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    Wild Blog — cocoa

    Cocoa Powder: 4 Bizarre Reasons This Was Considered Sacred

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    Cocoa powder has long been one of the most revered plant products. Aside from its rich beverage use, it also has a rich history, myths, and value.

    From its consideration as the sweat of the stars, divine nectar, to drinks of the gods, there are several reasons cocoa powder was considered sacred.

    The significant reasons cocoa powder was considered sacred include:

    • The cocoa plant is central to the culture of the Mayans.
    • The cocoa seed was so valuable that it served as currency among the ancient Aztec and Mayan populations.
    • Numerous productions from cocoa topped off several creations for the central Mayan god, known as the god of the heat.
    • In the Mayan creation methodology, cocoa was part of human creation.

    Cocoa was considered a sacred plant among the Olmec, Aztec, and Mayan populations for thousands of years. The beans of the criollo variety were so valuable that they were used as currency.

    The beverage itself was usually prepared alongside other ingredients and served to royal guests at special ceremonies.

    The word 'cacao' was created from the Mayan words "Ka'kau," which means the Mother Cacao Tree.

    Likewise, the word "chocolate" originated from "chocol'ha,” which means the drink, and the verb "chokola'j,” "to drink chocolate together."

    The Aztec name "Kakahuatl" became "cacaoatl" in Spanish, and finally "cacao," the word used today in most languages.

    The cocoa plant was an integral part of ancient Aztec and Mayan life.

    Aside from being one of the most valuable beverages, cocoa was also vital to their religion and economies. This plant appears in several spiritual activities, including sacrifices and burial rites. As part of their economies, cocoa seeds were used as currencies.

    However, a lot of things have changed in recent times.

    Beyond the myths and reverence surrounding the cocoa plant, much scientific research has exposed that it has several compounds that are highly beneficial to your health.

     

    What Are the Benefits of Cocoa Powder?

    Cocoa powder benefits include improving mood and alertness and regulating your immune health. It has lower side effects compared to caffeine.

    The relevance of cocoa powder in human health is traceable to its beneficial compounds, particularly theobromine.

    Theobromine helps to improve cognitive functions, enhance lung functions, and lower blood pressure. This compound also allows you to get quality sleep, improve energy, reduce inflammation, and raise your mood.

    Theobromine is one of the naturally occurring compounds in cocoa plants and leaves. This subtle alkaloid is similar to caffeine, but it interacts differently, giving more health benefits.

    Aside from the benefits of theobromine, other compounds (flavonoids) in the compounds also add unique health benefits to cocoa powder.

    Cocoa can improve mood and alertness

    Cocoa contains flavonoids that help with the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Serotonin is a mood stabilizer that will improve calmness, boost mood, and mitigate depression.

    Cocoa is one of the best beverages to turn to if you need to boost your mood and alertness.

    It has lower side effects compared to caffeine

    Research shows that the stimulation and inhibition mechanism of theobromine offer enjoyable benefits with lower side effects.

    Although caffeine and theobromine (one of the primary compounds in cocoa) have similar effects, the latter is less stimulating. Theobromine also comes with lower side effects alongside its subtle stimulation.

    Cocoa aids body immune functionality

    Research established the role cocoa can play in preventing the antibody response and inducing lower immunoglobulin (Ig) concentrations. Consequently, it aids the overall immune functionality of the body.

    The body's immune system helps it to fight against potential invasion that can alter the body system. A weakened immune system will make the body vulnerable to various pathogenic attacks that cause diseases and illnesses.

    More benefits of cocoa powder

    Aside from improving mood and enhancing immunity, other benefits of cocoa powder include:

    • It reduces high blood pressure by enhancing nitric oxide levels.
    • Cocoa powder is rich in polyphenols that offer additional unique benefits.
    • It enhances blood flow and cognitive function.
    • The flavanols in cocoa powder can improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
    • Cocoa is an anti-inflammatory with various anti-cancer properties.
    • It raises fat metabolism, which accelerates weight loss.

