Nutrients in Ceremonial Cacao

You might be familiar with cacao powder, but have you ever tried true ceremonial grade cacao?

 

True ceremonial cacao is the cacao after it has been fermented, dried and ground, but before it has been processed and split into its separate components – cacao powder and cacao butter. 

This form of cacao still has its fats in-tact and so will be found in solid form such as a block or in pieces. This type of cacao is also nutritionally in-tact, and still contains all of the beautiful nutrients that really demonstrate how this incredible medicine came to be known as “food of the gods.”

So what does ceremonial cacao have to offer us nutritionally?

 

Firstly, as we mentioned above, ceremonial cacao contains high quality fats that play a vital role in supporting a healthy nervous system. Our nerves are wrapped in a fatty sheath called the myelin sheath, and this fatty layer made from lipids and proteins allows our nerves to conduct efficiently and respond to stimuli effectively. Decreased myelin has been linked to the development of mental illnesses and changes in behaviour, so we love that cacao can support us in this way.

Cacao is an antioxidant powerhouse, containing a variety of polyphenols that can help to reduce oxidative damage, reduce inflammation, support heart health and improve cognitive health. Some of the polyphenols present in ceremonial cacao include quercetin, catechin and epicatechin, as well as flavonoids.

There are also other compounds that contribute to the incredible health-supportive functions of cacao, such as theobromine (an alkaloid), anandamide (a fat-based neurotransmitter), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (allows neurotransmitters to circulate better), phenylethylamine/PEA (neurotransmitter) and more. Together these compounds work to improve positive feelings, feelings of happiness and act as a natural mood enhancer. These chemicals are why people speak of chocolate as a product that boosts your mental state and part of why we may reach for chocolate when we are feeling down.

    

Nutritionally cacao also contains a wide range of B vitamins, magnesium, vitamins A, K and E, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, calcium, selenium and more. These minerals and nutrients are all essential for healthy body function, nervous system function and energy production. 

Ceremonial cacao is a potent medicine and a wonderfully nourishing food that is satiating while also being incredibly low in caffeine. It is a safe and comforting plant to work with in your daily rituals to cultivate mindfulness and connect with spirit however that looks for you, while caring for your body at the same time. 

If you have further questions on ceremonial cacao, feel free to reach out to us via email or Instagram. We are so honoured to stock an incredibly high quality ceremonial cacao that is stoneground here in Australia using Peruvian cacao beans, by a small family in Tasmania. We love that when you buy our cacao you get to support the growers, the Wildcraft Cacao family and our own small family business.

- Hannah 

 

*Please note that no information in this blog post has been evaluated by the FDA or TGA and should not be interpreted as medical advice.