Cacao – One of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet with incredibly high levels of anti-oxidants. and the ability to lift moods through naturally containing neurotransmitters, Cacao is a true super food.
This has been recognized by the ancient tribes of South America who believed it to be divine elixir given to them by the gods.
Cacao trees are native to the Amazon basin, the ancient cultures like the Mayans consumed the fruit over 4000 years ago. The Spanish term "Cacao" originates from the word "ka-ka-w" in Olmec. During those times, a beverage made from ground Cacao seeds was called xocōlātl from which the word Chocolate is derived from.
Raw Cacao has the highest anti oxidant levels than any other food in the world, 10% of its weight is made up of anti oxidant flavniods. Anti oxidants can help protect the body from the effects from oxidants, toxins and inflammation. This is the most important reason that you want to consume unprocessed raw cacao as studies have shown that up to 90% of anti oxidants in cacao can be lost in processing. Along with this vital enzymes and vitamins can also be destroyed in the processing of cacao which uses fermentation, heat and alkalizing agents.
Not only is Raw Cacao one if the most nutrient dense foods on earth, it is dense in some of the minerlas most commonly deficient in modern man – Magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron and zinc. It is also high in B vitamins – thiamine, niacin, riboflavin- and vitamins A, C, D and E.
Uplifting mood enhancer – The ancient Aztecs used cacao as a powerful aphrodisiac and a mind opening ceremonial drink.
Can Raw cacao enhance sexuality, love and happiness? All cultures that have come in contact with cacao has linked its consumption with some form of romantic, sensual or sexual enhancement as well as reaching for it in times of depression. Is this a coincidence, a spread of culture with the food or is there something more substantial behind it? The amounts of mood enhancing compounds found naturally in raw cacao, point to a potential of this going beyond a cultural myth. Raw cacao contains-
Seratonin – this neurotransmitter helps relieve depression, helping us deal with stress and elevating moods.
Phenylethylamine – The brains natural love drug, produced in high levels in the brain when we fall in love.
Phenylethylamine helps us feel positive, uplifted and rejuvenated.
Anandamine – comes from the Sanskrit word meaning bliss, anandamine is released in times of happiness.
As you can see raw cacao has unfortunately been over processed and undervalued by modern society, it is a potent super food with potential for many positive health benefits. Please remember raw cacao is powerful and should only be consumed in moderate amounts.
Raw cacao will put a boost into your paleo breakfast cereals and paleo smoothies.
Note—this post is for informational use only, for any supplementary or dietary changes please contact your health care practitioner.