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Organic Cacao Beans

Chocolate begins life as beans (seeds). Our Cacao Beans are the Criollo Amazonico (Heirloom) variety, and have extraordinary health benefits, once thought to be the food of the gods, and now revered as the food of love. Studies* suggest that cacao is an immunomodulator and may be anti-inflammatory, assist circulation, blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as promote healthy gut bacteria and enhance mood.

Proving once and for all, chocolate is truly our friend.

250g / approx. 25 serves / $0.48 per serve

Weight


  • Immunomodulator; strengthening, balancing, supporting and regulating the immune system, optimising immune response.
    Cacao is a fruit and has been through minimal processing, this enables all of the wonderful nutrients that Cacao has to offer to remain.

    A fact that is not commonly known, is that Cacao is classified by science as an Immunomodulator, these effects have been found to be due to one of the main bioactive compounds, the polyphenols (a group of anti-oxidants) which play an important role in preventing the body being put under stress from oxidation, but be careful, polyphenols are bitter tasting, which means they are sometimes removed so that the Chocolate is more palatable. Another compound in Cacao, Theobromine, has been suggested by studies to increase the absorption of the Polyphenols. Nature working together. :)

    In addition to anti-oxidative effects, Cacaos various compounds (Anandamide, Phenylethlamine, Tryptophan and Serotonin) have also been studied to potentially be anti-inflammatory, improve skin health, mood and cognitive performance as well as act as a prebiotic. Cacao also contains one of the highest levels of Magnesium in the natural world, magnesium is an important nutrient required for many functions in the body (blood sugar control, nerve and muscle function, energy production, helps develop bones, and protein synthesis (to name just a few)), making it important to maintain the right levels.

    The Grove Cacao grows in the Amazon rainforest of Satipo, Peru and is the heirloom variety of Criollo Amazonico Cacao. Real Cacao has a phenomenal nutritional profile, which can sometimes be overlooked by many mainstream nutritionists. The Grove Cacao is certified organic by the EU and Fair Trade by the Control Union.

    More research can be found under the Science tab.

    Functions / systems within the body this product helps to balance


    Feelings we notice by supporting the 'functions'

     

    Nutritional Panel

    Serving Size: 10g per Serve
    Ingredients: Organic Whole Cacao Bean (Theobroma cacao, criollo-heavy)

    Per Serve (10g) Per 100g
    Energy (kJ) 272.70kJ 2727.00kJ 
    Calories (kcal) 64.16kcal 641.65kcal
    Protien 1.39g 13.87g
    Total Carbohydrates 2.22g 22.15g
    - Sugars 0.00g 0.00g
    - Fibre 5.68g 56.77g
    Total Fat 5.64g 56.40g
    - Saturated 2.63g 26.31g
    Sodium 8.10mg 81.00mg
    Magnesium 28.30mg 283.00mg
    Potassium 75.10mg 751.00mg

    Active Ingredients

    Theobromine, Polyphenols (anti-oxidant), Anandamide (bliss chemical), Phenyethylamine (nootropic). Saturated fats: Arachidic acid, Linoleic acid, Oleic acid, Palmitic acid, Palmitoleic acid, Stearic acid, and other fatty acids.

    Cautions

    To some Cacao may act as a stimulant.
    Cacao also contains Theobromine that can be toxic to dogs, cats and other animals, causing a variety of symptoms including; hyperactivity, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea and in some instances seizures and possible death. If you have concerns we recommend consulting your health care practitioner.
  • As with many things internet based, a lot of information is copied and pasted, has a dash of creative license, a sprinkling of Chinese whispers and boom you have a new superfood or a superherb. When we select our products we look for the most effective and the very best quality. So we research, then research some more, and provide all of that research here, so that you can make up your own mind.

