The Importance of Ceremonial Chocolate

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What exactly is “Ceremonial Chocolate?”

We as women tend to always crave chocolate. The media encourages it, we crave it, especially during certain times of our monthly cycle, society tells us to eat as much as we can, and doctors and medical journals tell us it can actually be good for us.

But what is “ceremonial chocolate” and why is it different than any other chocolate that we consume? First, raw cacao is a great source of polyphenols. These are antioxidants that are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, wine, etc. They help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and help maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Unfortunately, processed cocoa available in most stores and online are stripped of their natural superfood benefits. The cacao is heated to a high temperature and alkaline is often added to cut the bitterness. This can often take out as much as 60% of the antioxidant benefits! 

On the other hand, ceremonial chocolate is cacao in its fermented form, free of processed junk and back to how this glorious fruit is intended to be consumed. It adheres to earth’s natural cycles in growth and harvest.

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

What are the benefits of ceremonial chocolate?

We have heard that superfoods are all much better for us than our everyday processed foods. What makes this particular type of chocolate different from other dark chocolates you can find anywhere?

First, we have to take a look at WHY this particular chocolate is better. Firefly Chocolate works with small, local farms that give back to the land as they harvest the cocoa pods and each farm plants, prunes, and harvests the beans with the earth’s natural cycles of harvest and growth. Meaning, the trees are treated with respect as a wonderful, natural, beneficial resource. The pods are then collected while wet, then fermented and dried (most chocolate on the market is only washed of the white fruit and then dried, resulting in a less beneficial chocolate).

Because the cacao is fermented and roasted over an open fire, most of its natural antioxidants are retained. What makes it so special?

  1. Cacao in its truest form has the most flavanols out of ALL other superfoods (including blueberries, cranberries, and acai).

Yes, you read that right. Organic cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. It has an ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score of 98,000 per 100g vs blueberries at a mere 2,400. ORAC is used as a measurement of the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals (these come from pollution and toxins in our environment) that cause cell and tissue damage and eventually lead to diseases such as cancer. Foods rich in flavanols have been scientifically shown to protect against or even shrink cancer cells.

  1. Organic cacao can help reduce the symptoms of a cough or cold.

Cacao contains theobromine, which helps with a myriad of things, including helping open up the airways. It can help with asthma, colds, and other lung conditions that are caused by inflammation of the airways. Theobromine helps reduce that inflammation.

  1. Cacao has a lot of calcium!

There is so much controversy over cow’s milk these days, but the media tells us that we NEED cow’s milk because we need the calcium it contains. Did you know that organic cacao has more calcium than your glass of milk? Try switching out your trim latte or daily glass of milk for a few squares of dairy-free raw organic chocolate instead.

  1. Cacao is naturally full of magnesium for a healthy heart and brain.

Organic, fermented chocolate is also one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium. Magnesium is one of the most deficient minerals in the western hemisphere. It helps turn glucose into energy and enables your brain to work with sharper focus and clarity, improve verbal fluency, and ward off certain diseases. It has also been shown to lower the amount of calcified plaque in arteries and lower the risk of heart disease. If you notice a craving for a chocolate bar when you are tired, or can’t focus, or are having a long day, it could be that your body is signaling that you need some magnesium. The body generally craves what the body needs.

5. Cacao is a great source of iron, copper, and manganese.

If you follow a plant-based or vegan diet, iron can be hard to come by. Did you know that cacao is the highest plant-based sources of iron known? It has somewhere around 60-70% of your daily required amount. The iron in cacao is non-heme (just like all other plant-based sources), so it needs to be mixed with vitamin C in order to get the maximum benefits. Oranges, kiwi, bananas, or superfruits such as acai and pomegranate. Try mixing your cacao in a fruit-based smoothie to achieve maximum absorption of all important vitamins and minerals in a healthy, natural way.

6. Organic cacao is a natural mood elevator, aphrodisiac, and antidepressant.

Cacao is a great source of four scientifically-proven “bliss” chemicals — serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylethylamine. These are associated with our feelings of happiness, comfort, and wellbeing. Much of the western hemisphere turns to pharmaceutical drugs in order to ward of the feelings of depression and anxiety. Try eating or drinking raw, organic chocolate to alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety and a more natural way of “getting your happy buzz” (in a legal way of course).

We here at Sacred Sisterhood Tribe use Firefly chocolate because of their care of earth and all of the natural properties. Try using ceremonial chocolate for 60 days and see how you feel afterward. We know you will not be disappointed!

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