Medicinal Benefits of Raw Chocolate and Cacao
by Lorna Li
on a plant called the Cacao Theobroma, which literally means "the food of the gods."
Originating in the Amazon, the Cacao Theobroma plant is now cultivated around the

The Cacao Theobroma grows cacao beans which are relatively large seed pods that
contain concentrated nutrients and other compounds that we use to make all know
chocolate today. Cacao beans are sugar-free naturally and are made up of 12
percent to 50 percent fat depending on the growing conditions and the variety of
plant being cultivated.

Many now tout raw cacao or raw chocolate as a superfood. For instance, raw cacao
contains high concentrations of protein, calcium, phosphate, and other minerals
which have been shown to have beneficial effects on tooth enamel! Who knew
chocolate could protect our teeth! But there are many other nutritional benefits of
eating raw cacao, especially if it's grown organically.

Why eat raw organic chocolate?

Raw chocolate or cacao contains a long list of unique properties and beneficial
minerals that can really help to fire up your health. In addition to making you happier
and more positive, raw cacao can focus your attention and make you more alert.
Like regular chocolate it can also make you feel like you're in love.


Known as the "bliss" chemical, anandamide is a neurotransmitter that has been
isolated in raw cacao. It is produced naturally in the brain and makes you feel happy
and vivacious. Additionally, cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that suppress your
body's ability to break down anandamide which means this chemical will stay in your
brain for longer, increasing the time you experience the positive feelings associated
with this chemical.


Like regular chocolate, raw cacao contains powerful antioxidants. These chemical
compounds are key to fighting off free radicals in our bodies that can lead to diseases
like cancer and heart attacks. Antioxidant flavanoids found in cacao and chocolate
have also been shown lower cholesterol and decrease blood pressure.

These benefits are found in products that contain high levels of cocoa solids. In fact,
some studies point to higher levels of antioxidants in raw chocolate than in fruit,
vegetables, tea, and even wine! Dark chocolate is therefore the best source of
antioxidants of all the prepared chocolate varieties, but raw cacao contains even
higher levels of these beneficial antioxidants.


This is another aphrodisiac-like amino acid that is said to help build muscle and aid in
work-out recovery. It is about 33 percent more concentrated in raw cacao.

Caffeine and theobromine

Cacao can also have stimulating compounds such as caffeine and theobromine (a
chemical related to caffeine), although these levels are relatively low because
uncooked cacao has limited potency of these chemicals. These subtle amounts of
stimulants can increase energy, improve alertness, and boost mood, and come in
very small doses: about 70 mg in every 100 g of cacao.


According to some, raw cacao is the number one food source of magnesium, which
is apparently one of the minerals Americans are commonly deficient in. According to
Standard American Diet, close to 80 percent of all Americans have low magnesium
levels! This deficiency may be the reason why women crave chocolate during their
menstrual periods (menstruating depletes magnesium reserves).

Magnesium is an important mineral for balancing brain chemistry, building strong
bones and muscles, aiding in sleep, and combating depression. Magnesium is also
essential for having a healthy heart and supporting a robust cardiovascular system.
Raw cacao contains about 131 mg of magnesium in every 100 g of cacao.

Monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (appetite inhibitors)

MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors) are likely responsible for
reducing appetite when people eat raw chocolate. MAO is found in most nuts and
seeds and can contribute to increased levels of serotonin and neurotransmitter
activity in the brain. These further encourage weight loss naturally and facilitate
feelings of youthful regeneration.


Phenylethylamine (PEA) is an adrenal-related chemical found in raw cacao that can
also be created in the brain when we are in love. Raw chocolate is an excellent
source of PEA and can play a role in increasing focus and alertness. It will also aid in
lifting people from feelings of depression.

Serotonin and tyramine

These two compounds provide a calming effect on a person, giving raw cacao a
balancing effect on mood and brain function. In general, 100 g of raw cacao will
contain about 3 mg of serotonin and 2 mg of tyramine.


An amino acid that enhances relaxation and promotes sleep (know that feeling of
drowsiness you get after a Thanksgiving meal? That's tryptophan!), this chemical
occurs naturally in raw cacao. In fact, it can have as much as 33 percent more than
regular chocolate.

Potential downsides to raw chocolate

Possible weight gain

As we've already mentioned, raw cacao beans contain up to 50 percent fat, making
them a high fat-to-calorie food. It is therefore wise to limit your intake of raw
chocolate to avoid the potential of weight gain.

Toxic to pets

Chocolate is a known toxin for pets, but raw chocolate is an even greater risk of
harming your animal companions. In general, the higher the concentration of raw
cacao, the greater the risk of injury to animals. Therefore, keep your raw chocolate
products well out of reach of your beloved pets.

Migraine trigger

Some believe that raw cacao (as well as some chocolates) can trigger the onset of
migraines. If you are prone to this health problem, it is wise to consult your doctor
before consuming huge quantities of raw cacao.

About The Author

Lorna Li is an online marketer dedicated to helping activists, nonprofit professionals,
social entrepreneurs, students - really anyone - understand how to use social media
to raise awareness about important issues. Check out her personal blog
or visit a website featuring videos, news, tutorials,
and information aimed at inspiring entrepreneurs to participate in the green economy.
Medical professionals, nutritionists,
and other professionals concerned
about human health are now
promoting raw cacao as a beneficial
food. Even more potent in its positive
effects on the human body than
chocolate, raw cacao offers a rare,
delicious way to boost personal well

What is raw chocolate?

Ever thought about where chocolate
comes from? It grows on trees!
That's right, cacao beans which are
the source of all chocolate are grown
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