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Is Organic Cacao for me?

You may have seen raw cacao on the shelves and heard of its amazing benefits. Surely, they’re just overhyped, right? Well, not really. Cacao has been one of the most coveted foods in South America that it’s named “food of the gods” or “Theobroma. It is considered a sacred medicine by the ancient civilizations and shamans would perform cacao ceremonies to ward off negative thoughts and emotions. 

Cacao is considered a superfood, considering its massive health benefits. Before we delve deeper into if organic cacao is for you, let us define raw cacao first.

 

What is Cacao?

Ceremonial cacao is different from cocoa-derived chocolate. Tribal Moon Ceremonial Grade Cacao comes from cacao bean that is cold-pressed and unroasted. This process retains the living enzymes and nutritional value of cacao beans compared to store-bought chocolate bars. While chocolate is derived from the cacao plant, it is processed at very high temperatures to achieve its smooth and sweet taste. It is less bitter and loses its nutrient profile during the processing. Using ceremonial grade cacao is a much healthier alternative for recipes needing cocoa powder since it retains more of cacao’s nutrient profile. 🍫

Some of us have only experienced the sweetness of cacao through a sugary piece of chocolate. Thus, we miss out on the brain-boosting and disease-fighting benefits of chocolate in its purest form, ceremonial grade cacao. 

How Cacao Beans Are Processed

 The right processing of cacao beans is complex and time-consuming. The first step is harvesting. Cacao pods grow from the trunk when the trees are three to four years old. Inside every pod contains as much as 40 cacao beans coated in a white pulp. Once the beans are harvested, the pods are split open. The beans are scooped and left to ferment with the pulp for almost a week. From here, the resulting fermentation will build a more full-bodied flavour. The beans are then sundried or dried using the equipment after the fermentation is processed. For chocolates, dried beans are roasted to add sweetness and develop the chocolate taste. Processors apply high temperatures to the cacao beans for the smooth and sweet taste of the cocoa powder. It is less bitter than cacao although it loses some of its nutritional profile during the process.  

Meanwhile, the Tribal Moon Ceremonial Grade cacao is processed at low temperatures and then grounded. The percentage of cocoa, cacao, or dark chocolate found on a candy bar indicates how much combined cocoa powder and cacao butter are present.  

As normal cocoa powder and chocolate have been roasted and processed at very high temperatures, a large amount of the antioxidants and flavanols are destroyed. Antioxidants are essential in fighting the free radicals in the body and prevent or minimise the damage caused by oxidation. It also helps reduce the risk of many diseases such as cancer. Antioxidants support healthy aging and help fight oxidative stress. A recent study shows that Dutch Processing can make the cacao bean lose as much as 90% of the original antioxidants in cacao. Dutch processing reduces the bitterness, adds sweetness, and darkens the colour of the chocolate.

 Ceremonial Grade Cacao vs Coffee

Consequently, if you are someone who enjoys the buzz of a coffee but can be overwhelmed by the effects of caffeine, ceremonial grade cacao is for you. At some point, the effects of coffee come down where we feel tired and sleepy. The moment caffeine hits the bloodstream, it touches the receptors in the brain that produces the compound adenosine. Caffeine looks like adenosine to a nerve cell as it binds to the adenosine receptor. Instead of slowing down the cell’s activity, caffeine does the opposite and speeds things up. The pituitary gland thinks that caffeine activity is an emergency so it releases the fight or flight hormone called adrenaline. As a result, your pupils dilate and your heart palpitates. Blood pressure also increases and blood flow to the stomach slows down.

Fortunately, you can counter the effect of caffeine by combining coffee and ceremonial grade cacao. The less potent version of raw cacao when combined with caffeine reduces caffeine-related anxiety. Coffee and raw cacao work harmoniously to stabilize the effects of each other, giving you a great and manageable perk throughout the day. 😊

 Is organic cacao for me?

Ceremonial Grade Cacao is essentially chocolate in its purest form as it is unprocessed. Its nutritional value is kept after cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. As a superfood, cacao is nutrient-dense and boosts brain and heart health. Specifically, here’s how ceremonial grade cacao can do wonders to your health:

Prevents Disease

Tribal Moon Cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants compared to blueberries with an ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g compared to 2,400 blueberries. The ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity measures the antioxidant capacity to absorb free radicals, which cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to chronic diseases. The antioxidant properties of ceremonial grade cacao can also help the ability to help manage cardiovascular disease. 💪

Fights stress and fatigue

We become fatigued from time to time. It usually takes a great rest to rejuvenate. However, persistent fatigue or feeling of weakness may be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. If you are feeling especially exhausted after waking up in the morning, your magnesium levels may be low. Fortunately, ceremonial grade cacao is a delicious source of magnesium that will improve your energy levels. 

Improves Mood

Tribal Moon Cacao is a great source of serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylethylamine, which are linked to a cosy feeling of happiness and wellbeing. These hormones also relieve depression as it improves the serotonin levels in the brain. Ceremonial grade cacao has anandamide that binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain producing a sense of comfort and happiness. Next time you are feeling a little down, count on ceremonial grade cacao to pick you up. The amino acid tryptophan found in ceremonial grade cacao helps boost feelings of relaxation while improving your mood and sleep. The body converts L-tryptophan to serotonin, the happy hormone. 

Boosts Immune System

Ceremonial Grade Cacao is among the highest plant-based source of iron. The body needs iron to make haemoglobin, which is needed for oxygen circulation around the body. When you have iron deficiency, you may experience an upset stomach, weakness, tiredness, fatigue, and problems with focus and memory. Low levels of iron can also affect your immune system negatively. Drinking iron-rich food sources such as Tribal Moon Cacao boost your immune system, fights infections and helps with brain development.

May Improve Brain Health

Flavanols found in ceremonial grade cacao help produce neurons and important molecules for brain function. They can relax the blood vessels muscles, improving the blood flow to the brain. Studies suggest that cacao plays an important role in improving mental capacities for people with mental challenges. 

How to enjoy the benefits of Tribal Moon Cacao

Ceremonial grade cacao can be used the same way as you use cocoa powder. You can replace cocoa powder for the same amount of Tribal Moon Cacao for recipes that need cocoa powder. However, the flavour may not be as sweet. More so, cacao powder absorbs more liquid compared to cocoa powder. Here are a few ways you can enjoy the benefits of Tribal Moon Cacao: 

  • Brew hot or cold chocolate milk into a mug 

For hot chocolate milk, add a tablespoon of Tribal Moon, add a teaspoon of sweeteners such as agave syrup, coconut nectar, or coco sugar, and pour warmed plant-based milk. On the other hand, if you are in the mood for cold choccie milk, add a tablespoon of hot water to the raw cacao powder and sweetener to dissolve, and then add a cup of cold milk and a couple of ice cubes.

  • Whip a Smoothie

Add a tablespoon of Tribal Moon Cacao powder to your regular smoothie for a healthier drink. 

Check our recipe page for delicious Tribal Moon Cacao recipe ideas. 

The Bottomline

Ceremonial Grade Cacao offers a range of health benefits compared to its sweeter counterpart, cocoa powder. Enjoy the health benefits while drinking a hot choccie or your favourite smoothie. 

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