ENLIGHTENED DIET: A Truly Ceremonial Chocolate.Unadulterated cacao beans, the source of pure raw chocolate, are still used in places such as the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula for celebration, medicine, and worship. Why? In part because each cacao bean contains up to 2.2 percent phenylethylamine phen·yl·eth·yl·a·mine
An amine, C8H11N, that has pharmacological properties similar to those of amphetamine, occurs naturally as a neurotransmitter in the brain, and is present in chocolate and oil of bitter almonds. , the "love and sex" chemical, as well as neurotransmitters and other compounds that enhance mood, joy, creativity, and imagination (e.g., anandamide, tryptophan tryptophan (trĭp`təfăn), organic compound, one of the 20 amino acids commonly found in animal proteins. Only the l-stereoisomer appears in mammalian protein. , and theobromine the·o·bro·mine
A bitter, colorless alkaloid found in chocolate products and used as a diuretic, vasodilator, and myocardial stimulant.
an alkaloid prepared from dried ripe seed of the tropical American tree ). Also present are magnesium, as well as "good" fats that can help prevent cardiovascular disease, suppress appetite, and stimulate the digestive system. Although most of these ingredients are found only in minute quantities in the bean (with the notable exception of magnesium), it's most likely the combination that produces the well-known chocolate effect.
Unfortunately, the natural joys of chocolate, as well as its sacred roots, are often lost in candy bars produced with high temperatures, refined sugars, processed milk, stabilizing agents, extra caffeine, and waxes.
If you would like to experience raw chocolate without having to visit an indigenous tribe, consider Gnosis gno·sis
Intuitive apprehension of spiritual truths, an esoteric form of knowledge sought by the Gnostics.
[Greek gn Chocolate. Founder Vanessa A. Barg hand-makes her chocolates without refined sugar, dairy, or caffeine (a whole bar contains less caffeine than a cup of decaf coffee), producing a variety of delectable, flavorful truffles and bars. She considers it "a return to the essence of chocolate."
Not only can you enjoy eating healthier chocolate but you can also feel good about buying it, because Barg donates 10 percent of the $6 to $7 cost per bar to Wolfe's Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, a nonprofit charity dedicated to planting edible, fruitful trees and plants to benefit needy populations and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. To learn more, go to GnosisChocolate.com. To apply to receive a fruit tree orchard, go to ftpf.org.