“Cacao! Cacao!” No, I’m not trying to draw exotic birds to my window. I am saying (typing, that is) the name of a potent but oft-misunderstood bean that grows on trees. Some folks actually believe “cacao” is merely the fancy way of saying “cocoa”, or perhaps a mating call at New Age chocolate gatherings. Cacao, though, is all things to all bio-hackers. The methylxanthines in cacao are abundant, and an example of a probably beneficial psychoactive compound—psychoactive meaning simply “a chemical substance that affects mental processes”. The most abundant methylxanthines in cacao are caffeine and theobromine. Yeah, if you’ve ever downed three espressos in rapid succession, you have some some acquaintance with psycho-activity. Never tried it, well then click right here and see what this magical powder is all about.
According to research done by the National Institutes of Health, methylxanthines are the prancing main active components in cacao, coffee, and tea, not to mention (for reasons of awkward pronunciation) yerba maté, yaupon holly, guayusa and guarana berries. People whose research involves staring at tiny things with headache-inducing intensity, report that methylxanthines seem to act on adenosine receptors in the central nervous system, boosting mood, mental concentration, and arousal. Is that a potent combination or what?
Is it any wonder the busybody Mayans called this stuff the Food of the Gods? What would they have done with a Hershey bar? Imagine this scenario. You travel back in time, gather the Mayan big shots in a forest clearing aglow with the light of many torches. You recite a quantity of overwritten gibberish (I can help with that part), and then with a great ceremonial flourish you present to them a slab of sweet dark chocolate, wrapped in embossed golden foil. Those Mayans would flip their feather-festooned headgear.
So; Cacao! Its cerebrovascular magic, antioxidant power-punch, and cognitive high-five already make it noteworthy. When you realize it can also be built into a candy bar...it’s enough to make you giddily build a ziggurat. Which may explain a few things.