Kakao für die Seele: Wie sich der tägliche Verzehr auf unsere Stimmung auswirkt. - Theto Nature

Cacao for the soul: How daily consumption affects our mood.

Cacao is one of the oldest and most popular beverages in the world. The origins of cacao cultivation date back to the Mayan and Aztec times. Since then cacao has been an important part of many cultures, where it is used as food and medicine. But did you also know that cacao can improve your mood and help with depression and anxiety disorders? In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why.

Cacao, and especially ceremonial cacao, is mostly extracted from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. The seeds are roasted and ground to produce cacao paste or cacao powder, which is used in many foods and beverages. Cacao contains several active ingredients that have a positive effect on mental health and can relieve symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders:

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is converted into serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, appetite, and sleep cycles. A lack of serotonin can lead to depression and anxiety, so consuming tryptophan can help increase serotonin levels in the body, thereby improving mood and reducing anxiety.

Also found in cacao  is theobromine. A psychoactive substance that has similar effects to caffeine, but whose effects are spread evenly throughout the day and last longer. It can improve mood by stimulating the release of endorphins in the brain, which are responsible for a feeling of happiness and increased energy. It also improves cognitive function and memory and increases attention. Some studies have also shown that theobromine can have a relaxing effect by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow. These effects can help reduce stress and improve overall mood .

Phenylethylamine is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the human brain and is also found iin high amounts in ceremonial cacao and other foods such as cheese and wine. It is sometimes called the "love molecule" because when released in the brain, it has an effect similar to falling in love. It can stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain, which can produce a feeling of happiness and euphoria. Some studies have shown that consuming cacao and especially ceremonial cacao, which contains phenylethylamine, can have a positive effect on mood by increasing feelings of well-being and promoting a sense of relaxation.

Additionally, ceremonial cacao contains a lot of flavonoids, antioxidants that have a positive effect on mood by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. Some studies have shown that consuming cacao, which is rich in flavonoids, may be associated with improvements in cognitive function and overall mood. Flavonoids may also help reduce the body's stress response and reduce the risk of depression.

Daily consumption of raw cacao therefore leads to an overall improved mood and helps to alleviate symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders.

A 2015 study examined these exact effects of cacao on mood in individuals with depression. Participants were given 45 grams of dark chocolate (which is made from cacao) or a placebo daily for eight weeks. Participants who received the chocolate showed a significant improvement in their depression symptoms compared to those who received the placebo.

Ceremonial cacao as a “heart opener”

Due to the mood effects of the above ingredients, ceremonial cacao is often described as heart-opening.

But that's not the only reason. There is also a metaphorical meaning behind the term "heart opener" in relation to ceremonial cacao. Many people find cacao to be a substance that gives them a warm and open feeling in the heart. This feeling of warmth and openness can help to release emotional blockages and open the heart to love, joy and compassion. For this reason, cacao is often used in ceremonies and spiritual practices to promote a deeper connection with oneself and others.

In addition, cacao also has a physical effect on the heart. Cacao contains a number of compounds that may help improve heart health. For example, the flavonoids in ceremonial cacao may help lower blood pressure and improve circulation. They may also help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation and stabilizing blood sugar levels. You can find out more about the effects of ceremonial cacao on physical health here .

In summary, cacao and especially raw and ceremonial cacao has been described as a heart opener in a number of ways. On the one hand, cacao can help improve physical heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation. On the other hand, cacao can also help open the emotional heart by creating a feeling of warmth, openness and comfort in the body. No matter what your reason for consuming cacao or ceremonial cacao, it is clear that it not only tastes good, but also offers a number of potential health and emotional benefits.

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Our ceremonial products are traditionally made by indigenous small businesses in Guatemala.

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