    When using cocoa to lose weight, buy organic cocoa powder with no artificial sweeteners.

    Your brain on cocoa powder

    Beyond the benefits of theobromine, there are significant studies on the cocoa flavanols (other alkaloids and compounds) action on the human brain.

    Research supports the neuroprotective and neurocognitive enhancement of cocoa powder. The cognitive abilities of these flavonoids result from several actions, including stimulating regeneration, protecting vulnerable brain neurons, and enhancing the functionality of neurons.

    Most actions of these flavonoids are credited to interacting with pathways that work with neural survival. It also enhances the neuron responsible for memory and long-term potentiation.

    Several flavonoids also interact with signaling proteins that are vital for pro-survival pathways.

    This technique helps the flavonoids to counteract various neuronal injuries. This injury is the primary cause of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.

    Are you wondering why flavonoids play so much role in brain functions?

    Flavanol has a high penetrative power that helps it cross various blood-brain barriers. This ability allows them to cross over to essential brain areas like the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum.

    Aside from the fact that these areas are subjected to neurodegeneration, they are also necessary for learning and memory.

    Cocoa powder vs. Cacao powder

    It is common for many people to have issues with differentiating between cocoa powder and cacao powder. Aside from the close similarities with spelling, they are also from the same plant. They also have a similar appearance in terms of color.

    The difference between cocoa and cacao powder is the processing. Cacao powder is processed from dried cocoa beans, fermented, and heated at a low temperature. On the other hand, cocoa powder is heated at a higher temperature, and the final output is sweeter than cacao powder.

    The type of processing of cacao powder separates the fatty part of the bean from the rest. Consequently, it has more antioxidants. Cacao butter can act as a moisturizer, and cacao nibs can be a valuable alternative for chocolate chips.

    Cocoa powder is sweeter than cocoa powder because it is treated at a higher temperature. So, cocoa powder is the best option for baking and general refreshment.

    However, the high temperature causes the cocoa powder to have reduced antioxidants and nutrients.

    Cocoa powder is bitter: What to do?

    One of the significant challenges people face with cocoa powder is its bitter taste. Most individuals don't like bitter beverages as an instinct.

    Some of the best ways to remove the bitter taste of cocoa powder include the sea salt recipe, fruit recipe, wine recipe, cheese recipe, and coffee recipe.

    These recipes will not compromise the nutrient and quality of your cocoa powder. Instead, they add a unique taste and extra nutrients.

    Please also remember that adding sugar is not a good idea. Too many sweeteners will eliminate most of the benefits you should get from the beverage.

    Instead, there are several ways to remove the bitter taste of cocoa powder without compromising its benefits.

    Sea salt recipe

    The sea salt recipe is quite strong but still less bitter than cocoa powder. It also offers the least calories, and it is the easiest to make. All you need is a sprinkle of sea salt into your cocoa powder.

    Coffee recipe

    Using the coffee recipe is one of the best ways to cancel out the bitter taste of cocoa powder.

    It also has few calories, but it is higher compared to the sea salt recipe. All you need is to spice the cocoa powder with a bit of coffee.

    Fruit recipe

    The fruit recipe is the most versatile of all three methods. The resulting taste is dependent on the fruit used to eradicate the taste.

    The sweeter the taste of the fruit, the higher the calorie. So, adding a suitable fruit content can be tricky.

    Wine recipe

    Wine recipe is one of the classiest ways to mitigate the bitterness of cocoa powder. It takes little or no time because all you need is to add a sizable amount of cocoa powder to wine.

    Cheese recipe

    Adding cocoa powder to cheese brings flavor and reduces bitterness. All you need to do is include cocoa powder as one of the recipes while making your cheese.

    Cocoa Powder in Ceremonies

    Although Aztec and Maya considered the cocoa plant sacred, the way they consumed drinking chocolate in a formal setting omitted cocoa powder.

