Cacao beans are the raw ingredient that chocolate is made from. Originally from Central America, cacao beans were so precious in Mayan and Aztec ancient cultures that they were used as money. Raw Cacao is approximately 4000% higher in antioxidants than blueberries. They contain over 300 identifiable chemical compounds, including anandamide (the bliss chemical) dopamine (a neurotransmitter), epicatechins (antioxidants), histamine, magnesium, serotonin (an anti-stress neurotransmitter) and tryptophan (anti-depressant amino acid). Cacao is also extremely rich in magnesium, which is known to decrease blood coagulation; lowering blood pressure and helping the heart pump more effectively, thereby reducing the likelihood of blood clots and strokes.
Munch whole as a nutritious snack, or crack open to mix with fruit, salads, smoothies and deserts, they are delicious sprinkled over muesli or mixed with honey as a tasty sweetener.