• Sugarless chocolate beans: the purest whole-food chocolate on Earth!
• A mood-boosting, energizing alternative to coffee
• Ecologically grown and carefully dried and fermented for maximum purity and nutrition • A classic variety of cacao, admired for its aroma and rich blend of flavors
• Possibly one of the world’s most powerful health foods, incredibly rich in antioxidants.
• Rich in Mental-Sharpeners: Magnesium and Epicatechin
• Source of Natural Mood-Boosters: Theobromine and Anandamide
• Top source of magnesium, which balances brain chemistry, is associated with elevated levels of happiness, and is crucial for heart and muscle function, healthy elimination, strong bones.
• High in the mineral sulfur; sulfur builds strong nails, hair, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
• Contains only a tiny amount of caffeine
• Heart-healthy fat content, similar to olive oil
Usage Notes : Cacao Beans
For a crunchy, flavorful snack that delivers a concentrated burst of nutrients and energy that will keep you whistling all day, carefully crack and peel the dried skin from the bean. (If the bean crumbles, blow gently to remove the loose skin, leaving behind the broken nibs.)
Use one bean for a moderate boost, or as many ten for marathon energy levels and antioxidants!
These heirloom cacao beans are loaded with more flavor, aroma, and zing than nibs and cacao powder. Why? Just ask any coffee connoisseur which is better: fresh coffee beans or pre-ground coffee. They'll tell you that the aroma, flavor, and purity of coffee last longer in whole beans. The same is true for cacao beans.
Cacao beans are the original dairy-free, sugarless chocolate: crunchy, flavorful and packed with
powerful nutrients, cell-protecting antioxidants, and natural mood-boosters. Simply snack on a handful of these crunchy treats for a concentrated burst of nutrients and energy that will keep you whistling all day!
Revered by ancient cultures as the food of the gods, Cacao was once traded as currency. Today, science is catching up with the ancients: these sugarless treats provide more cell-protecting antioxidants than any food on earth! Plus, they contain mood-boosting phytochemicals (including theobromine and anandamide) and they provide some of the same molecules your brain produces when you're happy or in love. Even the fats in cacao are good for you — so snack away!
The Essential Living Foods Difference
This cacao is cultivated in pristine forests of Ecuador and Peru by small family farmers whose ecological techniques help revitalize soil & water while protecting wildlife habitat.
Your purchase of this product directly contributes to increasing the quality of life for these small organic farmers, since we pay beyond-Fair-Trade prices to guarantee you the purest, finest cacao available!
All across the world, we pay small farms and indigenous groups a premium price for their crops and also give back 1% to non-profits like Amazon Watch. That's why it's more than health food - it's Essential Living Food.
Cacao beans from freshly split pods are fermented under control at 40°C / 104°F and then washed in potable water before being solar-dried.
The final product is checked and graded, then bagged for shipment to our air-conditioned facility in Southern California.
Nutrition: Contents & Benefits
You've heard about the amazing health benefits of dark chocolate. Study after study is revealing that chocolate is an incredible source of very specific antioxidants that support human health in everything from cardiovascular function to brain function and longevity. It's also loaded with vital minerals, healthy fats, and mood-boosting phytochemicals.
Since it is processed much less, RAW cacao has even more antioxidants than regular dark chocolate. In fact, according to the USDA cacao has more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined! The following comparison shows the unique antioxidant density of RAW cacao compared to roasted cacao and other high antioxidant foods:
ORAC scores of High Antioxidant Foods 1) Raw cocoa powder 95,500
2) Raw cacao nibs 62,100
3) Roasted cocoa powder 26,000
4) Organic Goji Berries 25,300 5) Acai Berries 18,500
6) Dark Chocolate 13,120
7) Milk Chocolate 6,740
8) Prunes 5,770
9) Raisins 2,830
10) Blueberries 2,400
What kind of antioxidants does cacao contain? It provides a wide variety: polyphenols, catechins, and epicatechins. The health benefits of these antioxidants are well-studied and range from increasing blood flow to the brain (enhancing brain health and protecting against stroke) to inhibiting cholesterol plaque buildup in the arteries, to fighting unfriendly bacteria in the digestive system, to fighting the free-radicals produced by everything from smoking to intense exercise.
Epicatechin: Cacao's antioxidants do more than just protect your cells from free-radicals.
Epicatechin (an antioxidant also found, in lesser quantities, in green tea) actually seems to activate the cardiovascular system. Especially when combined with exercise, epicatechin seems to trigger the body to form new capillaries that feed muscles and brain tissue while also increasing production of mitochondria, the cellular powerhouse. This is all in addition to working to neutralize the free- radicals that build up in the body from chemical stressors such as exercise, smoking, or the effects of emotional stress. Epicatechin and other antioxidants in cacao are suspected to be the primary factor in the unusual health of the Kuna people of Panama, who drink 6 cups of fresh local cacao every day...and live well into old age with far fewer cases of stroke, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.
Vitamins & Minerals
In addition to its functional antioxidants, cacao provides crucial vitamins & minerals for healthy brain, bones, joints, blood, and more—particularly magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, and copper.
