Raw Cacao: A Veritable Cocktail
of Opiates and Stimulants
by Michelle A
Chocolate seems to be the latest fad food in the raw food world these days, and it's not surprising, considering its complex and addictive chemical makeup.
It is a dire mistake to promote or consume raw cacao with the expectation that it is in any way a healthy or health supporting food. It is, however, a powerful stimulant, and when ingested will inspire a vast range of physiological responses in the body, as the human organism attempts to neutralize, process, and eliminate these poisons.
The authors of the raw food literature on cacao openly extol the effects of these stimulants, and are not trying to hide the fact that they exist.... they promote the food BECAUSE of the stimulants, not in spite of them. As long as you are aware of this, you will have the information necessary to decide whether or not to include this food as part of your diet.
If you prefer to derive your energy from healthy foods, rest, sunshine, and fresh air, then cacao is most decidedly not for you.
If, on the other hand, you enjoy the "quick fix" nature of caffeine and theobromine, and enjoy the rush of energy obtained as your body vigorously attempts to eliminate what it perceives as a poison, then cacao may be a drug/food that you enjoy using.
Theobromine, for example (used as a high blood-pressure medication) is one of the substances responsible for cacao's powerful effects on the body. The fact that chocolate and cacao products are sometimes lethal to dogs, horses, and other domestic animals is primarily because they metabolize theobromine at a slower rate than humans do. The longer theobromide remains in the body, the more damage it does. The fact that we as humans are capable of eliminating it fast enough to avoid death in no way means that we do so fast enough to avoid harm.
Our hearts, nervous system, and kidneys are all affected, resulting in restlessness, muscle tremors, increased urination, and other symptoms, all of which are frequently reported by those consuming raw cacao.
Ironically, the purer and more natural cacao is, the higher the concentration of theobromine will be. Raw cacao is about as pure and "natural" as chocolate can get, and therefore the theobromine dose will be as high as possible.
Although you may, on some level, enjoy the stimulation experienced as your blood vessels dilate and your body increases adrenaline production in an effort to remove the theobromine as quickly as possible, rest assured that your body does not enjoy it. It works tirelessly to keep you healthy and free from poisonous substances, and efforts such as those required to eliminate cacao’s byproducts result in eventual enervation and fatigue, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but always eventually.
Caffeine is yet another familiar drug found in chocolate. It is sometimes claimed that the amount of chocolate found in cacao is negligible, but any serious laboratory analysis reveals this claim to be mistaken, if not a deliberate deception.
Caffeine increases the amount of calcium lost in the urine, and this potential to weaken our bones is but the tip of the iceberg. As the body detects the presence of caffeine in the blood stream, it makes a rapid effort to remove it as quickly as possible. The liver releases a rush of sugars into the bloodstream in an attempt to increase energy to the point that the poison can be dealt with, placing heavy stress on the endocrine system.
Although cacao is a veritable cocktail of opiates and stimulants, it would be inappropriate and unnecessary to do a point-by-point treatise on each of them. Suffice it to say that it doesn't get any better than what we've already covered.
We haven't even touched on the fact that "raw cacao" is far from fresh, and often far from raw, despite claims to the contrary.
Any food requiring fermentation and subsequent drying in order to ship, store, or consume should be automatically suspect.
If one considers raw cacao to be a "health food," then it's clear that one has a very unique and rather dangerous definition of what constitutes health. There are no shortcuts to true and lasting energy and vitality. The stimulation derived from such a food is but a pale comparison of the energy, strength, focus, and fortitude to be found when a commitment is made to all of the tenets of health, including, but by no means limited to, fresh, raw, organic, wholesome foods, rest and sleep, exercise, sunshine, and fresh air.
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
(Franklin P. Jones)
A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.
Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music.
Children are one third of our population and all of our future.
(Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981)
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.
Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.
(Franklin P. Jones)
Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything.
(Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone Scelto)
Women gather together to wear silly hats, eat dainty food, and forget how unresponsive their husbands are. Men gather to talk sports, eat heavy food, and forget how demanding their wives are. Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.
(Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960)
Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed.
There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.