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Cacao

Botanical name:

Theobroma cacao

Theobroma cacao also cacao tree and cocoa tree, (pronounced ka-kow)  are the seeds of an Amazonian fruiting tree and source of all chocolate and cocoa products. The pod contains 20 to 60 seeds, usually called "beans", embedded in a white pulp. The seeds are the main ingredient of chocolate, while the pulp is used in some countries to prepare a refreshing juice.

Chocolate affects the brain by causing the release of certain neurotransmitters which can trigger emotions, one of which is euphoria. Did you know that chocolate and cacao are not the same? True, there is a clear distinction between commercial chocolate which has no health benefits and organic dark chocolate, ideally with no added sugar. Yet if you're a chocolate lover, consider small amounts of raw cacao as a better option.

The Mexican Mayan kings drank up to 30 pure chocolate drinks a day to maintain their vigour and valued the bean so highly that it was used as money. Cacao is derived from Theobroma Cacao beans, which literally means "Food of the Gods". Cacao contains over 300 compounds including: protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium. Magnesium helps to build strong bones and is a muscle relaxant associated with feelings of calmness. Cacao is also high in sulfur, which helps form strong nails and hair.

In addition, cacao also contains the chemicals phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide. PEA is an adrenal-related chemical that we create naturally when we're excited. It also plays a role in feeling focused and alert because it causes your pulse rate to quicken, resulting in a similar feeling to when we are excited or fall in love! A key element found in cacao helps serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate longer in the brain. Monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors), a naturally occurring compound, help keep dopamine and anandamide available to the body.

PEA (Phenylethylamine) is also found in cacao beans. It may help lift depression. It is a member of group of plant-based stimulants called methylxanthines. (Caffeine is the most familiar methylxanthine.)

Is Cacao the best antioxidant on the market?

That all depends on what kind of cacao, where it is grown and how it has been treated. If it is certified as Organic Raw Cacao then it is an excellent source of antioxidants and if it is not then you are consuming a whole lot of chemicals from irradiation and spraying of chemicals which are standard practice in growing cacao beans.

Visit one of our stores to make sure you get the quality you deserve!

http://www.happyherbcompany.com/shop-locator

 

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cacao
http://www.naturalnews.com/022610_cacao_chocolate_raw.html
http://arentwesweet.com/aboutus/choco.html

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