    Specialized ceremonial drinking cacao comprises more of the fat in the product, which remains bitter. This mix is something that you can create on your own if you want a fun DIY project.

    Get cocoa wafers, buy cocoa powder, melt them together and create dark, healthful cacao that you can use in a similarly sacred way.

    Are you ready to explore the benefits of cocoa?

    Wild Cocoa powder is grown and roasted naturally without artificial sweeteners to offer the best keto-friendly and vegan cocoa.

    Your Health is Your Journey Not A Destination

    Nothing in your health is a one-off.

    Health is based on continual action.

    There is no destination, literally, so it is a journey instead, a perpetual journey you are on for your entire life.

    The key is to keep going.

    The key to keep going for years on end is to build your habit foundation now. Then, each day you perform this routine, you reinforce it. And each day, you get one step closer to never quitting. Eventually, you won’t stop—you’ll become a new person.

    And that’s the difference between the healthy and the not—one is a healthy person daily, and one is not.

    Remember to keep the basics in mind with health.

    Here’s a quick reminder of the most important aspects of daily health:

    • Get outside and walk 30 mins in sunlight
    • Cook your meals at home, if you aren’t, start with making 1-2 days a week HOME only food, etc.
    • Spend time with friends and family
    • Spend time in nature
    • TURN YOUR PHONE OFF AND GET YOUR FACE OUT OF THE SCREEN
    • Stop watching the news - it’s toxic for your brain

    Cocoa Butter on the Keto Diet?

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    You might be familiar with the benefits of cocoa butter for your skin and hair, but what about its effect on the keto diet? Keep reading to learn more about what cocoa butter is, its benefits, and why you should incorporate it into your keto diet.

    What is Cocoa Butter?

    Cocoa butter, also called cacao butter, is made from the beans that grow on the cacao tree. The butter is made from the same ingredients used to make chocolate and cocoa powder. 

    The oil is extracted from the beans through a cold-press process, and once it sits at room temperature it solidifies. However, the moment it touches your skin, the butter acts as a lotion and melts into your pores. That's part of the reason why it's such an effective moisturizer! 

    Did you know you could eat this cacao butter too? 

    Think about it - if you have ever eaten chocolate that melts in your mouth or has the silky quality, it's likely because of the cacao used to make it. It does not really taste like chocolate on its own though, and the texture is like a combination of coconut oil and coconut butter. 

    Many people also use cocoa butter as a substitute for grass-fed butter since it is dairy-free.  

    Benefits of Cocoa Butter For a Keto Diet

    Let's dive into some of the benefits of consuming cacao butter. These health benefits include a lower risk of heart disease and reduced inflammation. 

    Improve Heart Health

    One of the reasons you should work to incorporate cacao butter into your diet is that it can help improve your heart health. 

    Research has shown that people who eat more chocolate actually have a lower risk of heart attack - by an impressive 39%! Although this doesn't mean you should eat chocolate all day, it does support the fact that cocoa butter helps your heart. 

    Another study found that people with a higher daily cocoa intake had a lower chance of premature death caused by heart disease. It's important to note that this case focused on men that did not have pre-existing illnesses, but the results were promising. 

    Reduce Inflammation

    Cacao butter is very rich in antioxidants, which are essential for reducing inflammation and improving your overall health. 

    The antioxidant effects of this being are so effective, that it can lower standard inflammatory biomarkers in just a few hours! As a result, you can significantly lower your risk of stroke by consuming cocoa butter. 

    Is Cocoa Butter Keto?

    Can you have cocoa butter while on the keto diet? Absolutely! It's the perfect plant-based fat for the keto diet. You can use it to make keto chocolate, hot cocoa, and a host of other recipes. This keto-friendly butter is not as popular as it should be among keto dieters. Most people just don't know it exists.

    There are about 14 grams of total fat in one tablespoon of raw cocoa butter, but there is no protein or carbs. That almost makes cocoa butter the perfect keto food since the goal is to get most of your calories from fat. They don't have any hidden sugars either, so you don't have to worry about that throwing off your ketosis. 

