao. There is a slight aftertaste, but it is not as pronounced as on most versions of cacao.

This product is 100 percent organic, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free. However, it is a little expensive, working out to $1.25 per ounce. 

Who Should Take Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want organic cacao.
  • Those who want a cacao nib that tastes and smells like dark chocolate.

Who Should Not Take Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a budget-friendly cacao nib.

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Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs Coupon

Navitas Organic Raw Cacao Nibs are 100 percent unroasted and gently crushed cacao beans. Plus, they are USDA organic and Fairtrade certified. 


Best for Smoothies

The best cacao nibs for smoothies blend perfectly in your favorite beverage without forming lumps.

Healthworks Cacao Nibs

Healthworks Cacao
Healthworks Cacao Nibs

Healthworks Cacao Nibs are made from premium Criollo beans sourced from Peru, producing a softer nib that blends very well into a smoothie. It has a dark chocolate taste and is very low in calories, with just 19 grams per serve. 

Healthworks Cacao Nibs represents good value for money. Every one-pound bag contains 151 servings. Besides being great for smoothies, these cacao nibs are also excellent for recipes. However, Criollo cacao is not as high in fiber as some other varieties. 

Who Should Take Healthworks Cacao Nibs?

  • Those who want a smoothie-friendly cacao nib.
  • People who want good value for money.

Who Should Not Take Healthworks Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a high fiber content. 

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Healthworks Cacao Nibs Coupon

Healthworks Cacao Nibs have an intense chocolate flavor, making them a great addition to your daily meals and desserts. They are grown and harvested from Peru. 


Best for Toppings

Cacao nibs make fantastic toppings for desserts. The best nibs for this job will have a crumbly texture, not be too bitter and have a uniform shape and size. 

Terrasoul Cacao Nibs

Terrasoul Cacao
Terrasoul Cacao Nibs

Terrasoul Cacao Nibs are marketed as a replacement for chocolate chips. With its uniform size and texture, it lives up to that claim. Unlike most cacao nib brands, they do not have much of an aftertaste. These nibs have a lovely crumbly texture ideal for spreading on top of your desserts.

Who Should Take Terrasoul Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want to sprinkle cacao nibs on their desserts.
  • Those who do not want a strong aftertaste.

Who Should Not Take Terrasoul Cacao Nibs?

  • People who do want to pick out pieces of shell. 

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Terrasoul Cacao Nibs Coupons

Terrasoul Cacao Nibs are made from 100% Criollo beans — the highest quality cacao beans. The brand stands behind its product and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. 


Best for Antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical atoms, preventing them from damaging healthy cells. They also boost our natural immunity. 

Zint Cacao Nibs

Zint Cacao
Zint Cacao Nibs

Zint Cacao Nibs are made from cacao beans manufactured by hand in Peru. You get 121 servings per bag, providing good value. The variety of cacao used here is especially high in antioxidants, providing 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries. 

Every serving of Zint Cacao Nibs provides you with a couple of grams of dietary fiber and 45 calories. They have a smooth consistency, making them a good choice for desserts and smoothies.

Who Should Take Zint Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a high antioxidant cacao bean.

Who Should Not Take Zint Cacao Nibs?

  • Those who want a high protein content. 

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Zint Cacao Nibs Coupons

The smooth texture and rich taste of Zint Cacao Nibs make it perfect for drinks, smoothies, and chocolatey desserts.


Best for Free Radicals

Free radical molecules can damage healthy cells and lead to illness. Our favorite cacao nibs product to combat free radical damage is high in theobromine and antioxidants and produces a powerful counter to oxidative stress.

OMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs

Omg Superfoods Organic Nibs
Omg Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs

OMG! Superfood Organic Cacao Nibs are sourced from the Andes mountains. They are especially high in theobromine and antioxidant content. As a result, they can boost your energy levels and free radical protection. 

Each serving of OMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs provides you with four grams of protein, six grams of fiber, 26 mg of calcium, and 180 calories. It has a rich chocolate flavor with quite a strong aftertaste.

Who Should Take OMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a product that will give them a major energy boost.

Who Should Not Take OMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs?

  • Individuals who want a low-calorie cacao nib product.
  • People who do not want a product with a strong aftertaste.

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OMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs Coupons

OMG! Superfoods Organic Cacao Nibs delivers four grams of protein, six grams of fiber, and 26 mg of calcium. It is one of the most versatile cacao nips supplements on the market. 


