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cafeine cacao

Hi I am new and I was amazed about the fact that cacao is a admitted food. Isn’t there cafeine in there? Not good for the body seems to me?



  • I found that some, in the raw community are for it and others omit it from their diets.

    We use to use it a lot. But now, the longer, we eat raw…the less we use a lot of certain ingredients. Cacao being one of those items. We use it in moderation. I think it comes down to personal preference.

    But in the end, I think most do end up transitioning into a whole different realm.

  • I agree. I have omitted almost all rich food items such as cocoa, nuts, and even most sweeteners. I find I enjoy simpler and simpler things. It’s a preference though and I’m just going with what my body tells me.

    To each his own in the realm of raw.

  • The main stimulant in cacao is theobromine, with only small amounts of caffeine. I find that, for me, the effect is NOTHING like heated cocoa/chocolate products, even when all other ingredients are the same, and I get a lot of medicinal/therapeutic benefits from the raw cacao, so I like to use it. I only use the Sunfood brand, because some others have given me unpleasant reactions.

  • Yes, see what works for you. For some reason, some people get overstimulated on raw cacao. I met someone recently who suffered some adrenal exhaustion from overdoing it. Gabriel Cousens believes anything more than 16 beans (approx. 2/3 oz.) per day can stress your adrenals. We really don’t have much research to go on regarding raw cacao. Most of the research out there is on cooked chocolate, esp. cocoa. It’s possible there is some kind of relationship between the theobromine and caffeine, that when combined together, it creates a more stimulating effect than either substance used alone.

    When beans or nibs are eaten unblended, say, in a snack, they can be much more stimulating. However, I’ve found that when blended (using beans, nibs or cacao powder), it’s not as stimulating. When the cacao comes in contact with metal, as in a blender’s metal blades, much of the caffeine and theobromine is possibly destroyed. David Wolfe estimates 5 beans unblended equals about 12-15 beans blended.

    Also, see if you notice a difference between nibs/beans and powder. I’m still trying to figure this one out. :)

  • wouw. THX for all your reactions. I try to consume with moderation.. consider it a a treat!

  • Yes, I love raw cacao. I try to hit that happy medium, not too much, but at the same time, not too little!

  • I am also trying to stray away as I think it keeps me up at night. I am still in a very transitional stage where I sent pretty much straight to all raw but am fighting eating way too many nuts, cacao and other more junk-like aspects of the raw diet.

    I do not think my body loves the cacao as well, but in all honesty every-time I have cacao it is done in conjunction with coconut oil or coconut butter so I am not sure which is the food irritating my system.

    Cacao definitely sounds like one of those debatable topics with many different views.

  • Personally, I love raw cacao. It’s strange because overall I am VERY sensitive to caffeine and cut it out of my diet way before going raw but for some reason cacao doesn’t bother me. I couldn’t drink an iced tea at lunch and sleep well but I can have cacao at night and I’m fine. I love to mash up bananas, drizzle on some coconut oil, sprinkle cacao on quite generously and add a dash of sea salt. My favorite quickie dessert!!

  • ps- I should probably have mentioned in my last post that I have been clinically diagnosed as allergic to chocolate as well as half the other food on the planet, ha. So maybe, well probably this could explain my bodies adverse reaction to cacao if it is in fact the cacao and not the coconut that bothers my body.

    This is just a side-note but I find cacao fine alone, quite satisfying eating the nibs straight, but when mixed with dates and other yummy things it starts to feel very addictive.

  • Was diagnosed also as allergic to caffeine many years ago and was told in turn that meant chocolate but I’m the same as you Tryingraw.

    So gave up caffeine some time ago, had a decaf the other day (very very rare) and got palpitations! Am fine with cacao though.

    I love the stuff and get no adverse reactions, I agree its poss quite addictive but hey, much better than alot of the other junk out there I could be addicted to :o)

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    it’s admitted because it’s considered a “superfood”. david wolfe is a big promoter.

  • ZoeZoe

    I have heard it said that Raw caffeine balances the adrenals and is good for us.

    Everyone knows that cooked caffeine puts adrenals out of balance and isn’t good for us.

    I get jittery and wired on cacao, and exhausted. I checked it out and it is reaches temperatures way over the ‘legal’ limit for raw when it is fermented, and I can’t find any unfermented cacao for sale anywhere in the world. It is also dried at high temperatures. And it can’t be sprouted. Another thing I noticed is that some bags of cacao nibs are roasted, but the ‘roasted’ is in such small print you might miss it and not realise that it has been roasted too. Our local health food shop sells roasted cacao nibs and calls it raw cacao. They’re not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, they just don’t know about raw fooders needs yet.

    Anyway, I experimented with Guarana, I found some high quaity, raw organic guarana, it is full of caffeine, but it didn’t have a coffee or cacao effect on me. It felt lovely without exhausting and draining me, it wasn’t jittery or shaky. It made me talk a lot, write a lot and feel inspired. I think the difference might be because cacao is not raw, and the guarana I got was raw.

  • Zoe: That’s a great point about fermented cacao beans being more stimulating. This might be a good topic for future research.

  • ZoeZoe

    I would Love to research it but I can’t find any unfermented beans. They should be purple inside and soft. Been looking for a few years on and off for them.

