The cacao ceremony has been on the rise for the past couple of years, and ceremonial cacao has become quite popular and widely accepted among youths.
If you are not a cacao enthusiast, you might not be able to figure out the difference between ceremonial cacao and normal. With experience and regular drinking, you can identify the subtle intricacies that make ceremonial cacao special.
What is Ceremonial Cacao?
Ceremonial cacao is the cacao of the highest standard. Five essential elements define the cacao paste as ceremonial-grade.
- Ceremonial cacao is a pure cacao bean paste made from 100% pure beans. Pure cacao helps to restore health and elevates the mood.
- The ceremonial grade cacao is made from the highest quality Criolla cacao. Therefore, it contains a high quantity of beneficial compounds.
- It is made in a very particular way. The paste is made by fermenting the sun-dried beans. Then the highest quality beans are heated, hand peeled, then grinding them on a heated mill instead of a stone mill.
The cacao paste is minimally processed, which helps criollo beans retain all their beneficial properties. The fat in the bean is healthy for humans and the best natural carrier for cacao beans compounds into the body.
- No sugar or only natural sugar is added in preparing ceremonial cacao. While at least 30% processed sugar is added to most cacao products, like cocoa or dark chocolates.
- It is 100% organic in nature. It is believed that using pesticides, genetic modification, or synthetic fertilizers is harmful and therefore is unsuitable for ceremonial use.
What is the Difference Between Ceremonial Cacao and Normal Cacao?
The major difference between ceremonial and normal cacao is how they are processed.
The ceremonial cacao is prepared traditionally. This help in leaving cacao in its natural state, i.e., retaining all the nutrients like antioxidants, minerals, and healthy fats. No processed sugar is added while processing the cacao paste. This keeps the ceremonial cacao in its purest form.
While normal cacao can be prepared in 3 ways: cocoa liquor, hot cocoa mixes, and dark chocolates. The process leaves the fat only with 10-15% fats instead of the original 45-50%. Almost 30% of processed sugar is added to make the final paste.
Process: Ceremonial vs. Normal Cacao
|Ceremonial Cacao||Normal Cacao|
|Fermented in small batches|
Fermented in large quantities
|Hot plate heated||Industrially heated|
|Hand peeled||Industrially peeled|
|Grounded in a heated mill||Grounded in a heated mill|
|Ceremonial Cacao||Raw cacao paste|
|Processed to cacao butter|
|Pressed into industrial cacao cake (adding additives)|
|Crushed into fine powder|
Ceremonial Cacao Benefits
Cacao is a superfood that offers many health benefits. Here are some of its suggested benefits, though more research is warranted to confirm some of them.
1. Good for the Heart
According to research, cacao helps mediate nitric oxide’s bioavailability in the endothelium, further reducing high blood pressure. It also protects the vascular system from oxidative stress .
Cacao also reduces inflammation in the tissue and helps regulate blood pressure to prevent inflammation and oxidative damage to arteries .
2. Enhances your Mood
Cacao helps to uplift your mood if you are feeling sad or depressed. It can significantly improve your mood swings and overall well-being .
The cacao is high in magnesium, which helps produce neurotransmitters that regulate mood changes .
3. Full of Antioxidants
Cacao is full of active antioxidants that help protect the body’s cells from harmful chemicals like free radicals. Another property of antioxidant is that it helps in fighting against diseases and prevents the body from infection.
4. Supports Brain Health
Ceremonial cacao is good for your memory. It is rich in magnesium which is good for your memory and brain. You can concentrate better, and your productivity increases .
Cacao can improve the blood flow to your brain. And also reduces inflammation of the blood-brain barrier.
5. It Works as an Energizer
Cacao can boost your energy if you feel low, weak, or tired. It works as an energizer.
6. Can Help Detox your Liver
Cacao can serve as a detox for your liver by cleansing and detoxifying it. It is incredibly beneficial to your health.
7. Emotional Wellness Benefits
Ceremonial cacao is thought to help with opening your heart and making you more conscious of things. It can help you get rid of negative thoughts and connect emotionally.
8. Regulate your Blood Pressure
Ceremonial cacao can help lower your blood pressure as it is 100% pure and natural. It has no added sugar or preservatives.
9. Good for your Overall Well being
Ceremonial cacao contains nutrients, minerals, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants, making it a superfood. Consuming it in small quantities can help your overall well-being .
Risks of Ceremonial Cacao
Ceremonial cacao contains antioxidant properties and is full of several minerals and nutrients. There are no side effects if consumed in moderate quantities.
It may cause caffeine-related side effects as compounds in cacao may affect it differently if you take it in large amounts.
Some side effects are nervousness, feeling sleepy, faster heartbeats, constipation, and increased urination. It can also trigger migraine headaches in some cases.
Bottomline: Ceremonial Cacao Benefits and Uses
Ceremonial cacao is a 100% organic drink which has been there for centuries. However, it got popular in ceremonies in the last few years. You prepare it by fermenting dried Criolla cacao. There is no artificial or processed sugar, and it is prepared using only natural sugar. The process helps to keep all nutrients and minerals in a raw form.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References and Fact Checking
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