So what would be a PERFECT topic for a Primitive Diva to write about.....? Maybe a primitive elixir and magical food of the gods? Of course,Cacao!
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE ~Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"
Cacao beans were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them instead of gold as money!
When political turmoil caused Cortez to return to Spain in 1528, he brought with him precious minerals, agricultural goods and Cacao beans. Cortez was probably the first to bring Chocoloate to Europe. The world would never be the same! About the Cacao drink- he wrote it was: " A cup of this precious drink will build up resistance and fight fatigue. A cup of this magical elixir permits a man to walk a full day without food"
While I would never suggest you go a day without food to test this theory I will say-I would NEVER go a day without Chocolate. Nor would Ms. Sherman author of Divine Indulgences; Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate!~ Elaine Sherman, Book of Divine Indulgences
Early colonial records indicate how cacao was used as a medicine and acted as a carrier in the administration of other remedies in the 1500's. The medicinal value of cacao was in its ability to treat weak patients with a variety of dis-ease. It was particularly known to improve digestion and stimulate kidney and bowel function. Additional diseases that responded to treatment using cacao was anemia, fatigue, fever, low sex drive, respiratory troubles, poor appetite and low breat milk production. In addition to the cacao bean, the oil/butter was used in the treatment of skin problems including eczema, psoriasis and burns. Today, cacao oil is considered a beauty aid in its use as a skin moisturizer, lubricating agent and when combined with the cacao bean, is used to make the chocolate confectionery we're familiar with. All chocolate is derived from the cacao bean/seeds. Nicknamed 'black gold' by the Spanish, it's no mystery that chocolate continues to captivate our taste buds with its rich bittersweet dance on our palette.
With over 300 identifiable chemical compounds, cacao is one of the most complex and pleasurably satisfying foods on the planet. In its raw form, cacao contains anandamide (a euphoric substance), arginine (a natural aphrodisiac), neurotransmitters that stimulate and balance brain activity, tryptophan (an anti-depressant), antioxidants and other beneficial compounds known to have rejuvenating and anti-ageing elements. Cacao is high in the mineral magnesium, essential for helping the heart to pump blood efficiently, building strong bones, and lowering blood pressure. In fact, the strong desire for chocolate during the female menstrual cycle may be related to cravings for magnesium, a mineral with calming qualities. Cacao is a good source of the beauty mineral sulphur, responsible for healthy skin, nails and hair. In todays culture, chocolate is used as a gift for occasions such as St Valentines Day, Easter, Birthdays and Christmas etc. Many of us are likely to consume a little chocolate everyday for its mood boosting effects in an attempt to escape from the stress of working life. Chocolate satiates our appetite for pleasure like no other substance. Is it any wonder that 50% of women prefer chocolate to sex? The portability and availability of chocolate makes it the perfect private pleasure to enjoy anytime, anywhere.
With the revival of films like 'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory' and 'Le Chocolat', chocolate lovers everywhere got to indulge their fantasies, inspired by the film industry.
A symbol of sensuality, any male suitor is wise to offer a gift of chocolate to any prospective female; a delightful box of dark edibles all wrapped in decorative gold foil will put a smile on any chocolate-loving females face. Cacao has always been associated with fertility and love by PRIMITIVE cultures.
The versatility of chocolate has allowed us to expand our repertoire of how we can engage ourselves with its intense flavours and textures. From mouth-watering rich cream gateaux to the velvety texture in truffles, there is nothing we can't do with chocolate; it inspires us to create more and more mouth-watering variations to satisfy our appetite. In fact, one can devote one's whole life to becoming a chocolate 'creative' of distinction.
Chocolate will always be an affordable luxury that almost anyone can indulge regardless of class or stature. We can all taste what the Aztecs and Mayans tasted and we will always be grateful for their cultivation of the revered and sacred cacao bean. Long may we continue our passionate, blissful affair with this divine gift from the cacao tree.
FatCocoa beans contain approximately 50% fat. It is primarily comprised of two saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic acids) and one mono-unsaturated acid (oleic acid). Cocoa butter and chocolate do not raise blood cholesterol. However, when consuming milk chocolate or lower grade chocolate where a part of the total fat content comes from milk fat or various other types of fat, the cholesterol level might be adversely affected.
SugarThe cacao bean contains quite a lot of carbohydrates, but most of it is starch, soluble dietary fibers, and insoluble dietary fibers. A very small proportion is simple sugars. Sugar is added during the manufacture of chocolate.
AntioxidantsCocoa beans contain polyphenols (similar to those found in wine) with antioxidant properties which are health beneficial. These compounds are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins, and procyandins. The antioxidant flavinoids are found in the nonfat portions of the cocoa bean. The flavinoids also reduce the blood's ability to clot and thus reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Theobromine is a very mild stimulant with a mild diuretic action (increases the production of urine). Theobromine can be toxic to animals like dogs, cats, parrots and horses.
CaffeineCocoa beans contains a very low amount of caffeine, much less than found in coffee, tea and cola drinks.
PhenylethylaminePhenylethylamine is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body's own dopamine and adrenaline.
SerotoninCocoa and chocolate can increase the level of serotonine in the brain. Serotonine levels are often decreased in people with depression and in those experiencing PMS symptoms.
Essential mineralsCocoa beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
VitaminsA, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.
So, Diva's indulge in this magical food in moderation daily....its a first step to being PRIMITIVE!
And a great read while you are savoring this mood elixir is NAKED Chocolate....!
- Queen Bee Wellness
- Three Goats Farm of Montgomery, Texas
- Melissa is a former beauty queen, personal trainer and certified holistic health coach. Melissa founded Queen Bee Wellness to specialize her coaching practice towards Women's Wellness and Beauty. She helps women focus on finding their own natural beauty from a integrative approach of balancing Mind, Body and Soul. Melissa believes that what we put in our mind is just as important as the nourishing food we put in our bodies and products on our skin. She strives to coach women to balance a healthier body image, approach to wellness and authentic living. With her passion for a clean lifestyle, Queen Bee Wellness therapeutic skin care products were born- to help women enhance their natural glow, without causing harm to their health from chemical laden toxic products. Melissa's philosophy to real beauty is summarized in "Wellness is Beauty". Melissa resides on a 10 acre farm in Montgomery, Texas with her husband and teen aged children. In her spare time she is chief goat wrangler and milker of her "Queen Bee" herd of dairy goats at Three Goats Farm.