A chocolate revolution is gaining speed. Cacao pods and raw blocks are finding their way to our shores, changing the way we consume this superfood. We have many options to choose from all with their own benefits; raw, sun dried, fire roasted, ceremonial, regional, drinking, powdered, nibs, butter. We see cacao in nootropic health supplements and even in our very own Juicery where if added to your smoothie can boost your immune system and sharpen focus.
There are many benefits to cacao for the body,
These are just a few of many!
Rich in antioxidants
This prevents the oxidations of your cells, giving strength to your immune system and keeping you looking young.
High in magnesium
This promotes communication between your nerves thus allowing your muscles to naturally relax. Magnesium helps your blood coagulation so that your heart can make light work of pumping, when blood becomes too thick the heart might beat at the same rate but pump much harder, making this superfood a powerful heart ally.
When you eat cacao your blood vessels dilate creating more blood flow throughout the body and especially to the brain. This can cause your cheeks to becomes rosey and your awareness and presence to increase.
Contains energizing theobromine
Theobroma translates into english as “food of the gods.” Truly this superfood will change your consciousness. Theobromine affects your serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain. These are known as the feel good chemicals and due to an uptake in them we feel euphoria and elation.
A heart opening food and aphrodisiac
What gift do you give your lover on valentines? What do you eat when you go through a break up? There is no other food more closely associated with the heart and love than cacao. It’s natural vibration and spirit has always been recognized by our collective subconscious.
If we go deeper with cacao we see that there are many different varieties in the same way as wine and beer. A chocolatier is someone who travels to different farms and samples them to decide which to include in their newest product. They might choose a bean because it has fruity or nutty characteristics, they might also choose a variety because it’s a reliable species allowing them a steady supply. The latter is what most corporations use to increase their profits and is known as Forastero. The former is Trinitaro, a hybrid species that produces a myriad of qualities.
The variety containing the highest content of theobromine is known as, Crillo, and is what we use in ceremony. Less than 10% of chocolate contains this variety of cacao. This is a wild growing tree that is highly susceptible to winds and must be cared for in a good way by a skilled farmer. When we go into ceremony we recognize that this plant has a spirit and when we consume this heart opening drink, we are inviting that spirit to join us. If we are quiet enough and honor this medicine we can hear what Yollotl Eztli has to share. She is a gentle guide that helps to explore our inner world. In Aztec times cacao was often used in ceremony to open gateways, to feed their fires, and in trading. Thousand year old vessels have been found in New Mexico with cacao residue. Even in ancient times, cacao was seen as valuable and sacred.
If you’re looking to deepen your connection with this plant medicine, yourself and others, then you can join the Aquarian Bear Cacao Tribe at a ceremony. There’s no set members, everyone’s in and we all weave the tapestry of life together while drinking wicked good chocolate! The next event is at Arcana Yoga in Portland, Maine on May 12th from 4pm-8pm. That’s just a few blocks from our Maine Squeeze location! If your new to ceremonial cacao, click the link to find out more!
Here is one of my favorite cacao recipes for a quick, protein filled snack or dessert that will give you energy and focus.
3 spoons of almond butter
3 spoons of coconut oil
½ cup chia seeds
½ cup organic oats
1 cup raw cacao
Drizzle of maple syrup