Our love of cacao can be traced back over 2000 years to ancient tribes of Mexico and Guatemala. The residue of Theobroma Cacao has been found on artefacts that have been dated to around 400 BC.
Cacao was never eaten but brewed with hot water and spices to make a bitter drink which was usually taken only by the wealthy.
This drink would be consumed within a sacred ceremony as a way of connecting to the spirit world and to expand the connection between humans and nature.
Most of us have tasted chocolate, but few of us have tasted cacao. The chocolate products that we find in the supermarket have a very low cacao content and typically they contain no more than 5%. In addition to that, the cacao would have been heat treated and highly processed which would destroy any of the goodness we find in pure cacao.
Cacao is rich in healthy fats (which are normally removed in mass produced commercial chocolate). It also contains a big bunch of feel good chemicals:
Theobromine - Helps to dilate constricted blood vessels.
Phenylethylamine - Increases focus and attention span.
Methylxanthines - Relax the bronchi and increases the flow of air to the lungs.
Dopamine and Seratonin - Regulate mood, digestion, sleep, memory and sexual desire.
Monoamine Oxidase (MAOs) - Slows down the metabolism of certain hormones in the body.
Anandamide - The Bliss Molecule! It is an endocannabinoid and is present in very small amounts. It can make us feel joyful and at peace.