Cacao Beans - 250 grams
Cacao Beans: The unique stone-ground chocolate begins in the jungle of Peru, and distinguishes our chocolate.
Product: Cacao Beans
Quantity: 250 g
Brand: Rainforest Herbal Products
Shelf Life: 540 Days
Country of Origin: Peru
What Free: Yes
Gluten Free: Yes
Dairy Free: Yes
Soy Free: Yes
The origins of the cacao seed date as far back as Columbus. Their first encounter with the cacao plant was upon seizing a canoe at Guanaja. The settlers believed the canoe was filled with strange “almonds”. It was eventually discovered that the “almonds” were actually cacao beans, which was used as a source of currency in Mesoamerica. In modern times, science has confirmed the many flattering qualities of the cacao seed and chocolate that support both psychological well-being and physical health. Cacao seeds are most beneficial when they are in their most natural state, raw and organic.
The cacao seed was named Theobroma by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist who published the surname in his book titled Species Plantarum in 1753. The cacao was found to be edible by locals residing deep within the tropical rainforests in Central America. The name Theobroma translates from Latin to English meaning “food of the gods”. Mexicans later named the pounded version of the seed “Chocolate”. The tree in which the seed is grown typically stands 12 to 16 feet high with a trunk that is roughly 5 feet long. The wood of the tree is light in color with a brown bark and bright green leaves. The tree produces odorless, small reddish flowers and smooth yellowy-red pulp filled fruits which houses the cacao seed.
It is easy to distinguish when the seeds are ripe because, when shaken, the seeds rattle within the hollow core of the fruit. Each core contains roughly 25 seeds. The cacao seeds will retain fertility for a short time after being removed from the fruit’s inner core. The cacao tree produces and bears fruits, leaves and flowers all year long but the fruits and seeds are typically only collected in the months of June and December (six months apart from each picking).
Typically, the tree is grown on large estates, shaded by other trees, such as the banana tree, while it continuously develops its pods/fruit throughout the year. Once ripened, the fruits are cut from the trees than the cacao seeds can begin to ferment. Once this process begins the seeds easily detach from the inner core and are dried either by sun or in a steam drying shed.
Cocoa is prepared in various forms. Grinding the beans into a paste between hot rollers and mixing it with sugar and starch is one method of preparation. During this process a portion of the fat is removed. Chocolate is similarly prepared, but the fat is generally preserved. Cacao butter or paste is prepared by extracting the Theobroma oils out of the seeds.
Modern research has attested to chocolate’s ability to assist in the relief of emotional stress. A study conducted with volunteers who personally rated themselves as highly stressed showed a reduction in stress hormones and stress-related biochemical agents after they consumed 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate per day for a two-week period.
Another study resulted in improved cognitive function after the intake of cacao flavanols (CF). In this study, 30 healthy adults in double-blind testing randomly consumed either 520 mg or 994 mg of a CF infused beverages. Both the 520mg group and the 994 mg group experienced a considerable improvement in mental acuity. The lower consumption of 520 mg experienced a reduction in 'mental fatigue. These results are said to be related to the effects of CF on blood flow.
Cacao seeds contain a cosmic variety of complex vitamins and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium. These organic substances are known to contribute to cardiovascular health. The release of dopamine and the endorphin phenylethylamine, are also associated with the consumption of the properties of the cacao bean. Dopamine and phenylethylamine are known to soothe the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and depression. Although some studies show that the presence of theobromine and caffeine, which are found in the cacao seed, can attribute to an elevated sense of hyperactivity, cacao has extreme stress relieving properties.
Astounding author David Wolfe wrote "Naked Chocolate: The Astounding Truth About the World's Greatest Food", where he iterates the significance of cacao and raw chocolate as a superfood. The raw cacao seeds contain many high-quality nutrients such as manganese, vitamin C, omega 6 fatty acids, powerful antioxidants along with a large amount of chromium (helps to balance blood sugar levels good for diabetic patrons). Wolfe believes that raw cacao is an excellent way to enhance health while calming the heart, amplifying sensuality and enriching one's love life.