Raw cacao has several stimulating qualities to it, and causes feelings of well being – like normal chocolate – but many, many times stronger, and without the energy crash that comes later. Because Mr Popple does not roast his cacao beans, lots of nutrients that normally get destroyed by roasting are left intact. Some of the nutritional compounds in Mr Popple’s raw chocolate bars can cause pleasant psychoactive effects.
These effects come from:
Tryptophan – the body can convert this essential amino acid into serotonin which is one of the most powerful mood elevating neurotransmitters. Having an abundance of serotonin will help you feel great all day! Raw cacao is known as “nature’s prozac” for this reason
Theobromine – has a similar effect to caffeine
Anandimine – this cannabinoid produces mild feelings of bliss
Endorphins – released when eating exceptional chocolate, these produce a warm inner glow
Phenylethylamine (PEA) – this is the chemical released by the brain when we fall in love
Quite a cocktail I think you’ll agree, enough to keep you going all day – and night!
Mr Popple uses raw cacao in his raw chocolate recipes for much the same reasons as he prefers raw or slightly steamed vegetables – when cacao is roasted (something traditional chocolatiers do to alter the flavour of their chocolate), many of the nutritional properties are destroyed.
There are over 300 nutritional compounds in raw chocolate including many trace vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Raw cacao has more antioxidants than any other food, including green tea, red wine and roasted/refined dark chocolate.
Raw cacao is also the number one food source for magnesium. This could be one of the reasons for chocolate cravings – most people are deficient in magnesium.