Magnesium: Cacao may be the richest food source of magnesium on earth. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral necessary for heart and muscle function, for arterial relaxation, and for proper mental focus. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and has been linked to increased happiness and improved mood—it even relieve constipation. Some research suggests that magnesium and several other nutrients in cacao can smooth out the symptoms of PMS (perhaps explaining the craving for chocolate during a woman's lunar cycle?). Unfortunately, more than 80% of Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency!
Iron: Just one ounce of cacao supplies three times the US RDA of iron. Iron is a crucial component of the cardiovascular system, allowing red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to every single cell in the body. Iron is also a crucial component in the body's manufacturing of enzymes and is used as an intracellular energy transporter.
Zinc: Zinc is vital to a healthy immune system, liver, pancreas, and skin, and it is crucial in sexual development, fertility, and cell growth. It is also a central building block in hundreds of enzymes throughout the body.
Manganese: Central to building bone, cartilage, and connective tissue, manganese also helps iron to oxygenate the blood.
Copper: Another blood-building mineral along with manganese and iron. Not only is it antimicrobial, copper is also important to digestion and our body's lymph system.
Sulfur: Cacao is rich in sulfur, which builds strong nails, hair, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas function.
Cacao also provides small amounts of vitamin K and vitamin E in their whole, untreated form.
In addition to these vital nutrients, cacao also supplies a variety of mood-boosting phytochemicals that make it perfect for everything from increasing energy levels to improving overall sense of well- being.
Theobromine: Cacao contains about 1% theobromine by weight. Theobromine is also found in tea, and is similar to caffeine, but much smoother, increasing vasodilation throughout the cardiovascular system. This, in combination with the effects of epicatechin, can contribute to everything from increased endurance to a greater sense of health or energy. In the actual cacao bean, theobromine plays a role as an anti-bacterial shield, which is coincidentally effective against Streptococci mutans, the bacteria that causes cavities.
Tryptophan: This essential amino acid is the precursor to the important neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin, leading to feelings of relaxation after consumption. Since tryptophan often breaks down when heated, RAW cacao is likely a much better source of tryptophan.
Anandamide: "Ananda" means bliss, and anandamide is the body's own bliss molecule, responsible for the infamous "runner's high" (not, in fact, endorphins). Not only does cacao contain anandamide, it also contains an enzyme inhibitor that slows the breakdown of anandamide, keeping
it flowing through body and brain for much longer—increasing endurance and feelings of well-being.
Phenethylamine: Commonly known as the "love drug," Phenethylamine (PEA) is one of many chemicals associated with feelings of love, excitement, focus and attention (perhaps explaining the connection of chocolate and romance).
Serotonin: Cacao also causes the brain to increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the crucial chemical messenger used by the brain to regulate everything from mood to appetite to sex drive (and is the reason depressed patients are prescribed drugs that preserve serotonin in the brain).
Fatty Acid Content
Saturated fats are often believed to have a negative impact on cardiovascular health, but although cacao contains saturated fat, it doesn't fit this generalization. Experiments have shown that cacao butter consumption does not increase levels of total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol (Kris-Etherton et al., 1994).
This probably has to do with cacao's unique fatty acid profile, which is predominantly stearic acid (34%) and oleic acid (35%). Although Stearic acid is a saturated fat, it has been shown to have no impact on levels of blood cholesterol (Kris-Etherton, 1997). Oleic acid is the monounsaturated fatty acid that makes olive oil a uniquely heart-healthy vegetable oil. Research has long been clear about the benefits of oleic acid for proper balance of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol in the body, but Oleic acid may also be responsible for the hypotensive (blood pressure reducing) effects of olive oil by changing signaling patterns at the cell membrane level. Oleic acid also keeps cell membranes soft and fluid, allowing helpful anti- inflammatory substances like omega -3 fatty acid to penetrate the cell membrane more easily. At about 70% of cacao's total fat content, the dynamic duo of Oleic and Stearic acids goes a long way to explain the lack of negative cardiovascular effects from consumption of cacao and cacao butter.
At 26%, the number three fatty acid in cacao is Palmitic acid, a saturated fat. Although some research has created a scare around negative health effects of palmitic acid (comparing it to trans fats for a negative impact on insulin), these studies involved diets based exclusively on palmitic acid, without any other fats consumed. A Canadian study (French et all, 2002) showed that high consumption of palmitic acid does not raise cholesterol as long as linoleic acid is also being consumed. On the other hand, combining palmitic acid with trans-fats definitely had a negative effect on LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios. Coincidentally, nature's wisdom has endowed cacao with the perfect balance of both Palmitic and Linoleic acids.
Cacao's combination of potent antioxidants and protective saturated fats helps to protect against spoilage and rancidity. When protected from light, air, and heat, cacao is very stable and can last for several months (about 6 if refrigerated or 3 in your cupboards).
Like all our RAW cacao products, we guarantee 100% purity and RAW status. Many importers of "raw" cacao may provide products with questionable purity in an attempt to fill market demand. Since cacao products are normally roasted and extracted at high temperatures, most producers don't trouble themselves with basic hygiene steps, often leaving raw cacao uncovered while it ferments, attracting rodents and insects that leave behind droppings and serious pathogens. Past tests of competing products have shown high levels of pathogens like E. coli, staph, salmonella and others. Alternately, our tests have also shown some "raw" cacao products to have ZERO microbial/probiotic content, suggesting that these products have been roasted beyond RAW temperatures.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, nor is this information meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or
prevent any disease.