“Chocolate is a divine, celestial drink, the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, divine nectar, the drink of the gods, panacea and universal medicine. – Geronimo Piperni”
Dubbed the Amazonian Antioxidant kind, chocolate as we have come to know it today is often over processed, under nourished and dishonest in every way. Masked under the veil of Cocoa goodness, a lot of mainstream chocolate consists of a minor amount of Cocoa – not Cacao – which is 60-90% short of its original beneficial properties due to processing and fermentation. Truth is, most chocolates (with the exceptions of very rich Dark chocolate 70% or darker) are laden with preservatives, sweeteners and sugars with one aim – to get you hooked on the brand. Cocoa also drives unfair trade and may contain toxic pesticides.
There is an enormous secret to be discovered deep within the inner mechanics of chocolate, and we are going to investigate the ancestral, mythical, nutritional and sacred reverences that have survived the ages and are making an archaic rise today in our modern society. If I told you there was a substance so abundant in happiness enducing aminos, essential minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, proteins and more, would you believe me? Let’s go deeper into the magic of Raw Cacao!
The word Cacao descends from the Mayan word Ka’kau and has been timelessly utilized and worshipped by Mesoamerican civilizations. Since the very first Cacao pod was cracked, the milky seeds sparked the first iteration of the God-like glelatinous pulp, around 1500bc by the Olmecs. They believed that those who drank it attained energy and power, and it was used ceremonially to appease deities. More clues can be found of the divine mythology of the raw chocolate when looking at the taxonomy of the tree itself – Theobroma cacao – it’s genus translating to ‘God Food’ and species standing for Cacao, descending itself from Ka’kau – proclaiming it’s ancient place in modern science. In this clear fashion the profound significance of this nutritional powerhouse upon the ancients of their times is clear – it was a spectacular substance and only the elite could possess it.
Such colossal empires and civilizations socialised, danced, transcended, introspected, meditated, nourished and healed all aspects of their life using Cacao, and shivers roll down my spine when I drink it. To me, it’s as if the spirits of the ancients still resonate within the uplifting wonders of this miracle food and the consumer becomes pleasantly overwhelmed with a sense of righteousness, connectivity and mutual ground with the ancient souls who admired and harnessed its powers long before us as we enjoy Cacao in 2019 and beyond. Now, let’s explore the Scientific and nutritional wonders of the God Drink!
Cacao ceremonies are still performed today, in fact they’re on the rise, and fast. Spiritual and energetic healers across the world are implimenting Cacao into their resorative and developmental practices in order to open a plane of connectivity between those who drink it together, where higher states of transcendence are reached within the serenity of music and often the percussion of Shamanic drums. The reason for this surge in popularity with groups experiencing oneness and sheer bliss can be found in its complex of wellness creating Amino Acids – first and foremostly they are the foundations of protein in the body. These beautiful little molecules are as follows:
- Tryptophan – Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that serves several important purposes, like nitrogen balance in adults and growth in infants. It also creates niacin, which is essential in creating the neurotransmitter serotonin.
- Tyrosine – Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning the body can synthesise it from Phenlyalanine. It is a popular dietary supplement used to improve alertness, attention and focus. It produces important brain chemicals that help nerve cells communicate and may even regulate mood.
- Serotonin – Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body. It is sometimes called the happy chemical, because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. There is a LOT of Serotonin in Cacao, inducing a state of happiness which synergises with the niacin created by the Tryptophan.
- Phenlyethelymine – Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a trace amine, found in very small amounts in the human body. It is a central nervous system stimulant in Humans. It can improve athletic performance, depression, weight loss, and to improve mood and attention.
- Anandamide – (considered the Bliss molecule) is part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – acting as the bodies natural cannabis. Present in all vertebrates, the system is classed as a homeostatic regulator, meaning it is constantly working to bring about a state of balance to our bodies and minds. Imbalances of Anandamide have been associated with depression and even schizophrenia. Studies have shown that those genetically deficient in the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of Anandamide, show greater counts of depression across entire nations. Anandamide really is the Bliss molecule. Another study found Humans and Mice with higher volumes of Anandamide were found to have better control over their fear responses.
