Cacao entered the modern wellness sphere some time ago. Nowadays, it’s pretty much an everyday ingredient, readily available in local supermarkets and included in all sorts of healthified desserts and snacks. We know it’s good for us and that it tastes delicious.

Everything you need to know about Cacao

Cacao entered the modern wellness sphere some time ago. Nowadays, it’s pretty much an everyday ingredient, readily available in local supermarkets and included in all sorts of healthified desserts and snacks. We know it’s good for us and that it tastes delicious.

Like jade rollers, tracking the moon cycle, and even yoga, drinking cacao dates back to Mayan and Aztec civilisations, who saw cacao as food from the gods. Today, an increasing number of people are exploring the potential of this potent beverage. 

All of a sudden it seems like cacao is everywhere. Early-rising wellness influencer-types post snaps of cups of thick, dark and bubbly cacao, and rave about its transformative effects. You might have even spotted cacao make an appearance in an episode of Netflix’s Grace & Frankie

If you’re curious about cacao and the benefits of it read on for everything you need to know: 

What is Cacao?

Let’s start with the low hanging fruit: what actually is cacao? Well, every type of cacao or chocolate we eat comes from the fruit of the cacao tree. Cacao beans grow inside the fruit (or pod) on the tree. These are harvested, fermented (if its good quality cacao), dried, roasted, and peeled. This point is where cacao and chocolate go their separate ways. 

From here, raw cacao is minimally processed into cacao nibs, butter, paste, and powder. Importantly, this is done without the use of heat. 

Whereas, the beans destined to become chocolate are processed further, involving the application of heat, into pure liquid chocolate. This is high concentrated chocolate is often far too bitter for many people’s palates, which is where sugar and milk (or other fats) come in. Depending on the product being made, more or less of these are added in to make the kind of chocolate we know best. 

What Are the Health Benefits of Cacao? 

Cacao has a wealth of physical health benefits. The less processed and more concentrated the cacao is, the more concentrated these benefits will be. 

Cacao is rich in heart protective flavonoids, which have been shown to help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. It also stimulates the production of the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) serotonin, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethylamine. All four of these are known for improving mood and helping to alleviate depression.

Cacao is packed with minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. It also contains Theobromine which is a known mood and energy booster, more on that below. 

Does Cacao Contain Caffeine?

Love coffee but don’t love the jitters, anxiety and nausea it can trigger? Drinking cacao provides a longer-lasting, milder, and more pleasant source of energy. 

While, raw cacao does contain a small amount of caffeine it’s also rich in a natural compound called theobromine. Theobromine has a mild stimulating and energising effect that also improves focus and concentration and mood – but won’t make you feel jittery the same way coffee does. 

More Benefits of Cacao ?

Along with the science backed physical health benefits, some people claim to experience heart-opening and mood-boosting effects, perhaps thanks to the flavonoids and other active compounds in cacao. When consumed in tandem with other spiritual practices cacao is said to help you drop into your heart space. You might feel a rush of loving energy and a deeper connection to yourself.

As cacao stimulates brain chemicals it can help people focus longer and deeper. This can help intensify your experience of the spiritual aspects of a cacao ceremony. Some people find they sink easily into a very deep meditative state. Others find cacao brings immense clarity, and that they see solutions to problems much more clearly.

Cacao has also long been linked with sensuality. This is because it increases blood flow, making you more sensitive to touch, and stimulates phenylethylamine, known as the love chemical. If the ceremony involves any tactile connection with others, or dancing and singing, cacao can help elevate that experience. 

You can keep an eye on our schedule for upcoming workshops and Alternative Events (Events & Workshop)

How Can You Explore Cacao Yourself at Home?

You don’t have to go to a full-blown spiritual ceremony to get the benefits of cacao in your life. You can practice a cacao ritual at home . This can be as simple and personal as you wish. From simply preparing cacao and sipping it mindfully, or pairing this experience with meditation, journalling or any other contemplative or spiritual practices you enjoy. And it tastes pretty great too.

We have everything you need for your own personal ceremonies and rituals from handmade, ethical, pure cacao, (Our Heros) beautiful trays and cups, to sage and ethically sources Palo Santo, stunning diaries and notebooks, candles and everything else in-between.

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