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Ahhh, chocolate. Just the sound of the word alone arouses desire within most of us. It indeed has a powerful essence that is truly indescribable.
Chocolate comes from the cacao bean, a seed of a fruit from an indigenous jungle tree, and is where all of it's health benefits originate from. The processed chocolate that we have become accustomed to does not contain even a fraction of the antioxidants, minerals, and health-promoting benefits found in cacao.
It's Latin name is Theobroma cacao, which means, "Cacao, the food of the gods." The Aztecs often called it yollotl eztli, which menas "heart blood", since it supports a healthy cardiovascular system and increases circulation. It is also a powerful aphrodisiac and full of libido-enhancing minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
Cacao also has an abundance of natural chemical compounds such as phenylethylamines and anandamide, which are known to increase focus, awareness, pleasure, and an overall feeling of vitality. These precious compounds are heat-sensitive, and are therefore destroyed by roasting or cooking the cacao beans.
In fact, most of the powerful health-enhancing properties of cacao are destroyed by today's common commercialized chocolate, which is over-processed and contains harmful additives such as sugar, dairy, and chemicals. But never fear! The extensive health benefits from the cacao bean can still be experienced with the raw, organic cacao found in Hot Rawks.
"Superfoods" by David Wolfe (North Atlantic Books, 2009)
Teresa L. Dillinger, Patricia Barriga, Sylvia Escarcega, Martha Jimenez, Diana Salazar Lowe, Louis E. Grivetti, "Food of the Gods: Cure for Humanity? A Cultural History of the Medicinal and Ritual Use of Chocolate", The Journal of Nutrition. Retrived on November 28, 2010,
Francois-Pierre J. Martin, Serge Ressi, Emma Per-Trepat, Beate Kamlage, Sebastiano Collino, Edgar Leibold, Jurgen Kastler, Dietrich Rein, Laurent B. Fay, Sunil Kochhar, "Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects", Journal of Proteome Research, October 7, 2009, 8 (12), pp 5568-5579
Andrew B Scholey, Stephen J French, Penelope J Morris, David O Kennedy, Athea L Milne, Crystal F Haskell, "Consumption of coca flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort". Journal of Psychopharmacology, October 2010, 24 (10) pp 1505-1514
Nehlig, A., Daval, J., and Debry, G. (1992). "Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic, and pyschostimulant effects". Brain Research Reviews 17 (2): 139–170. doi:10.1016/0165-0173(92)90012-B.PMID 1356551.