Cacao! Need an antioxidant? Seriously, you can not go wrong with Cacao (warning: we are not talking about chocolate but pure unadulterated Cacao)
The real truth is about to come out about RAW ORGANIC CHOCOLATE–THEOBROMA CACAO–FOOD OF THE GODS. It is a true super food and unrivalled in many areas of nutrition–especially antioxidants! The ancient Aztec, Mayan, Olmec, and Toltec Indians were really onto something.
Here are some startling and super cool facts about Raw Cacao
- is the highest known source of anti-oxidants by a factor of almost 5! It has nearly 20 times the antioxidant levels of red wine and up to 30 times what is found in green tea!*
- Over 80% of the US population is deficient in Magnesium. In nature, the primary source of Magnesium is cacao (raw chocolate beans)!** (Acute monthly cravings for chocolate amongst pre-menstrual women may be partly explained by its rich magnesium content. Magnesium deficiency exacerbates PMS. Before menstruation, too, levels of the hormone progesterone are high. Progesterone promotes fat storage, preventing its use as fuel; elevated premenstrual levels of progesterone may cause a periodic craving for fatty foods. One study reported that 91% of chocolate-cravings associated with the menstrual cycle occurred between ovulation and the start of menstruation. Chocolate cravings are admitted by 15% of men and around 40% of women.)
The ancient Indians of Central America valued cacao so much that they used it as money! Montezuma, the famous Aztec emperor, had his vaults filled not with gold but with about 960,000,000 raw cacao beans! Raw chocolate is known to have the following properties:
- Diminishes appetite and aids in weight loss
- Increases sensuality and beauty
- Helps to heal and open the heart
- Nourishes the intellect and attracts prosperity
One of the main differences between raw cacao and the chocolate typically available on the open market (cocoa- -a processed substance) is that raw cacao has all the original healthy cacao butter containing all the original essential fatty acids and amazing taste originally found in the bean.
Raw cacao or chocolate should not be confused with other substances such as coco (coconut), kola (a nut whose flavour is used in soft drinks), or coca (the leaf of the plant from which cocaine is derived). Cocoa and cocoa butter are cooked, processed substances derived from raw cacao nibs (or beans/nuts). All chocolate starts out as raw cacao beans (or nuts–they are actually the seed of the cacao fruit which grows on a tropical tree). Processing, cooking and roasting, destroy sensitive nutrients, create trans-fats, and corrupt the delicate, complex flavour of the cacao nib (bean without the skin). Raw cacao is one of the most, if not THE most, nutrient rich and complex foods known to man.
Chocolate contains more than 300 known chemicals, some of which are listed below. Caffeine is the most well known of these chemical ingredients, and while it’s present in chocolate, it can only be found in small quantities. Theobromine, a weak stimulant, is also present, in slightly higher amounts. The combination of these two chemicals (and possibly others) may provide the “lift” that chocolate eaters experience.
Chocolate also contains a natural ‘love drug’. Tryptophan is a chemical that the brain uses to make a neurotransmitter called serotonin. High levels of serotonin can produce feelings of elation, even ecstasy –hence the name of the designer drug that also works by increasing serotonin levels. While tryptophan could be considered ‘chocolate’s ecstasy’, another chemical called phenylethylamine has earned the nickname ‘chocolate amphetamine’, since it is related to amphetamines. High levels of this neurotransmitter help promote feelings of attraction, excitement, giddiness and apprehension. Phenylethylamine works by stimulating the brain’s pleasure centers and reaches peak levels during orgasm. All of these stimulants increase the activity of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in parts of the brain that control our ability to pay attention and stay alert. But many scientists are skeptical that chocolate could produce mood altering effects in this way. Chemicals like tryptophan and phenylethylamine, which are also found in many other foodstuffs, are present in chocolate only in very small quantities.
While stimulants contribute to a temporary sense of well-being, there are other chemicals and other theories as to why chocolate makes us feel good. Several more obscure chocolate ingredients seem to act by affecting the brain’s own neurotransmitter network. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers of the brain. They work by transporting electrical signals between nerve cells. These signals cause changes in the sensations and emotions that we experience.
One of the chemicals in chocolate that makes us feel good is the lipid, Anandamide. Anandamide is a current favourite candidate for a psychoactive chocolate ingredient. Anandamide is unique due to its resemblance to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a chemical found in marijuana. Both activate the same receptor which causes the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which leads to feelings of well being that people associate with a high. Anandamide, found naturally in the brain, breaks down very rapidly. Besides adding to the levels of anandamide, chocolate also contains two other chemicals which work to slow the breakdown of the anandamide, thus extending the feelings of well-being. Even though the anandamide in chocolate helps to create feelings of elation, the effect is not the same as the THC in marijuana. THC reacts with receptors more widely dispersed in the brain and is present in much larger amounts. Experts say it would take twenty-five pounds of chocolate to achieve a similar high to that of marijuana. Yet it’s worth noting that Noleolethanolamine and N-linoleoylethanolamine, two structural cousins of anandamide present in chocolate, both inhibit the metabolism of anandamide. It has been speculated that they promote and prolong the feeling of well-being induced by anandamide.
So, please, eat your chocolate (raw).
Seeds Of Wellness really likes to blend personalized herbs in raw cacao (and in tinctures) for unique blends of healing herbs. Raw Cacao acts as an amazing MTA (medicine transfer agent).