    ANTI-OXIDANTS

    
Cacaos high levels of Polyphenols (anti-oxidants) are made up of micro-nutrients / antioxidants, one being 'flavan-3-ols' (sometimes referred to as flavanols - with an 'a' not an 'o' for flavonols, these are different). Raw Cacao Beans contain approximately 10% flavan-3-ols, that's a massive 10 grams of per 100 grams, but be careful as. (13, 14)
    Cacaos anti-oxidative effects have been suggested to possess; anti-inflammatory and DNA repair activities—DNA being the building blocks of the body and its functions—when the DNA is compromised it has the potential to be more susceptible to disease. (5, 10, 18)
    A study was carried out based on the current "Super-food" and "Super-fruit" phenomenon, in an effort to try to clarify where fruits / foods sit on the scale-based on their anti-oxidant profile. When compared to acai, blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate, Cacao powder came out on top with more than double that of the other powdered fruits. (12).
    See the other benefits below to see the full extent of Cacaos polyphenols and their impact on your health!

    MAGNESIUM

    Cacao also contains one of the highest levels of magnesium in the natural world, the Cacao bean for instance contains approx, 300mg per 100g (comparatively to almonds that contain around 80mg per 100g (in rare cases it has even been as high as 500mg per 100g)) — for health, females require around 300mg and men around 420mg per day. Magnesium is key in supporting the human body, it is required for blood sugar control, nerve and muscle function, energy production, helps develop bones, and protein synthesis (to name just a few).
    Due to all these actions in the body, when you have the right levels of Magnesium in the system your body is able to preform optimally.

    IMMUNE SUPPORT and ANTI-INFLAMMATORY (Pain relief)

    The immune system is responsible for many things, as Cacao is classified as an IMMUNOMODULATOR, it has many abilities when it comes to the immune system as well s inflammation. Compounds in Cacao have been studied to potentially reduce the break down of the essential amino acid, Tryptophan, which studies suggest may stimulate the immune system. Tryptophan is also a precursor for (helps create); Serotonin (feeling of wellbeing and happiness) and Niacin/Vitamin B3 (lacking Niacin may cause nausea, headaches, tiredness, anemia, skin and mouth lesions). (23)
    Studies have been performed surrounding the benefits of the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Cacaos polyphenols, suggest that they may promote anti-tumor effects. (23, 5, 7)
    For tumors to grow they need to form blood vessels, this is called 'Angiogenesis'. The proanthocyanidin component of the polyphenols (anti-oxidant micro-nutrients) within Cacao have been shown to have anti-angiogenesis effects. (2, 13)
    Other recent studies suggest that when you consume foods and/or beverages containing theobromine (abundant in Cacao), they can be effective in preventing glioblastoma—which is the most common form of brain tumor. (1) The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Cacaos polyphenols have also been suggested by to promote anti-tumor effects and enhance the efficacy of cancer drug treatments (tamoxifen, which is used to treat breast cancer). (4)
    The awesome contents of the polyphenols (micro-nutrients) in Cacao have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. (6, 15, 23, 24, 25)

    INFLAMMATION (Mood, Cognitive Performance)

    The compounds in cacao that are responsible for mood and cognitive enhancement can be classified as nootropics. Various compounds in cacao have been shown to impact mood. They either do this within the body via their own bioactivities or through an indirect activity such as aiding a reduction in inflammation, these compounds are: Polyphenols, Theobromine, Anandamide, Phenylethlamine, Tryptophan and Serotonin.
    • THEOBROMINE
      Another bitter bioactive compound in Cacao is the theobromine, this compound effects your mood (similarly to caffeine, but without the unwanted side effects), It has also been suggested that it has an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant capacity. Interestingly, studies have shown that the theobromine in Cacao aids the absorption of the polyphenols in Cacao.
      NOTE: Theobromine is the compound that can be toxic to dogs, cats and other animals, causing a variety of symptoms including; hyperactivity, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea and in some instances seizures and possible death. :(
    • ANANDAMIDE
      The name comes from ananda, the Sanskrit word for "bliss". Anandamide (AEA) is classified as a fatty acid nootropic classed as a canabinoid as it impacts the nervous system and binds to the canabinoid receptors in the brain. Anandamide has also been shown to potentially have anti-inflammatory effects as well as a calming and mood lifting, "bliss effect". So anandamide doesn't only help you feel blissful directly, but is also helps prevent the breakdown of other compounds that make you feel blissful - Nature is PHENOMENAL!
    • PHENYLETHYLAMINE (PEA), TRYPTOPHAN, SERATONIN
      It has been suggested that phenylethylamine has the ability to increase dopamine (which is another pleasure receptor in the brain). From the science that we have found, it suggests that this in only found in cacao in trace amounts (around 3mg per kg), and you need around 400mg per day...
      