  • evergreenevergreen Raw Master

    hi everyone… i think there are unfermented beans for sale at www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com

    they are the nibs from mexico:)

    these too!

    you can always grow your own! scroll down to theobroma cacao:)

  • evergreen: That’s a great find. I always thought unfermented beans were less chocolatey, but WFN contends they are sweeter and more chocolatey. Interesting! I might just try them someday. They are from Mexico, and from what I’ve read, historically, Mexico has had top quality criollo beans, but in the last century or two, the lower quality forastero beans have taken over. Pure, unhybridized criollo is hard to find, although I’ve read they are some farms in Ecuador and Venezuela still growing them. Many Americans associate forastero-sourced chocolate as being more chocolatey, since they have a hint of coffee. :)

  • I had always been confused about this raw cacao claim and the conflicting things I’d heard, until Zoe put some info on another thread explaining it in the same way as above. But the other day I was reading this thread where some guys were talking about raw choc bars and there was a post with a link to a ‘raw’ cacao website, where they had some pictures of their beans and of some plants that they had sprouted from them.

    I thought this was really interesting but couldnt find any more written info on the website to give an explanation..

    If I can find it I’ll update this post with the link, I’d be interested to see what people think

    Hey I found it.. ! If you click on the link and scroll down you’ll see the pics


  • David Wolfe is now advertising “truly raw, unfermented” cacao nibs or beans – I don’t remember which, or both. www.sunfood.com

  • I just bought raw cocao from Wilderness Family Naturals for $19.95. They state that the temperature is never over 120 degrees and usually 104 degrees. This may be borderline but I am not 100%. I noticed the flavor is different from the raw cocao I got from Whole Foods.

  • Cacao, when raw, is one of the healthiest foods on Earth. It’s only cooked chocolate that’s bad for you.

    Get David Wolfe and Shazzie’s Naked Chocolate book and read all the health benefits. Always buy truly raw, unfermented, cacao beans. I am more unsure about the powder.

  • Zoe: have you looked on sunfood.com? They sell raw, unfermented, cacao beans. You can even buy them with the fruit still on it, low-temp dried.

  • durian, have you bought the Naked Chocolate book? I do see where your coming from, though, but what harm is in small amounts?

  • Here’s an extract from Naked Chocolate, page iii:

    “Due to the haphazard chaos magic research process that created this book, some references to studies and facts were lost. If you find information in this book that is unreferenced or unsubstantiated with a reference, we recommend that you do the book and Internet research to corroborate the information. If you find a reference that we neglected to credit, please email it to us (nature@rawfood.com) so that we may include it in future editions of this book.”

    In other words: We couldn’t be bothered to do the necessary fact-checking, and referencing that a serious book deserves. But you should believe what we have to say anyway. And if you don’t please do the work that we should have done before publishing this document.

    Is it any wonder that this disclaimer appears in the preamble (which almost no-one usually reads)? Should I really take any of the contents of Naked Chocolate seriously? Why should I trust a chaos magic research process more than, say, all documented negative side-effects of caffeine and theobromine?

    I’m not here to say that cacao should or shouldn’t be a part of a raw diet. It seems everyone has a different definition of what constitutes a raw diet, or a raw fooder. But let’s see Naked Chocolate for what it really is—a manifesto for chocolate written by the two largest cacao salespeople on either side of the Atlantic.

    If you want to eat cacao, fine. If you want to believe it’s actually good for you, I won’t stand in your way. I don’t want to tell you what to believe. But I don’t believe that simply calling something a ‘superfood’ makes it so. Like durianrider, I’ve eaten the white juicy fruit part from fresh cacao, but the seeds were bitter and are not something I’m looking to add to my diet. I’d rather eat sweet and juicy fruit.

  • I’m with Simon. I don’t have access to the fruit but cacao is bitter and the only times I use it are the raw cocoa powder in certain recipes. I never use more than a couple tablespoons though.

  • ZoeZoe

    Hi Rawkidchef and (blueberry),

    I went to look on sunfood.com couldn’t find any unfermented cacao, have you got a link to it?

    Evergreen I really liked that website, but I couldn’t see where it sold unfermented beans. Thanks for the link.

  • Zoe, Here’s the link: http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com/raw.htm

    They don’t have the beans, only the nibs. :)

  • Hi Zoe (and Tonka),

    Natural Zing, I mean, not Sunfood. You’re right, Sunfood doesn’t have them.


  • caffeine actually constricts the blood vessels.. that’s why it helps relieve migraine pain, which is caused by swollen blood vessels. Just had this conversation with my neurologist yesterday

  • Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance found in the leaves, seeds or fruits of more than 60 plants.

    I am perplexed that there would even be a discussion whether raw cacao has a place in a raw food diet. If the food is raw, of course! The amount of caffeine in raw cacao is pretty tiny, almost trace (I think it’s about 1/20th of tea’s). Raw cacao has loads of antioxidant activity and all kinds of nutritional benefits. Just because someone makes money selling it or doesn’t have references to support all their claims doesn’t invalidate the benefits of it.

    Theobromine is an alkaloid and lesser homologue of caffeine (it has a similar chemical structure and effect, but lesser). It is also found in the kola nut, guarana, tea, and other plants.

    I guess it could be toxic in very large quantities which would require chemical isolation, but so would most things! We could break down the chemical composition of all plants if we wanted and isolate those components, and sure, they might be toxic in huge quantities, but what’s the point?

    There is no reason to target caffeine or theobromine or any other other naturally-occurring chemical component of plants (of course there are some poisonous plants, but we and the other animals have learned what those are over the millennia and avoid them).

    And just because something has been labeled a stimulant shouldn’t make it a no-no either. Thousands of plants have stimulating effects of one kind or another, whether they are so-called psychomotor stimulants, appetite stimulants, digestive stimulants, respiratory stimulants, purgative stimulants, etc. I could go on and on, but all this means is that certain compounds have stimulating effects of one kind or another that have been identified. We’re talking naturally-occurring compounds, not lab-extracted or derived pharmaceutical drugs.

    Stimulating conversation, yes?

  • dodododo Raw Newbie

    I like stimulants :P

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