The Food of The Gods: The Mother Bean

What if there was a bean from a tree that could make your brain work better, blood flow better, clean your teeth, and give you a better defense against Alzheimer’s and a stroke?

AJAW Chocolate-San Ignacio, Belize                      Thumbnail Image https://belize-travel-blog.chaacreek.com/2012/02/a-belize-valentine-chaa-creek-chocolates-and-cupid/ 

Who likes Chocolate?

You cover strawberries and pretzels in it, buy them in the heart shaped box on Valentine’s Day, and pick it up in line at the last minute when you know you don’t need it. 

When I was little I would always ask my mom for a bite of her chocolate and she would laugh and say sure only a little piece, because the instant we tasted how dark it was we would spit it right out and waste her good dark chocolate.

I never knew that dark chocolate was better for you, I just knew that it tasted like crap. But now that my taste buds have matured, I tried real 100% cacao paste, and I knew I was missing out before. No more 59% or 73%, once you go all the way dark…you never go back…or something like that. 

What was I eating before, how did this taste so far from what I ate from the store? Take a look at the back of that chocolate bar and see what you are really eating.

Sugar, Soy Lecithin, Cocoa Powder(Processed Cacao), Natural Flavors (Probably not natural), and as you get into the Reese’s and such…BHT/BHA, Sodium Benzoate, TBHQ, and more.

We have gone far away from where this bean is meant to be, it has been processed and raped by the candy industry with preservatives, soy, and GMO sugars.

But there is a deeper story, that takes us back to the time when Cacao beans were consumed regularly to boost daily performance both mentally and physically.

The True Story about Chocolate

While in Belize I learned about how the Kings of the Mayan Empire would have the guards confiscate the cacao of visitors as a tax upon entry, stockpile like gold, and reserve for the royal family’s consumption. That led me to dig in a little more and wondered why they wanted it so much. I then did some research and went to AJAW chocolate on the hill in San Ignacio. I then understood it all.

Chocolate comes from the bean of the Theobroma cacao tree, coming from the Greek word: Theobroma which means, “Food of the Gods”. The super antioxidant bean is packed with Magnesium, contains many beneficial compounds such as Theobromine, Flavanols, Caffeine, and Anandamide, and in extracted form is proven to be an anti-depressant in rats.

Each of these alone justifies the Mayan interest, but with today’s research we now know that the combination of healing chemicals found in clean chocolate makes it one of the best superfoods in the world.

Theobromine:

·      Can produce a Psycho-Stimulant Effect -> it may give you a bit of a buzz

·      When combined with Caffeine can induce methylxanthine benefits but reduce caffeine side effects

·      The reason chocolate is toxic for dogs

·      Used for Oral Health

Caffeine:

·      Stimulant of Central Nervous System, directly increasing activity in the brain and spinal cord

Flavanols:

·      Benefits on Vascular System, Cerebral Blood Flow, Free Radical Elimination, Neuron Survival, and Brain Synapsis

·      Improved Cognition in Humans and Animals,

·      Preserving cognitive abilities in rats and lowering risk of Alzheimer’s and Stroke

Anandamide:

·      Cannabinoid similar to THC in Cannabis

·      Inhibits the Proliferation of Breast Cancer Cells

The proof is in the pudding, cacao pudding that is. 

This stuff is good for you, makes you feel better, and tastes great!

So what? How do you acquire and begin to use it?

The preferred means of consumption is raw, there are a few different processing methods used:

  • Whole Bean: Simply cracked out of the pod, the most natural way to eat it. I prefer these as a snack with Raisins and nuts like a trail mix.
  • Nibs: Beans broken into smaller pieces, great for topping deserts or certain salads.
  • Powder: Beans ground into powder, best for smoothies and baking
  • Paste: 100% Raw Dark Chocolate, no fillers or sugar

Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie: Recipe Coming soon

Try a teaspoon in your coffee!

Add a tablespoon to your oatmeal!

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