Cacao is the heart’s “blood” due to its relatively high levels of magnesium, antioxidants, and love associated chemicals, making it truly a “food for the heart”.
The medical and scientific buzz about chocolate began with studies of the Kuna, a group of indigenous islanders whose high-salt diet did not lead to high blood pressure. The early studies determined that Cacao was the cause, not genetics – the Kuna drink about an ounce (28 gm) of Cacao a day.
With Cacao, the heartbeat becomes pronounced, breathing is deepened and nourishing blood circulation is increased throughout the body. This increases physical and mental energy and endurance, arousing the senses and heightened awareness.
Pure Cacao has recently been found to contain high levels of antioxidant polyphenols, oligomeric procynanidins and other flavonoids that help boost the immune system and offer significant protection against “bad” cholesterol and heart disease. It is also very nutritious, having a high protein content and is reported to be the richest natural source for magnesium, an important mineral highly deficient in modern diets. The raw seeds are also surprisingly high in vitamin C and an excellent source of natural sulfur, a mineral associated with healthy skin, nails, hair and proper liver and pancreas function.
There is also much in the scientific literature about how Cacao not only lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol, but how it increases blood-flow to the brain which may delay dementias like Alzheimer’s, and about Cacao as a heavy metal chelator, binding and removing them from the body.
While the medical profession is suggesting that people eat dark chocolate, they don’t mention that most of the chocolate available lacks the essential components that are in the type of Cacao that much of the research was done with.
We think of our cacao as a plant medicine. Like any potent medicine, it is important to be mindful in its use.
In most cases, there are no concerns to be aware of. The pieces listed below are mainly a concern in higher doses, like when we use the cacao ceremonially. In these cases, the combination of potent cacao and a higher dose warrants some additional mindfulness.
Cacao is a strong bitter and power detoxifier as it helps cleanse the liver. Because of this, in higher doses people might experience detox symptoms such as headache or nausea. In this case, take it as a blessing and drink plenty of water as your body lets go of whatever it didn’t like. This will likely be accentuated for people on a raw diet or who are fasting. Go with lower doses in this case.
Many anti-depressants are contra-indicated with the tryptophan and MAO inhibitors in this cacao, so we recommend checking your meds first. Again, this is because our cacao is more potent to begin with and often taken in higher doses. Chocolate doesn’t have enough strength to cause these effects. Worst case scenario is headache and nausea, but avoid the hassle and do research first.
Serious heart conditions. The theobromine in cacao increases heart rate significantly and is a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure. If you have such a condition, go lighter on amounts.
Pregnancy & breastfeeding. Like coffee or tea, it is important to reduce intake of stimulating foods. The theobromine in cacao, which is very similar to caffeine, has a stimulating effect. Thus using lower dosages is recommended