How Much Caffeine Is In Raw Cacao?
Cacao Makes Chocolate So How Can It Be Healthy?
Well, let me start off with this statement: Cacao (pronounced ca-cow) is known as the super food of all super foods. More on that below.
Yes, raw cacao contains caffeine. More about that in a bit, as well.
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Cacao refers to the theobroma cacao tree from which cocoa is derived, and refers to unprocessed versions of the cacao bean.
What Is the Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa?
Cocoa. Cacao. What????
Well, the explanation for cacao is above. Cocoa is what the beans are called after being cleaned, roasted, and processed. Unfortunately after this process cocoa’s nutritive value decreases somewhat.
Centuries ago cacao beans were so revered that they were used as a form of currency. Jump forward to the present time and they are still extremely popular in our chocolate loving world.
Cacao’s Amazing Health Benefits
Cacao is a huge source of magnesium (the highest in the world), and full of antioxidants, calcium, zinc, copper, and selenium.
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Cacao is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E. Amazingly it contains more antioxidants than blueberries, goji berries, red wine, raisins, prunes, and pomegranates. And dark chocolate or cacao helps your body to generate stem cells to rebuild your organs and circulation. It triggers three neurotransmitters that elevate mood and mental well being.
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Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man and contains more calcium than cow’s milk. Not for nothing is it said that if you respect cacao it will bestow much pleasure upon you.
Is There Caffeine in Raw Cacao?
There is caffeine in raw cacao. How much?
The caffeine that raw cacao contains is nowhere near as much as that contained in coffee. So don’t rely on it as a significant pick-me-up in the morning, unless you eat quite a bunch of it.
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The History of Cacao
One of the main producers of cacao/chocolate in the world is Belize. This tiny country was the heart of ancient Mayan civilization and the Mayans discovered cacao. It was then a sacred seed reserved for nobility and soldiers. At that time it was consumed in the form of a hot beverage at formal celebrations and ceremonies.
There are several cacao farms and craft chocolatiers in Belize and they have been passed down in their families for generations. The heavy basalt stone tools they use for grinding the cacao beans are passed down the line for many generations, sometimes thousands of years.
The Making of Dark Chocolate
The bean-to-bar process is nowadays made with precise machinery for roasting, cracking, separating husk from bean, grinding, smoothing and mellowing flavor, and pre-crystallising the cocoa butter.
A basic dark chocolate bar has only two ingredients, these being cacao and brown sugar. Ginger, cinnamon, chilies, cardamom, orange, and coffee can be added for flavor, but the favored way in Belize is drinking bitter unadulterated chocolate often spiced with cinnamon, eating pulp covered cacao beans right out of the pod, or grinding the beans by hand to make chocolate bonbons.
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Modern palates do not appreciate the 100% pure dark chocolate, so the chocolatiers add sugar, but never more than enough to keep the chocolate content at 80%. This is healthy chocolate.
Nowadays most cocoa powder and chocolate have been chemically processed and roasted, which destroys the health benefits. Non-organic cocoa and chocolate have also been
treated with toxic pesticides and may contain GMO’s. Just as in most healthy foods that have been “improved” this way, the only remaining beneficial chocolate is pure and made with none of these additives. Be sure to read labels carefully and buy organic when possible.
Brighteon Store/ Health Ranger Organic Cacao Nibs
- USDA Organic
- Certified Vegan
Delicious raw organic cacao can be used in hot chocolate, cold chocolate milk, added to smoothies, added to baked goods, or just consumed from a delicious bar broken into squares. Cacao can be purchased in health food stores and some grocery stores as a powder or as nibs (the above source is highly recommended for these and most other healthy things you can think of).
Raw organic cacao has huge health benefits, so no more guilt when you crave a chocolate fix.
Just dive in and savor every bite!
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