Cacao, often referred to as cocoa, originated in the American equatorial jungles, is now commercially grown in tropical areas all around the world. With a history reaching back 1000’s of years this pod like fruit has been relished as a highly nutritious food. In the 18th century the Swedish scientist Carl linnaeus appropriately awarded it the scientific name “Cacao Theobroma “which aptly translates to “Cacao, the food of the gods“. Commencing in the 1800’s cacao in its processed form of chocolate began its seductive romance with the Western world, being adored for its rich creamy texture that enhances mood and may even provoke passion.
Recently scientific research has reaffirmed the beliefs of the ancients, in that the raw cacao bean contains many health benefits, including its rich source of anti-oxidants, its stress relieving compounds and its ability to promote a healthy heart.
However a clear distinction must be made between the raw cacao beans and their highly processed end products we collectively call chocolate. In this transformation of this rather bitter unpalatable bean into something commercially termed a “heavenly delight the beans are mixed with sugar, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, milk derivatives and small amounts of caffeine, plus heat is applied, all of which degrades the beans original health benefits. These additives combined with the hi-tech processing culminates in a far less healthier but highly palatable and seductive product marketed as chocolate.
The health benefits of raw cacao beans include:
• Mood enhancer, induces a sense of pleasure, well-being and positiveness, all of which are great rejuvenators.
• Contains a rich source of essential minerals and heart healthy fats.
• Contains a high percentage of soluble fiber, which assists in cleansing the intestines.
• Contains the highest anti-oxidant flavonoids of any food tested to date.
• Stop consuming normal chocolate under the delusion that it’s a healthy product. If you are enticed by chocolate! select sugarless chocolate with a cacao content in the 70-80% range.
• Ascertain the availability of raw cacao beans in your area.
• Add raw cacao beans to your diet.
Consume, dependant of your weight 8 raw beans per day if you weigh just 100 lbs and you may increase consumption incrementally to 13 beans per day at the higher weight of 140 lbs. Grind the beans in a domestic spice mill and add the cacao grounds to fresh fruit juices or healthy deserts.