If you follow me long enough on my Instagram or FB page, you already figured out that KAKAO plays an important and beautiful role in my daily life.
- But why KAKAO?
- What is it so special about it?
- Why do I do ceremonies around a simple ‘hot chocolate’ drink?
Let me introduce you to the world of KAKAO by showing you how this natural drink can be powerful for your physical body; as well as mental, emotional and spiritual life.
I have rediscovered cacao a month and a half ago.
In my childhood, powdered cacao was served in a form of hot chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate pudding or ice-cream. All made of cacao powder, mixed with other natural ingredients and sweeteners such as honey. Hot cacao was also used by my mom as a home remedy for diarrhea and menstrual pains.
What’s the difference between CACAO and COCOA?
Raw cacao is made by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans while cocoa powder is made by roasting the beans at high temps. When processing raw cacao, the enzymes are left in while the cacao butter (fat) is removed (which is also very nutritious and available to purchase and consume). However, when cocoa powder is made by roasting at high levels of heat, the enzymes are ruined and you are left with fewer nutrients in your powder. This is why raw CACAO powder is a whole lot better for you!
So, it’s good to know that although all forms of chocolate and cocoa powders come from the same tree, the process they go through to get there destroys most of the healthy aspects of the plant.
Let’s dive into the benefits of CACAO! The list is loooong!
Cacao is a source of scientifically proven “bliss chemicals” known to influence the body and brain in beneficial ways.
- Serotonin: A neurotransmitter commonly known as the “feel-good” chemical. Cacao not only supplies the body with serotonin but also aids the body in producing its own serotonin naturally. Serotonin is well known for its ability to combat stress and improve the mood by promoting the feelings of comfort, contentment, happiness, relaxation, and well-being.
- Phenylethylamine (PEA): better known as “the love chemical” for its association with the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ excitement when you are falling in love. When ingested, PEA stimulates the central nervous system to release the body’s natural opium-like compounds called endorphins. PEA signals the body to promote the sensation of alertness, focus, and mental acuity, all while elevating the mood, speeding up metabolism, and boosting memory.
- Anandamide: in Sanskrit, Ananda literally means “bliss” making anandamide the “bliss chemical” in chocolate. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter found naturally in cacao and also in the human brain (the only two places it has currently been discovered). Anandamide binds to the same receptors sites in the brain as THC from cannabis. Unlike THC, anandamide won’t leave you in a mind-altered state, but, does produce a feeling of euphoria.
- Theobromine: this chemical acts as a vasodilator, meaning it opens the blood vessels leading to relaxation of the smooth muscles. Benefits of this chemical include enhanced blood flow and oxygenation to the brain in addition to long-term antioxidant properties.
- Magnesium: every cell in the body contains this mineral and requires it to function. Magnesium helps increase energy, calms nerves, aids in digestion, and relieves muscle aches and pains (among a whole host of other benefits).
- Zinc: This is a vital mineral for our immune system, bone health, healing, and for good hormone balance and fertility. The 100g of cacao can provide around 45% of our recommended amount of zinc. It’s without a doubt the best source of zinc for someone who refuses to eat animal products.
- Antioxidants: Raw cacao has 40 times the amount of antioxidants that blueberries have. Cacao is one of the world’s most antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants do wonders for your immune system and help to get rid of any free radicals that you may have hanging out in your body.
- Iron: Raw cacao has 7.3 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. Or in other words, if you take 28 grams of raw cacao, you’ll be getting over 300% the daily value. Raw cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron in the world! Iron is the mineral especially needed for women before, during and after the menstrual flow to counter the depletion of it via the loss of the blood. Iron is necessary to beat anemia. So definitely raw cacao is your friend, girl!!!
- Phytonutrients: They help with cardiovascular health, particularly in keeping your blood healthy. Raw cacao has blood-thinning properties that can help lower blood pressure and chances of clotting. It also encourages blood flow and helps keep your cholesterol levels healthy. Aztecs actually referred to the cacao plant as “heart blood.” They believed that consuming cacao would help you to make decisions with your heart’s intuition rather than with your logical thinking.
- Dietary Fiber: Raw cacao also has a high amount of dietary fiber. Although chocolate has given cacao the reputation of being sweet, raw cacao is actually very low in sugar. Most of its carbohydrates come from the fiber. The fiber in raw cacao can help keep you regular and can contribute to weight loss. However, remember, a little goes a long way with cacao! Taking too much could give you a stomach ache.
I could go on for days listing the health benefits of cacao, but to save you your sanity, I’ll simply conclude it with this EPIC quote:
“After water, cacao is the single healthiest substance you can put in your mouth. It can easily replace a number of psychiatric drugs for mood, plus it produces the same chemistry in the brain that occurs when we fall in love.” – Chris Kilham, WellBella
Why did I choose this unconventional, yet so special drink to have it every day?
The major reason was to substitute coffee with something more beneficial, healthier and enjoyable. Since I truly believe in the Universe, the moment I asked, I surprisingly opened up one of the inspirational woman IG post and there was it, the KAKAO Ceremony. I got attracted to the spiritual aspect of this drink, and the scientific benefits of it blew my mind. This drink is used for ages and was used also by my mom as a home remedy. I was stocked to rediscover it and start drinking it again.
The actual benefits I experienced were amazing. I was very focused, feeling positive and energized. I felt full and nurtured by its thick consistency and super-nutrients. I loved every sip of it.
Two months later, I still drink Kakao and no single cup of coffee. I don’t feel like I need any booster in order to perform mentally and physically.
The KAKAO CEREMONY.
The KAKAO Ceremony was the most beautiful part of it, though. Having the warm cacao for my morning routine, for my meditation and journaling, is very soothing, calming and empowering. It brings a smile on my face every single time. And with that my entire body, heart, and soul smile, too. I talk to it, I invoke the presence of the KAKAO Goddess and Spirit, I give it my worries and fears, and I ask to fulfill my heart with that beautiful soothing love I feel from it.
Does that make me a witch doing a hocus-pocus in my room, connecting to weird shamans from the past and invoking the spirits of Aztecs? Whatever you call it, I’ll continue with my beautiful ceremony because it truly makes me connect with self, with love, and create magic in my day!
How do I drink my KAKAO?
Here is a simple recipe for you I use every day, with slight modifications from time to time:
2 – 4 tbsp of organic cacao powder
1 tsp of organic maca powder
½ tsp of cinnamon
½ tsp of vanilla powder (optional)
1 tbsp of coconut oil
Pour around 10-15 ounces of warm to hot water (not boiling), mix, then blend and ENJOY IT!
Sometimes I add 1 tsp of lucuma powder for more natural nutrients (it is rich in Vit. C and B3). I made it with a pinch of nutmeg, but I personally didn’t like it. Sometimes, I use also ghee butter instead of coconut oil. To sweeten it, I used honey a couple of times. However, I skip honey most of the time because I love the dark chocolate taste of my KAKAO).
I hope you enjoy your KAKAO drink!
I would love to hear from you how does cacao makes you feel, and how did you incorporate it into your day?
Did you create a beautiful ceremony for yourself? I would love to see the picture of it.
Post it in the Authentic Wellbeing secret & sacred group here.
Let’s create a tribe of KAKAO GODDESSES!
By for now, beYOutiful!