Mexican Superfood


It’s the strangest thing. I’ve been feeling amazing over the past month. Today I swam for 40 minutes in the morning and ran for an hour in the afternoon.

Reflecting back, the only thing I changed (originally just for taste) was to add unsweetened cocoa tablets to my coffee twice a day, sometimes with a bit of stevia or honey for taste. A large morning cup and a medium-sized mid-afternoon cup. The cocoa enhances the flavor of coffee, making it more robust.

I picked up a bunch of this cocoa in the Philippines. Tablea. It took a week or two. I think my brain chemistry changed. Better sleep, after decades of recurring insomnia. More energy, more alertness. Cocoa is also very good for “the manpower.”

The ancient Mexicans were the first to cultivate the bean. They drank hot chocolate (the Nahuatl word is chocoatl) as a spicy drink. The Spaniards who tried it when they showed up, univited, found it to be an acquired taste. All the online articles credit the Incas or Mayas but I think the Olmecs of the Gulf Coast (refugees from Atlantis, but that’s another story) really discovered it. After seven years in Central Mexico I think I’m entitled to weigh in on this.

However, the Europeans would eventually take chocolate and contaminate it with refined sugar and milk, diminishing its effect. So today most people think of chocolate as fattening junk food.

The cocoa I’m talking about is not mixed with sugar in a Hershey’s tin. It’s this:

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I got online and discovered that cocoa is indeed some kind of superfood. No surprise there. Here are a few quotes from the Internets.


The benefits of cacao are truly fantastic: it can improve your memory, increase your bliss, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create loads of energy.

The Incas considered it the drink of gods, an association that gave rise to the scientific name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, from the Greek words theo (god) and broma (drink).

It may surprise you to discover that raw cacao contains nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries, and 119 times more than bananas.

Raw (naturally fermented) cacao and processed chocolate sold in bars and pieces are two completely separate foods. Processed chocolate is made with roasted cocoa, sugar, milk, and other ingredients that turn it into a solid food.

Studies have found that by adding dairy this actually blocks the absorption of antioxidants in chocolate. While processed chocolate may taste delicious, the benefits of cacao are only found in the raw form.

As an aphrodisiac – Another mood-enhancing compound found in cacao is PEA or phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and pleasurable opium-like neurochemicals. These often release naturally when we fall in love and during sexual activity. (The only other food on earth that contains PEA is blue-green algae.)

Read more:

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, drinking hot chocolate can help you think better too. The flavonoids increase the blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Since dementia is caused by a reduced flow of blood to the brain, researchers think it could be treated with cocoa.

Obesity: A study has shown the potential benefits of cocoa in preventing high-fat diet-induced obesity. Its intake helps in modulating lipid metabolism and reducing the synthesis and transport of fatty acids. It has also demonstrated an improvement in thermogenesis, the mechanism of heat production in white adipose tissues and the liver.


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