Everything you ever wanted know about ceremonial cacao: Why is cacao an excellent superfood?
Article at a glance:
- Cacao is a superfood because it’s packed with nutrients that support the body and mind.
- This article breaks down the nutrients provided by cacao, as well as the benefits provided from three parts of a human being. These are physical body, mental health and spiritual connectivity, or spiritual awareness.
- In terms of physical benefits, Cacao has antioxidants that protect & heal the body, minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium that help with muscle regulation. It also helps with disease prevention and energy creation.
- In terms of mental health benefits, cacao improves cognitive performance and makes you think more positively. Cacao has mood-enhancing chemicals that produce dopamine and feelings of euphoria in people that consume it
- Spiritually, drinking or eating cacao brings you to a state of higher consciousness, and balances a person’s masculine and feminine energies. It also opens your heart, literally widening your blood vessels to improve the flow of blood in your body.
Table of Contents:
- Cacao, the world’s greatest superfood
- Physical body nutrients & benefits
- Mental health nutrients & benefits
- Spiritual connectivity nutrients & benefits
Cacao, the world’s greatest superfood.
When we think of fruits, we may think of the most common, like blueberries, oranges, bananas, apples, among others. We all identify fruits as healthy and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. While most people are aware of the health benefits of consuming chocolate (and it’s delicious taste), raw cacao is typically overlooked in terms of providing nutrients that are essential to a healthy lifestyle. But did you know that chocolate is actually created from the seeds of a fruit? Yes, cacao beans are actually the seeds of the fruit of a cacao tree.
We’ve commodified cacao, or its processed form of chocolate, to the point that when we hear that ingredient we immediately think of chocolate products. Unlike chocolate, raw cacao has not been processed or heated, and as a result it has preserved all of its health benefits in its natural form! Cacao is recognized as one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, which makes it an excellent superfood.
It would be best to first describe what a superfood is before we dive into the details. A superfood is a food item that provides a substantial amount of nutrients and very few calories. They contain a high volume of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals.  Humans have used cacao for thousands of years, most notably groups like the Aztecs and Mayans. In modern times, the fruit’s value has been reduced due to its commodification into chocolate products to mass markets, rather than raw cacao. Cacao is a plant medicine that provides a range of nutritional health benefits, in addition to a special ingredient called theobromine, which literally means the “food of the gods”!
Our nature as human beings, or the "self", can be divided into material, our bodies, and immaterial, our spirit and soul. When prepared ceremoniously and consumed with intention, cacao transcends the human body and soul, allowing the person that consumes it to reach a higher level of consciousness. This article breaks down why cacao is considered a superfood and how it affects three primary components of the self: mind, body and spirit.
Physical Body Benefits
Antioxidants protect & heal the body
There are a number of bodily health benefits that cacao provides. Cacao contains flavonoids, including catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins predominate in antioxidant activity.  These antioxidants are especially beneficial in terms of their anti-inflammatory properties that prevent a wide range of bodily problems, regulating cellular activity and protecting the body against toxins. The antioxidants in cacao help to reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create energy for people that consume it regularly.
Cacao is also a good source of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium. Magnesium is a vital mineral the body requires to relax our muscles and regulate blood sugar levels, blood pressure etc. Pure cacao may contain as much as 500mg of magnesium per 100g*, which is more than 130% of our recommended daily intake . Potassium is also vital in terms of regulating muscle function and nerve signals in the body.
Studies suggest that polyphenols can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases particularly those stemming from oxidative stress, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease . Cacao contains a high concentration of catechins and procyanidins, bioactive compounds with distinct properties Cancer prevention.
Cacao is high in energy producing minerals. For example, magnesium and iron play a vital role in converting food into energy and preventing fatigue.  Such minerals reduce muscle weakness and are especially beneficial for people that are physically active, elderly people, and/or people with disabilities.
Mental Health Benefits
Cacao’s effect on the brain: Improved cognitive function
Research shows that cacao is beneficial for sustaining cognitive performance. These benefits include an improvement in memory storage, thinking and the speed at which we are able to process information.