All five deliver blissfulness, content, happiness and stillness to the brain with an uplifted sense of wellbeing and overall vitality. Cacao is almost certainly the most effectively potent Anti-depressant to be found in nature! I have personally gifted Cacao to those closest in me who needed a realignment in their neurology and the Cacao tended to their imbalances remarkably, giving positivity and a sense of soul.
Antioxidant King! – Cacao scores a colossal ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, versus a mere 2,400 of the still-powerful blueberry. The ORAC is a scale of a substances ability to control free radicals – uncharged molecules that are highly reactive and can pose a threat to healthy cells due to the Free Radical trying desparately to pair with another electron.
Highest plant based source of Iron – Over twice the amount of Iron – 7.3mg per 100g – can be found compared with Spinach which, in its own right at 3.6mg per 100g, is undoubtedly abundant in Iron. Iron is a funamental element in the health of the body and the physicality of the planet and is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Iron can be found in all earth-grown foods. For maximum Iron synthesis use alongside Vitamin C – such as Oranges, Coconut water, Kiwi, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Squashes, Leafy Greens and all members of the Brocolli family.
Full of Magnesium – As the most deficient mineral in the west, it’s crucial that we become concerned about this deficiency which may leave us feeling fatigued, unhappy and at risk of Cardiovascular problems. Magnesium is important for a healthy heart, and it turns Glucose into energy, enabling sharp cognition with an acute focus of mind.
More Calium than Cow’s Milk – Cacao contains 45mg more Calcium per 100g than Dairy – at a marvellous 160mg ready to aid bone health.
A source of Theobromine – Cacao contains Theobromine, which is the substance in cacao that is a bitter-tasting plant alkaloid that acts as a mild stimulant, like caffeine. Theobromine also a vasodilator (meaning it widens blood vessels) and a diuretic, and it’s been studied as a treatment option for high blood pressure. Theobromine has a calming effect and keeps the heart and brain stimulated and will halt coughs. It acts an an anti-inflammatory and a preventative of enamel decay in teeth. source
Rich in Flavanols – Flavanols are phytonutrient compounds that are found naturally in apples, grapes, tea, cocoa and cherries, which account for the antioxidant effect provided by red wine and green tea. source
Builds & repairs Collagen & Keratin – The antioxidants in Cacao give Collagen in the skin a boost and has been shown to prevent the breakdown of collagen fibres in the skin under UV exposure. In other words, those using Cacao can spend longer under the Sun than a non-Cacao user. The nails and hair also benefit from the masses of antioxidants working to protect and restore cellular health. source
Anti-aging – The aging process occurs when cells begin to destruct and our foundations of bodily health are subject to damage by Free Radicals – stray unpaired electrons seeking a partner – which happens naturally over time and can cause great harm. When we use antioxidants to control the oxidation of cells we protect them from destructing and becoming Free Radicals, leading to a physically slower or plateaued rate of aging. source
Theobroma Cacao – the Food of the Gods presents itself to us as the superfood of the superfoods. It possesses the powers to amplify our happiness, vitality, biological health, spiritual awareness, energetic upkeep and balance of all the bodies faculties. Cacao is a phenomenal bean or seed that hails from the heavens and I hope this post has particularly conveyed all aspects of magic that make this food so sacred, it almost shouldn’t exist.
It does exist – and it can be purchased at Bamboo Turtle, Letchworth Garden City, without the guilt of by-purchasing packaging. A massive victory for onesself and the planet! My journey with Cacao really flourished when I discovered it glistening softly at me from its self-service container in Bamboo Turtle, and I can only thank Bamboo Turtle and of course the Cacao itself for permitting access to such a wonderful unison between human and plant.
Cacao has a special place in my heart and I hope you will feel its Earthly serenity within yours, too!