For many of us, chocolate is a beloved comfort food that we turn to in times of stress or as a reward. However, not all chocolate is created equal, and there’s a healthier and more mindful alternative to processed chocolate that you may want to consider: ceremonial cacao.
Unlike standard chocolate, which is often heavily processed and loaded with added sugars, ceremonial cacao is a pure form of chocolate that has been minimally processed and retains all of its natural health benefits. Ceremonial cacao has a rich cultural history that dates back to the ancient Maya and Aztec civilisations, who believed that cacao was a gift from their Gods and used it in their spiritual and ceremonial practices. In fact, Theobroma cacao, the tree from which the cacao comes, translates to “food of the Gods” in Greek.
Ceremonial cacao offers a wide range of benefits for both our physical and emotional health. It enhances mood, increases energy levels, boosts mental clarity and focus, fosters mindfulness and presence, opens the heart, supports emotional healing, and promotes feelings of connection and community. Many people find that consuming cacao in a ceremonial setting helps them to feel more connected to others and to the natural world, leading to a greater sense of well-being and a deeper appreciation for life.
In terms of nutritional properties, ceremonial cacao contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress. It is important to note that cacao, like all forms of chocolate, contains theobromine, a bitter-tasting alkaloid which can be hard on the body in very high doses so it is therefore best to consume cacao mindfully and in moderation.
At our ceremonies, we use sustainably and ethically sourced cacao to honour the plant and support the farmers and communities who grow the cacao. Switching to ceremonial cacao and consuming it in a conscious and intentional way can bring a whole host of physical and emotional benefits. Once you have experienced this magical elixir, it is difficult to return to unconscious consumption of standard, processed chocolate.