Best Dark Chocolate Taste

Our favorite cacao nibs in this category provide a rich dark chocolate taste without the extra sugar and heavy processing. 

Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs

Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs
Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs

Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs provide a rich dark chocolate taste. Unlike dark chocolate, however, it is not heavily processed and does not contain sugar. It is naturally fermented under the shade of banana leaves. 

Each serving of Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao nibs contains four grams of protein, six grams of dietary fiber, and 92 grams of magnesium. This product has a nice texture and is crunchy, making it a great dessert topping. 

Who Should Take Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a crunch cacao nib for use as a dessert topping.
  • Folks who want a dark chocolate taste without the sugar.

Who Should Not Take Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs?

  • Individuals who want a low-calorie cacao nib product.

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Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs Coupons

Wildly Organic Fermented Cacao Nibs are naturally fermented in banana leaves in the shade for three to five days, which gives them a better taste and texture. You could use this product to make raw cacao powder or raw cacao butter.


Best Mood Enhancer

Cacao nibs are able to improve a person’s mood due to their theobromine content. Our favorite brand uses the Criollo variety of beans that are naturally high in theobromine.

Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs

Pure Natural Miracles Nibs
Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs

Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs are sourced from Peru, coming from Criollo cacao beans. These beans have high antioxidant content and have a rich, chocolaty flavor with a minimum aftertaste. 

A one-ounce serving of Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs contains nine grams of dietary fiber along with four grams of protein and is a good source of flavanols. The calorie count per serving is 130 calories. 

Who Should Take Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs?

  • People who want a rich source of flavanols and dietary fiber.

Who Should Not Take Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs?

  • Folks who don’t want a rich chocolate flavor.

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Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs

The raw chocolate flavor and a natural crunch of the Pure Natural Miracles Cacao Nibs make it perfect for cereal, granola, oatmeal, trail mixes, plain greek yogurt, smoothies, and more.


Best for Baking

Cacao nibs make an excellent baking recipe ingredient. They boost a recipe’s antioxidant and energy-producing properties. Our favorite nibs for baking are softer and easier to blend than most.

Natierra Himalania Cacao Nibs

Natierra Himalania Cacao
Natierra Himalania Cacao Nibs

Natierra Himalania Cacao Nibs are sourced from the Criollo variety of cacao beans in Peru. It is a softer bean than many other varieties, making it great for baking, smoothies, and a topping for desserts and yogurts. 

Natierra Cacao beans are farmed according to sustainable farming practices. The product is organic, non-GMO, and vegetarian. Every serving provides you with nine grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and 282 mg of potassium. However, it is relatively high in energy, with 150 calories per serving. 

Who Should Take Natierra Himalania Cacao Nibs?

  • Folks who want to use cacao nibs for baking.

Who Should Not Take Natierra Himalania Cacao Nibs?

  • Those who want a low-calorie cacao nib.

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Natierra Himalania Cacao Nibs Coupon

Natierra Himalania Cacao Nibs are designed for baking. They are great for cakes, cookies, yogurt, ice cream toppings, oatmeal, granola, and smoothies.


What are Cacao Nibs?

Cacao nibs are bite-sized crushed pieces of the cacao bean. These beans are removed from the cacao pod, then fermented and dried before being roasted and cracked. 

Cacao nibs are the base ingredients of all chocolate products. They are often ground into a thick paste from which chocolate bars are made. However, it is also sold in nib form. Cacao nibs are very high in antioxidants.

Nibs make a very healthy snack option. They can also be added to recipes to improve the taste while also making the food healthier. Cacao nibs are extremely nutrient-dense, and you get a lot of nutritional benefits for a small calorie cost. Many people consider them a superfood. 

What to Look For When Buying Cacao Nibs

There are two key factors to consider when buying cacao nibs:

Bean Variety

The highest quality cacao beans containing the highest levels of antioxidants and theobromine are the Criollo and Heirloom varieties. These two varieties are also less bitter and more aromatic than most other varieties of cacao. 

Processing

The best forms of cacao nib have minimal processing. Drying at low temperatures helps preserve the purity of the nutrients within the nib. Genuine cacao nibs are unprocessed beyond drying and fermenting, allowing them to retain their nutritional value.  

