Photo byGiordano Ciampini
“Every study on chocolate points to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us,” noted David Wolfe, co-author of Naked Chocolate and world’s premier raw foodist.
“That is the raw cacao bean, the nut that all chocolate is made from. The cacao bean has always been and will always be Nature’s #1 weight loss and high energy food.”
Cacao’s scientific name is Theobroma cacao, or the “food of the gods”. Cacao has the perfect balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Raw chocolate/cacao is known as the food that feeds the heart. In addition to releasing endorphins associated with happiness such as serotonin, it also releases dopamine into the blood stream, which is responsible for reducing pain and relaxing the body. It is considered to have more antioxidants than any touted “super food” on the planet. This means cacao helps to improve the immune system and deal with stress in the body.
Scientifically speaking, one of the most amazing things about Cacao health is that it feeds our heart more directly than any other food on the planet due to its high content of magnesium. Scientific studies done on cacao such as the Cochraine studies have shown that cacao has flavonoids that are associated with reducing high blood pressure. This may be a reason why there are so many centenarians in Costa Rica: pura vida attitude + pure cacao = happy and healthy hearts.
Cacao truly is what we in integrative nutrition call a complete food. It gives us a balanced amount of nutrients: macro and micro. Macro nutrients include fats, protein and carbohydrates and micro nutrients include minerals and trace minerals. These are called “secondary foods” or secondary sources of energy, whereas high amounts of love, sensuality, and connection are called “primary foods” or primary sources of energy because deep down everyone is craving love and connection. So we use the highest sources of secondary foods, such as cacao, to achieve a life that is rich in primary foods.
This is why people give chocolate as gifts to loved ones or seek solace in chocolate when facing rough patches in life.
Cacao Pow Smoothie Recipe
1 cup pipa water
1-2 tbsp cacao powder
¼ cup ice (optional)
1 tbsp honey (optional)