Some traditions (including the indigenous cacao keepers) believe that every plant, psychedelic or not, has a spirit. In ancient times, humans lived in harmony with the natural world and saw plants as intelligent, alive beings and healers in their own light. On the simplest level, this is why we use supplements, herbs, superfoods and adaptogens – as a way to reconnect with this primal wisdom that’s becoming more and more readily available.
Cacao beans grow in pods on trees of the Theobroma cacao species in tropical environments, within 15 to 20 degrees latitude from the equator. During harvest, the pods are opened, the seeds are kept, and the empty pods are discarded. The seeds are then fermented, during which the cacao beans lose their purple hue and become mostly brown in colour.
According to fairtrade.org.uk, 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms by about 6 million farmers who earn their living from growing and selling cocoa beans.
Known as the “food of the gods”, cacao is the seed found in the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree, which is native to the Amazon Basin. The bean was first discovered by the Mayans and has remained a staple in many cultures ever since.
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, cacao can be considered a “superfood.
Ever heard of research that proves that chocolate is good for you? It’s talking about either raw, unprocessed cacao or nutrient-rich dark chocolate.
Organic, raw cacao is a superfood containing a variety of unique phytonutrients such as sulfur, magnesium and phenylethylamine. It’s a great source of monounsaturated fat, cholesterol-free saturated fat, vitamins, minerals, fibre, natural carbohydrates and protein.
People have reported that drinking cacao at least 3 times a week helps them manage ADD, ADHD, and one person even reported that it helped them lower their anti-depressant medication.
Plant-based iron: 7.3mg per 100g.
Antioxidants: up to 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries.
Magnesium: a nutrient that’s important for hundreds of processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It can also sharpen your brain while relaxing your body.
Calcium: more than in cow’s milk.
Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Roasting and processing raw cacao changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, reducing the enzyme content (bye bye antioxidants and flavanols) and lowering the overall nutritional value by up to 90%.
Regular cocoa is what’s usually used in chocolate you can buy at grocery stores and pharmacies. There’s a lot of confusion around cacao and cocoa. “Cocoa” sometimes refers to the powder used to make hot chocolate that contains added sugar, fat and processed powdered milk. If you want a more nutritious, clean choice – Nutrient Nirvana's raw cacao powder is the way to go!