By Wendell Fowler
Revered as the “food of the gods”, cacao (kə-ˈkau̇) is the seed pod found in the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree. The Amazonian superfood was first discovered by the Mayans and has remained a staple in many cultures ever since. But not in distracted America.
Native to the tropical Amazon Basin, the cacao fruit tree, Theobroma Cacao, produces cacao pods which, during harvest, are opened; the seeds are kept. The raw seeds are then fermented but not roasted. Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans, which retains the living enzymes and removes cacao butter
Not to be confused with processed “instant” cocoa, raw cacao brims with health-creating and sustaining vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytochemicals. The super-pod explodes with 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries and the highest plant-source of magnesium for a healthy heart and brain. Cacao’s magnesium helps with PMS symptoms. So yes, ladies, you can enjoy an organic dark–raw chocolate bar around that time of the month. Drop the sugary, milk-chocolate candy bar, however.
Cacao contains more calcium than milk, is an excellent source of sulfur, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin E, and B-vitamins, monounsaturated fats, cholesterol-free saturated fats, fiber and plant carbs. There’re galaxies of information supporting cocoa flavanols and procyanidins have the ability to act as inter-cellular antioxidants. Cacao powder contains more fiber and calories than cocoa powder since more of the nutrients from the whole bean are still intact.
Nature’s gift can be a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant too, with its four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine. It’s no mystery why chocolate makes us feel good, albeit temporarily.
Dehydrated and crushed raw cacao beans are called “nibs”. Much like chocolate chips without the added sugars and fats, cacao “nibs” contain all of the fiber, fat and nutrients that the cacao bean does are. You can add crunchy nibs or cacao powder to homemade baked goods, granola, hot cereals, plain Greek yogurt, or into smoothies. Sandi and I make satisfying hot chocolate with cacao powder and almond milk sweetened with stevia or maple syrup.
Society is waking up to the truth that Standard American Diet template is total BS (JAMA); a fairytale inspired by captains of industry. To separate ourselves from earth’s pharmacy is cutting the holy temples connectivity to the body of God. Disease is a distraction from nature. To become realized, you must treat yourself like the miracle you are by including this “superfood” in your Farm-acy medicine cabinet. Thank you, universe!