I have been digging around to find a balanced presentation of both sides of the argument on raw cacao. Last night I stumbled upon a comprehensive yet very understandable presentation of both the pros and cons of raw cacao. It is by a blogger in Australian named Fran went through a massive struggle with acne, although you would NEVER know that to look at her now. Her blog focuses on helping others who suffer from acne find a solution that works for them. Check out this post on HighOnHealth.org for what I feel is an unbiased and honest presentation of the pros and cons of raw cacao. If you have acne issues spend some time poking around the site. I love what this gal is doing for acne sufferers around the world.
Prefer a video take on cacao? I like this you tube video from The Healing Patch on cacao because it covers a fair amount of information AND like the blog post above, leaves it up to you.
For the record, I am not anti-cacao. I am pro cacao, within reason. As you may have noticed by now, my stance on healthy eating is that is is a continuum. If you are throwing back a cup of coffee to jump start your day, then keep the crack train rolling with a snickers bar before lunch, by all means swapping these choices out for a daily cup of Maca Faca would be a “healthier” option. Maca Faca contains raw cacao and it is my top suggestion for a raw food substitute for coffee. That said, over doing or becoming addicted to ANYTHING doesn’t seem like a wise idea.
I can tell you from personal experience that you CAN overdo it with cacao and feel “cracked out” in a way that feels similar to caffeine. But it the only instances I’ve done that I KNEW full well at the time that I was pushing it. I did feel a little sluggish and emotionally sensitive afterward, with what Fran describes as a cacao “hangover”, but it was seriously minor in comparison to how I would feel if I threw back a red bull or a shot of espresso at Starbucks. That’s another reason I love the way she presents the information. She fully admits that the “hangovers” only happened when she really whooped it up with cacao AND that she’s only experienced the challenge as her diet has gotten more and more “clean”. “Its all relative” and “all things in moderation” are the phrases that come to mind.
In summary, raw cacao is awesome and delicious. It offers great nutritional and energetic benefits, but use it with respect and maybe even some loving reverence. My FAVORITE raw cacoa recipe is this one for Orange Cream Cacao Bark…(in my raw desserts book!)