    Not only does cocoa butter serve as a great source of fat while on the keto diet, but it also includes healthy servings of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats provide their benefits, including lowering triglycerides, combatting bad cholesterol, and supporting your brain function. Cocoa butter also contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is know for his health benefits.

    There are lots of different ways you can incorporate cocoa butter into your diet. Consider making smoothies with it or baking some keto chocolate bars. 

    Any recipe you alter to replace other ingredients with cocoa butter will help you satisfy your sweet tooth without filling you up with unnecessary carbs. You can even stir some into your coffee each morning! 

    The easiest way to incorporate cocoa butter during keto is by using our Wild Cocoa Butter Wafers. Our pre-portioned servings make it easy to drop some in a recipe or drink. It also works great as a DIY skin or hair moisturizer!

    Articles you might be interested in:

    Are Mushrooms Keto Friendly?

    Turkey Tail Benefits

    How To Do a 3-Day Bone Broth Fast 

    Cacao Nibs Versus Cocoa Powder

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    What’s the difference, and what’s the big deal? 

    Chocolate is chocolate, no matter what shape or size it presents itself in, am I right? Not quite. 

    In this article, we'll go on to explain the primary differences between cacao nibs and cocoa powder and the variety of ways they can be used. 

    Now aside from the obvious - one is a nib, and one is a powder, there are few things to note about cacao nibs and cocoa powder: 

    While cocoa powder is made from cold-pressed and unroasted cacao beans, cacao nibs are a dried/fermented bit of the cacao bean. The powder will taste similar to what you would expect the unsweetened hot cocoa mix to taste like, whereas cacao nibs are similar to crunching on a roasted coffee bean. 

    Another key difference is the nutritional benefits of cacao nibs. Cacao is higher in protein, fiber, magnesium, and iron than cocoa powder. Cocoa powder (without sugar) is still nutritious, just not as nutritious as cacao powder, although oftentimes cocoa may be the more budget-friendly option. 

    And, in case you were wondering, ground-up cacao nibs will not achieve the same effect in recipes calling for cocoa powder. 

    Here's a Cacao Nibs "How To" 

    Cacao nibs have many applications on their own or in recipes. In fact, Wild Raw Nibs are considered a superfood because of their nutritional benefit. 

    Consider using them in many ways:

    • Add to smoothies
    • As part of granola & yogurt 
    • Put them on cottage cheese for a textural crunch 
    • Sprinkle them on coconut milk ice cream or banana nice cream 
    • Grind them up to make cacao powder to use in baking (similar to cocoa powder) 

    Wild Raw Nibs are great because they fit within almost all dietary restrictions, including kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo. Plus, they’re sourced from non-GMO cocoa, so you know you’re getting the good stuff

    This superfood also contains the naturally occurring theobromine; a powerful crash-less energy booster that provides more stable energy than caffeine. Unlike caffeine, theobromine does not stimulate your nervous system and is therefore non-addictive. 

    It’s still a stimulant, though, so watch out before bedtime! 

    Give Wild Raw Nibs a try today and experience the benefits for yourself. 

    Product Spotlight: Wild Cocotropic

    Our new Wild Cocotropic is a potent blend of our best-selling Wild Chocolate with reishi mushroom, raw maca powder, mucuna pruriens and Wild Turmeric.

    It contains no sweeteners, so you can sweeten with your preferred sweetener and drink it like hot cocoa or just add it to smoothies, shakes or a mug of butter coffee.

    The options and benefits are limitless—anything relating to mood, brain and focus. You can improve your focus while also decreasing anxiety and distraction. The potent superfood powders, reishi mushroom and mucuna pruriens, each have their own powerful effects on the brain.

    Ingredients: 100% Organic Non-Alkalized Natural Wild Cocoa powder, Reishi Mushroom Extract, Organic Raw Maca powder, Mucuna Pruriens Extract, Organic Turmeric