#CacaoEveryDay isn’t trending yet, but perhaps it should be. Cacao is a medicinal plant whose uses have varied throughout the millennia. When discovered and domesticated thousands of years ago, Cacao was used as a currency and a sacred beverage reserved for those of a higher caste. When the Amazonian Basin was colonized, Cacao was domesticated and taken across the world and has since been used an indulgent confection – a far cry from the ritual and community connection it once was. Modern western technology has given us a new perspective on this delicious tropical fruit.
Studies have shown that Cacao is a “superfood”, packed with numerous vitamins, minerals, and health optimizing compounds. It is one of mother nature’s most perfect foods. This vitality-boosting delight is what makes cacao “medicinal”. According to Web MD “Cacao… is packed with flavonoids. These nutrients have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and aid in preventing blood clots. The flavonoids in cacao… may help increase insulin sensitivity, reducing your risk of diabetes.” Cacao can also promote healthy digestion, improve menstrual/ hormonal functions, and elevate mood by signaling serotonin production. It contains fiber and magnesium which are both known to relieve digestive discomfort. Too much cacao can have the opposite effect, so be sure to start with smaller quantities and build over time to an amount that feels best for your body.
With all of the known benefits, it’s no wonder Cacao is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. So, how can we make Cacao a dietary staple? Regular cacao consumption begins with a ritual or a routine. Whether you’re replacing your daily coffee or adding it to your morning smoothie, Cacao is versatile enough to integrate into your diet.
Here are a few ways to enjoy cacao regularly:
Try it as an alternative to coffee: Cacao has a small amount of caffeine, but it's chock full of a compound known as Theobromine. Theobromine is a gentle stimulant that affects our muscles, not our central nervous system. This results in milder, longer-lasting energy that is often described as "more pleasing". Swap out your morning coffee for this yummy alternative and notice the difference.
Drink it before a meditation: Cacao contains magnesium, an important nutrient we are sorely deficient in. Magnesium is great for adrenal support and is believed to relax the brain, creating more ease in your daily meditation. Sip a small amount before you sit in stillness. CLICK HERE for a guided meditation inspired by the air element.
Mix it in a smoothie: Cacao is loaded with antioxidants. These healthful compounds support our bodies in fighting the effects of aging and warding off illness. Mix a little in your smoothie, or sprinkle some over your chia seed pudding for a healthy boost. Use a few squares of the Elements Cacao Blends for quick and easy preparation.
Drink with a loved one: Cacao is called a "heart opener" because the special concoction of compounds and nutrients can make us feel happier and more receptive. Therefore, it's connected to Valentine’s Day and all things lovey-dovey. Make enough for two and enjoy with someone you love.