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?
I like stimulants :P
thanks guys, that is brilliant, I had given up looking for unfermented beans.
Yup, and you can even get them with the fruit on the outside!
I am sometimes hard on myself bout eating raw cacao, but yesterday I had a BUNCH and felt euphoric and uplifted all day – without the jitters. I just felt like I was in an altered state of consciousness.
I think cacao is one of the foods that bring joy to our lives, and we should enjoy it. Theobromine has a mood-enhancing effect. Yes, MOTH, you hit the jackpot. You experienced the joy that food and its nutritive properties give.
Frankly I don’t have a big problem with it either, as long as it’s in moderation.