Mood disorders are a key contributor to human suffering, as simple misunderstandings and negative emotional responses can potentially tear apart families and destroy relationships.  Cacao contains compounds that are considered anti-depressants such as, serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine, and PEA (or phenylethylamine). These compounds trigger the release of endorphins, dopamine and mood-enhancing neurochemicals in the brain that essentially elevates our mood and helps us to think more positively.
Stress and anxiety reduction
Stress is a physiological issue that can negatively impact our cardiovascular system if not treated properly.  Consumption of cocoa and chocolate products is widely known to reduce stress and anxiety. Raw cacao is even more powerful in terms of alleviating stress and preventing neurological disorders such as depression, due to the conversion of tryptophan from cocoa into serotonin. 
Opening your heart chakra
Cacao ceremonies have been practiced by indigenous cultures of South America for thousands of years, and are now taught by shamans as a method of healing in modern society.  For those that aren’t too familiar with the concept of spirituality, this can be explained from a scientific perspective. The cacao ingredient theobromine widens our blood vessels and stimulates the heart. The plant medicine works to open our heart chakra, bringing us to a feeling of love, tranquility and oneness. Our true purpose is to love ourselves and to love others more abundantly. Cacao helps us to
Higher collective consciousness
Consuming ceremonial cacao is considered a sacred ritual that allows one to connect to their higher self, tap into higher levels of consciousness and understand how they are feeling, as well as connect to others around them. All humans inwardly are very similar. While our physical appearance may be different, and this may fool some people into believing that they are totally different from others, we all feel the same emotions and have the ability to tap into a higher consciousness that reveals we are all one.
Tapping into your inner wisdom
Ceremonial cacao helps people to find their true, innermost selves, tapping into the wisdom stored within us all . It allows people to release negative energy, connect to the higher version of themselves and break free of the “matrix” so to speak. The consumer starts to think differently and tends to question everything that they perceive, or limiting beliefs that may have held for years! It helps us to let go of past traumas, realize that we are powerful beings with many of the answers to life and our calling already stored within our being.
Balance of masculine and feminine energies
All humans, regardless of gender, possess masculine and feminine energy. We all have a father and a mother who has given birth to us, grandparents and family members of different genders. Their genes are passed down and inherently within us. Whether you’re a male or female, you have traits of both genders that are within you. Cacao helps people to embrace both energetic sides of their being, creating a balance that allows us to understand who we are.
Call to Action
Cacao is indeed an excellent superfood that provides a wide range of health benefits. Such benefits positively affect humans in terms of our physical, mental and spiritual well being. Cacao is jam packed with vitamins and minerals that support the immune system, helps to strengthen bones and repair muscle tissues. Not only that, but cacao has a natural stimulant called theobromine, that is similar to caffeine in terms of its energizing effect. Consuming this food enhances your mood, improves cognitive ability and has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Spiritually, cacao helps one to connect to their true selves and balance their masculine and feminine energies as well, the Aztecs and Mayans of ancient history can attest to this. A cup of ceremonial cacao in the morning can actually serve as a much healthier replacement to coffee, which is astounding to say the least.
Call to Action
Cacao is a plant medicine that serves the body, mind and soul, transcending us to a higher consciousness, revealing a truly healthier, and more spiritual version of ourselves. If this article resonated with you in anyway, be sure to start your spiritual journey with cacao as well. Feel free to share this article with a friend and follow our social media pages to join our community and always remain in contact.
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Each reference used has a bolded number at the end of the sentence.
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- Araujo, Quintino & Gattward, James & Almoosawi, Suzana & Silva, Maria & Dantas, Paulo & Júnior, Quintino. (2013). Cacao and Human Health: from Head to Foot — A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 56. 10.1080/10408398.2012.657921.
- Smith, Donald. (2013). Benefits of flavanol-rich cocoa-derived products for mental well-being: A review. Journal of Functional Foods. 5. 10–15. 10.1016/j.jff.2012.09.002.
- Malzer, Clara. The Conscious Club. Marketing The Conscious. “The Sacred Power of Cacao: How An Ancient Plant-Medicine Can Open Our Hearts,” November 12, 2019. https://theconsciousclub.com/articles/2019/10/9/the-sacred-power-of-cacao-how-an-ancient-plant-medicine-can-open-our-hearts.
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