The Healing Powers of Cacao

Sunday, January 29, 2017

If when you think of chocolate you think of Reese's, skin breakouts, and gaining weight, you're probably exposing yourself to the wrong kind. Raw cacao is what you need! It's been considered a medicinal and alchemistic food for thousands of years, and has endless health and beauty benefits.

Health benefits & history: 
Unrefined, unprocessed cacao is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that prevent aging, steady your nerves, boost brain function, and elevate your mood. It has loads of calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and is the highest plant-based source of iron per serving. It shrinks your appetite, due to it's high level of MAO inhibitors. Also, because it's packed with serotonin and endorphins, it mellows out mood swings and restores feelings of bliss and joy.

Chocolate consumption has knowingly dated back 3,500 years to ancient Mesoamerican cultures. Typically, only males, elites, and royals were allowed access to the ingredient. The Florentine Codex (1590 AD), a Spanish medicinal text observing Aztec ritual uses of cacao, stated that chocolate would lessen agitation, improve energy, and have an overall calming effect. The Spanish later brought cacao to Europe where it was experimented with as a solid food and celebrated as a dessert, much like today.

Why you may have thought chocolate is bad:
Many people have the idea that chocolate is a junk food, and in many cases it is! The wrong kind of chocolate is cooked and diluted, paired with cow's milk, processed sugars, and retains hardly any of the original benefits of pure cacao. These kinds of chocolate (think Hershey's, Swiss Miss, etc.) promote acne and weight gain not because of the cacao itself, but because of the highly processed ingredients added to it. Don't expect to reap the benefits of the original raw, unprocessed food from any such products.

How to incorporate cacao into your life:
There are so many ways to use cacao. I have it about twice a day, in one form or another. Because I find it so energizing and awakening, I'll usually make a hot chocolate in the morning out of almond milk, cacao, agave, and maca powder. Throughout the day, I'll eat a square or two of 70%+ organic dark chocolate... I'll sprinkle cacao nibs on my coconut yogurt... I'll add it to smoothies. On it's own, cacao has a bitter taste, kind of like coffee. If you add it on things with a little agave or maple syrup, it's really delicious. 

Energizing Hot Cacao:
This is what I make myself 1-2 times a day. I almost always have it in the morning, as a healthy coffee alternative. The maca powder has a ton of antioxidants and is known to boost endurance and stamina. It's very delicious and has a malty, creamy taste. Now remember, this isn't going to taste like a Starbucks sugar packed hot chocolate - it's more of an immunity "elixir".

1/4 C. coconut or almond milk
1 C. boiling water
2 tsp. maca
2 heaping tsp. raw cacao powder
1 tsp. (or more to taste) agave or maple syrup
shake of cinnamon 
dash of sea salt

Stir dry ingredients into water and milk until smooth & lumps are gone. You can play around with the milk to water ratio, or even just heat up 1 1/4 cups of milk instead of using any water, if you prefer your hot cacao to be creamier. Enjoy!


  1. I love posts like this! And I really love when you get in a writing grove and have a few posts a week! I always look forward to your new posts! I have a few questions:
    1. I am a big fan of your posts that touch on the history of things, explanations of how they work, and such.. how do you learn about these things? especially in terms of health and skin care, rituals, etc. Is it mostly online sources or do you have favorite books to turn to?
    2. Which brand cacao and mama do you use and where do you get it from?
    3. Do you have any tips for photo composition? I adore the photos you include! they look like they should be in magazines!

    Thank you for the lovely post!

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad to hear it. In terms of the history of things - it depends. I know a little myself as I majored in history in college, but that mostly just indicates how much I love researching everything's historical context :) the facts on my site I gather through reading various sites, but sometimes books.
      I buy my cacao and maca on amazon.
      & in regards to photo composition, I mostly just make sure I'm always using natural light and making things look a little undone. Other than that, it always just helps to ad in pretty objects :)

  2. I love this, I'm gonna try and get my hands on some cacao asap!! Quick question: I've been looking forever to find a pair of really good, vintage looking black jeans, do you have any tips on stores/sites where I might find that? Lots of love sent to you and your loved ones xx

    1. Yay! Yes - I got mine from Reformation. They're redone Levi's and I love them :)

  3. I would love to be able to buy cacao but it is so expensive where I live and is not something I can regularly/ever buy! Can you suggest any cheaper alternatives, as I would love to be able to stop eating regular junk chocolate, but definitely won't be able to without a yummy alternative!xx

    1. Have you tried looking on amazon?

      I buy mine for about ten dollars. If you do buy regular chocolate from the market, just make sure to get dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. It's much more beneficial and has a higher concentration of real cacao. xx

  4. Thanks so much, I'll definitely try that!



By Dayna Frazer