What is all the hype with Cacao?
The first thing you might be asking yourself is what is the difference between cacao and cocoa? The two words are often used interchangeably, but they're not the same thing. Cacao is minimally processed and unsweetened while cocoa powder is processed from fermented cacao beans and has higher sugar content.
Cacao is a type of cocoa bean that is processed with low heat to maintain its natural properties, including nutrients and antioxidants. Cacao has been shown to have significant health benefits for boosting mood, increasing libido levels, boosting immune system function, improving heart health and more!
Cacao's health benefits and nutritional value
As with many foods, cacao's nutritional value depends on how it is processed. When cacao beans are dried, fermented, then roasted or ground into powder, they form pure chocolate. The result is a tasty treat that packs a punch, offering health benefits to our heart and brain. However, when the process doesn't go far enough or when it's turned into milk chocolate or white chocolate with added sugars, cacao's nutritional value drastically decreases.
Cacao is a great source of antioxidants known as flavonols. It also contains a substance known as PEA, which is a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of attraction and pleasure. People who regularly eat chocolate (especially dark chocolate) also tend to be in better health because of this.
In addition, cacao is a source of several compounds that have been found in studies to lower blood pressure, increase brain activity and release feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Alkaloids in the cacao plant include the following: Anandamide, Caffeine, Theobromine (which has a similar chemical structure to caffeine), and PEA (Phenylethylamine). This can give a boost to your mood. Studies have shown that people who consumed cacao every day had a significant decrease in their stress levels, which may be due to the release of endorphins.
Spiritual benefits of cacao
In addition to tasting great and filling us with joy, cacao is a gift from Mother Nature that provides our bodies with a wonderful array of spiritual benefits. Among these may be considered: elevating one's mood; bringing an increased sense of passion and pleasure while making love; enhancing the ability to tune into nature and other people; strengthening psychic abilities; helping us to spiritually develop and mature; opening one's awareness to the nature of the spirit world, including remembering past lives or future lives.
Cacao also contains a substance known as PEA, which is a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of attraction and pleasure. In studies involving people who had recently fallen in love or were taking ecstasy, it was found that the people's levels of PEA were on the high side. Many of these compounds are released in high concentrations when people fall in love. In studies, scientists have found that being in love is similar to being high on crack cocaine, and the similarity extends beyond emotional states. It appears that this neurochemical process is at work when people fall in love while under the influence of cacao!
Note that most chocolate by itself doesn't produce the following effects because it needs to be combined with an MAOI inhibitor, which is usually an herb such as passionflower or banisteriopsis caapi. A strong MAOI inhibitor will nullify the effect of a small amount of chocolate, but with a weak MAOI inhibitor, the effects of chocolate will be enhanced.
Want to learn more? If you are interested in learning more and experiencing the amazing benefits of cacao attend our upcoming workshop which can be found on the event section of this website or by clicking on the UPCOMING EVENTS BUTTON or copy and paste the following URL.