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Food Of the Gods.

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Origins, science, and our love of chocolate.

The Spanish looking for gold found a different kind of currency when they arrived in the Central Americas. The Cocoa pod, these large colorful seeds were taken back to Spain and enjoyed by those that could afford to enjoy its pleasures.


drink this dark mysterious elixir.

The cocoa bean originally comes from the Mesoamerican civilizations, after which the Aztecs and Mayans harvested the tree named Xocatl and christened by the Spanish - Cacahuatl, - Theobroma cacao, Greek for ~ 'Food of the Gods'.

When the Spanish invaded South America they were mainly interested in the shiny gold stuff, however, the Aztecs and Mayans also levied cocoa beans as a tax and a currency to buy goods. Cocoa was also revered and used in high priest ceremonies to connect with the spiritual portals and other realms as well as drunk by the upper class and nobility.


The Mayan people cultivated and harvested cacao beans. They developed a process that is still used today to produce cacao liquor, or cacao paste, fermenting the seeds in containers, then laying them out to dry, and then grounding them down. The liquid was mixed with water and chile peppers as well as other ingredients such as flowers, vanilla, and honey.


The cocoa found in a cocoa bean is not sweet, you will know this if you have ever eaten cocoa nibs, cocoa nibs are the cocoa bean, chopped into small nibs, cocoa nibs are bitter to taste.


Returning home the Spanish added honey and then sugar to what we recognise today as the sweet nighttime drink, hot cocoa/chocolate, this exotic delight became a popular drink in Europe so much so the Dutch, Belgians, French, and British planted forests of cocoa trees in their newly acquired colonies, as they did tea leaves and sugar plantations.


Chocolate, as we know and love, is a combination of fat and sugar. Globally we know and love this recipe made into, our favorite treats, drinks, icecreams, bars, biscuits cakes, and desserts, and comes in all standards and qualities.


Cocoa ceremonies have become popular amongst new-age practitioners and spiritual seekers honing natural highs. Ceremonial cocoa is unsweetened and made into a bitter drink that is shared and passed around a circle, sipped and assimulated cocoas chemical compounds inducing a gentle euphoric ecstatic state to encourage freedom of movement, much like the ancients, the Mayans and Mesoamerican.


Like coffee, cocoa is high in caffeine but also has a chemical compound called Theobromine. The combination of these naturally occurring compounds provides a feeling of mild euphoria, like most mind-altering chemical reactions affecting the brain, Cocoa is used in ceremony to allow for the release of the innate human heaviness of the human heart, therefore providing access to portals of play, thus used by priests and priestesses of past and present.

There are perhaps more health benefits in cocoa than the coffee bean, cocoa contains antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and iron.


Cocoa grows in tropical climates in large fruit pods on a cocoa tree, inside the pod is a white jelly membrane which is a sweet edible fruit. The seeds of the cocoa pod are inside the membrane and are removed, fermented, dried roasted, and ground into cocoa powder.

The Science of Chocolate

You may have heard that chocolate helps you to fall in love. This is sort of true, cocoa consumption stimulants love neurotransmitters called phenylethylamine that gets released in the brain naturally when we fall in love.


Often women desire chocolate around their menstrual cycle, this is perhaps because the cocoa provides a love-inducing calming effect and may subdue hormonal ebbs while providing a sense of joy and more self-loving feelings and outlook on life.


Eating chocolate can temporarily eliminate feelings of sadness by stimulating serotonin and dopamine production, especially for those that do not naturally produce enough of these chemicals in the brain. Eating any form of carbohydrate whether chocolate, sweets, soda, added sugar, bread, or pasta will stimulate a slight rise in the production of these happy and motivational brain chemicals, however, it is important to manage the consumption of sugars as overeating and often causes blood sugar spikes, which can cause disease, ill health, and weight gain and can cause long term unhappiness.

Theobromine a chemical compound found in cocoa operates as a stimulant much like the compounds of coffee by increasing the receptiveness of the blood vessels, widening and providing transport of oxygenated blood around the body and brain resulting in a sense of uplift, energy, and wakefulness.


Note: Theobromine is toxic to animals, hence why dogs should not get their paws and jaws on chocolate.


Cocoa is also considered a beauty and an anti-aging food due to its rich in antioxidants and magnesium compounds.


Dark chocolate 70% plus and milk chocolate are not the same thing. 70% chocolate contains more cocoa and the more cocoa the less sugar.


Milk chocolate - contains very little cocoa and is mostly big-brand processed chocolate, which is full of sugar, fat, and very little cocoa benefits and when eaten in excess causes weight gain.


White chocolate contains cocoa butter, which gives you the melt-in-your-mouth sensation, but no cocoa, therefore does not have any cocoa benefits found in a higher percentage of chocolate.


To conclude cocoa in raw form, cocoa nibs are most beneficial to your health and added to your diet in smoothies, sprinkled on deserts, or even eaten raw. If chocolate is your thing then eating in moderation a 70% plus is best. Many people don't like dark chocolate due to its bitter characteristics and can take an acquired taste, which is convenient if you are looking to eat less.


Get your Chocolate hit and try my delicious recipes for Sugar Free Hot Cocoa

Waiver

Here at Healthie Homie we advocate a balanced diet, moderation is key.



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