Health Benefits of Ceremonial Cacao
"Chocolate is a divine, celestial drink, the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, divine nectar, the drink of the gods, panacea and universal medicine."
- Geronimo Piperni, quoted by Antonio Lavedán, Spanish army surgeon, 1796
The word Cacao originated from the Maya word Ka'kau', as well as the Maya words Chocol’ha, and the verb chokola'j "to drink chocolate together. The Maya believed that the ka'kau' was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also contained other delectable foods. According to Mayan Mythology Hunahpú gave Cacao to the Maya after humans were created from maize by the divine grandmother goddess Ixmucané.
Chocolate has many amazing, life-affirming, qualities that support health and psychological well-being. Scientific research now confirms that chocolate helps to relieve emotional stress. Stress hormones and stress-related biochemical agents were reduced when volunteers, who rated themselves as highly stressed, consumed 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate per day for a period of two weeks.
Cacao also increases the blood flow to the brain, creating more mental agility, awareness and focus. It may also delay dementias like senility and Alzheimer’s, increase skin resistance to UV radiation/ sunburn, slow tooth decay and can remove heavy metals from the body. Cacao in regular use seems to make the blood clots that cause strokes rare and, with the extra blood flow, keep skin smoother in advanced age. With daily Cacao consumption, blood pressure can, over time, be normalised ending the need for medication.
Cacao contains potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium which contribute to cardiovascular health. Chocolate has the ability to trigger the release of dopamine and the endorphin phenylethylamine, both of which soothe the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and depression. Most importantly, it contains Anandamide, the bliss molecule. Anandamide is an endogenous ligand that your body produces when you feel a workout “high.” It is a natural pleasure molecule that fits into the cannabinoid receptor sites of the cells of the nervous system. Anandamide has been associated with improving motivation and increasing pleasure. A study published in July 1998 indicated that anandamide inhibits human breast cancer cells.
Due to its high valeric acid content, Cacao also has stress relieving properties despite the presence of the stimulants theobromine and caffeine. Raw Cacao also contains powerful antioxidants along with a significant amount of chromium, which balances blood sugar levels. Additional benefits are found in neurotransmitter modulating agents that act as natural antidepressants.
I have been taking Cacao daily for over seven years and have only see positive benefits to both my physical health and wellbeing. My skin is firmer and softer, I am more energised, chilled out and less stressed and I feel younger and more in tune with life.
Try Cacao on a daily basis and see how it can change your life!
Love Rebekah Shaman