How We Decided Our Picks

In making our selection of the ten best cacao nibs, we took into account the following factors:

  • Brand trustworthiness
  • User reviews
  • Production standards
  • Taste
  • Unprocessed
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Third-party testing

What are the Benefits of Taking Cacao Nibs?

Using cacao nibs entails the following benefits:

Antioxidant Power

The antioxidants in cacao are called flavanols. These do an amazing job of hunting down and neutralizing free radical atoms. It protects the body from oxidative stress damage. Flavanols also work against the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes, improving the body’s inflammatory response.

Supports Cardiovascular Health

By reducing oxidative stress, the flavanols in cacao help lower blood pressure and chronic inflammation. Theobromine is also a vasodilator, opening up blood vessels to allow for a better blood flow in the body. 

Boosts Energy Levels and Focus

Theobromine is in the same family as caffeine. It provides an energy lift to the body that is similar to caffeine but does not carry the risk of an energy crash afterward. Theobromine also has nootropic benefits, improving focus and concentration.

Mood Enhancer

Cacao stimulates the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, leading to a feeling of happiness and positivity. In one study, people who were given dark chocolate (rich in cacao) had significantly higher subjective mood scores than those who took white chocolate, which is very low in cacao.

Mitochondrial Biogenesis

The mitochondria are the part of the cell where energy is manufactured. The more mitochondria we have, the more potential oxygen we can utilize to create energy. Mitochondrial biogenesis is the process of producing more mitochondria. There is some interesting evidence to show that cacao helps create more mitochondria. 

Improves Skin Health

By countering oxidative stress and reducing inflammation, cacao helps avoid the decline in skin health resulting from those conditions. The mood-enhancing effects of cacao may also help slow down overactive sebum production, which can lead to acne. 

To benefit from cacao’s skin-enhancing effects, do not take it with sugar, which can cause acne and skin blemishes.

FAQs

Are cacao nibs good for you?

Yes, cacao nibs are great for you. They are rich in antioxidants, which can help fight free radical damage and inflammation. Cacao nibs also contain theobromine, which boosts energy levels and improves mental functioning.

Are cacao nibs good for you?

Yes, cacao nibs are great for you. They are rich in antioxidants, which can help fight free radical damage and inflammation. Cacao nibs also contain theobromine, which boosts energy levels and improves mental functioning.

Are cacao nibs healthier than cocoa powder?

Yes, cacao nibs are healthier than cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is far more processed than cacao nibs, which strips the cacao of some nutritional benefits. It may also add sweeteners and flavorings that are not very healthy.

The Bottom Line

Cacao nibs are a healthy snack option that is also great for baking. They are a little more bitter than chocolate, but the health benefits they provide more than make up for their bitter taste. The best overall cacao nib product on the market right now is Viva Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs which deliver pure organic cacao bites at an affordable price. 

References

  1. Yoo H, Kim HS. Cacao powder supplementation attenuates oxidative stress, cholinergic impairment, and apoptosis in D-galactose-induced aging rat brain. Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 9;11(1):17914. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-96800-y. PMID: 34504131; PMCID: PMC8429651.
  2. Higginbotham E, Taub PR. Cardiovascular Benefits of Dark Chocolate? Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2015 Dec;17(12):54. doi: 10.1007/s11936-015-0419-5. PMID: 26456559.
  3. Sokolov AN, Pavlova MA, Klosterhalfen S, Enck P. Chocolate and the brain: neurobiological impact of cocoa flavanols on cognition and behavior. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 Dec;37(10 Pt 2):2445-53. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.06.013. Epub 2013 Jun 26. PMID: 23810791.
  4. Sun M, Gu Y, Glisan SL, Lambert JD. Dietary cocoa ameliorates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and increases markers of antioxidant response and mitochondrial biogenesis in high fat-fed mice. J Nutr Biochem. 2021 Jun;92:108618. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2021.108618. Epub 2021 Mar 9. PMID: 33711421.
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Steve Theunissen, PT
Steve Theunissen, PT
Steve Theunissen is a former gym owner and personal trainer and is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness and fat loss. Steve also writes history books with a focus on the history of warfare. He is married and has two daughters. Steve hold the following certifications from the International Sorts Sciences Association: * Certified Personal Trainer * Fitness Nutrition Certification * Specialist in Group Fitness & Guided Study * Strength & Conditioning Certification * Sports Nutrition Certification * Transformation Specialist & Guided Study

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