Food of the Gods
Revered by the ancient Mayans as 'Food of the Gods' cacao has been considered sacred for thousands of years. Traditionally used in ceremony as a spirit bridge connecting to other realms, in today's modern culture we include organic ceremonial cacao in our daily practice to improve health, elevate mood, enhance cognitive function and deepen our connection to nature.
What is the difference between cacao and cocoa?
Cacao grows from the Theobroma Cacao tree, the source of all chocolate products. How it is processed determines whether it remains cacao (pronounced ca-cow) or manufactured into cocoa (pronounced co-co).
In its raw, fermented form, cacao preserves all of its vitamins, minerals and nutrients making it one of nature's superfoods. Heat-treating cacao over 48°C, which is how chocolate is made, changes the molecular structure of nutrients and they lose their vitality. This process turns it from a nutrient dense superfood into the confectionary item we see on the supermarket shelves today.
Not the same as caffeine
Whilst theobromine is classified as a stimulant, unlike caffeine it doesn’t activate the central nervous system. The two alkaloids share a very similar molecular structure, but the extra methyl group in caffeine causes over-stimulation, whereas theobromine doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier.
The answer to which is healthier between cacao and cocoa is much the same as it is for most foods. The one which has been exposed to fewer processes that alter it from its natural state, the better!
How to use cacao and cocoa is very similar. You can easily replace conventional cocoa powder with organic cacao powder in every recipe. In fact whilst cocoa contains refined sugar, there are no common risks associated with using cacao on a daily basis as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.