Cacao is a seed or a nut of a Theobroma Cacao tree. It is an amazing superfood, and it is definitely a superhero for our brains. Few people think of chocolate as being an incredible source of nutrients let alone a super brainfood, but when raw and unadultered, it can even be considered a medicine! It is that powerful.
How can something that tastes so terrific possibly help your child become an unstoppable brainiac?
For starters, the flavanols in the cacao increase blood flow and nutrient delivery to the brain and enhance brain function.
The high magnesium content increases brainpower, and supports and enhances countless other vital bodily functions.
The high chromium content aids in balancing blood sugars, and, as discussed in a previous post, blood sugar regulation is very important to brain function.
Cacao also contains essential fatty acids, which the brain needs to function optimally.
Phenylethylamines are in there, which, help increase focus and attention.
Then there is anandamide, a “feel good” endorphin. Anandamide helps give that calm and collected feeling needed for logical thinking and stress free unmessablewith confidence. In fact, according to David Wolfe in his Superfoods book, raw cacao not only has anandamide, which he calls the “bliss chemical”, but it also contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease the breakdown of the anandamide that we already have in our bodies. How wonderful is that? (Or should I say how blissful is that?)
It is also loaded with the amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan is necessary in the production of the “happy” neurotransmitter serotonin. Many antidepressants raise serotonin levels as their main mode of action. Serotonin makes one feel as though all is well. We could all use a little serotonin I’m sure! Makes me think of a quote I once read “happy people do not have fewer problems, they just handle them differently”. Perhaps cacao could help your child handle the problems the world will throw at them differently.
Cacao is also an excellent fibre source, which will help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. We now know that a healthy gut is necessary for a healthy brain in function, memory, and in mood and disposition. And, the fibre and magnesium combo help keep bowel movements regular, ensuring that toxins get eliminated instead of reabsorbed.
There are plenty of nutrients and minerals that increase general health and immunity as well...
Need I say more?
It seems, therefore, that a chocolate a day keeps the psychiatrist (and doctors) away… and could help keep your child happy, focused, self-confident, unmessablewith and…