Not only does cacao help prevent the breakdown of tryptophan, but it has been shown to contain trace amounts of the compound which is the precursor for seratonin, and also trace amounts of seratonin (approx. 2.7mg per 100g).
      
Although these may not be a primary active compounds, they certainly add to Cacaos healthy compound arsenal.


    SKIN CARE

    Skin ageing is complex and inevitable, but we can do things to nourish our skin, both topically and via the diet and we can glow. Because cacaos polyphenols possess anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-oxidative and DNA repair activities, when cacao is regularly used topically and/or as food, it may help protect against a variety of skin disorders caused by excessive exposure to the suns UV rays — UV damage is a huge cause of premature skin ageing and damages cells deeper than the skins surface — anti-aging, can't go wrong with that! (18, 10)

    PREGNANCY

    Studies have suggested that if you consume cacao during pregnancy, it can potentially prevent preeclapmsia. (Ensure you consult your doctor before changing your diet when pregnant). (8)

    ATHEROSCLEROSIS

    Atherosclerosis is where plaque builds up in your arteries and can effect any artery in the body. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Studies suggest that the polyphenols in Cacao may help inhibit the development of Atherosclerosis by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. (15)

    KIDNEY STONES

    Uric Acid Kidney Stone form from the uric acid increasing in the urine and solidifying creating the kidney stone. Scientific studies suggest that the theobromine in cacao products inhibits the formation of the uric acid into stones, and so may be useful clinically. (7)

    GUT BACTERIA

    Where probiotics provide good bacteria to the gut, prebiotics provide nourishment for the good bacteria. The Polyphenol (flavanols) in Cacao potentially also act as a prebiotic and probiotic for various microbiota. (16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26)
     

  • FARMING

    The Cacao is sustainably, fair traded and organically grown in Andes of Peru (Satipo) which is a region at the edge of the Amazon basin. Each family in the co-operative has about 2 hectares of criollo cacao and coffee bushes grown in the forest of larger trees - mainly pacae and other forest trees. Once they are ready to be harvested, the cacao pods are harvested from the trees, cracked open and the beans (seeds) removed.


    PROCESSING

    They beans are fermented at 45°C (it is important for the temperature not to exceed 45°C as it will effect the nutrient structure and taste), once fermentation is complete they are washed, organically disinfected and then dried for 6 hours at a controlled temperature or until 5% humidity. The beans are then bulk packed ready to send to The Grove HQ.


    IMPORTING

    The product is then put on a ship and sails to Australia and arrives at The Grove HQ approximately 12 weeks later.


    PACKING

    Once it arrives at The Grove HQ we carry out quality control (QC) checks and repackage it ready for you.






    PRODUCT OF PERU.
    PACKAGED IN AUSTRALIA WITH LOVE.
     

    The Life of Cacao

    Cacao trees generally grow in a tropical climate (humid with high rain fall), usually at altitudes below 1000ft. They do not grow very well in dry climates. Although many countries now grow Cacao, the tree originates in the Amazon basin. The Cacao tree is an evergreen and can grow up to 15-25ft tall, with the flowers and fruit growing directly on the trunk. The fruit/pod can grow to around 30cm in length, starting life green, turning yellow, red or purple when ripe and ready for harvesting, with each fruit/pod containing around 50 cacao seeds (beans) surrounded by a white sugary pulp.

    The Grove Cacao comes from the Amazon basin and is the Criollo Theobroma Cacao Heirloom variety from Satipo, Peru. This region is known locally as the Queen of Cacao because of its fine aroma and distinctive flavour that is typical of the Creoles of South America. It is cultivated by a small group group of farmers whose ancestors have farmed these fruit for thousands of years. They are registered with the World Fair Trade Organisation and certified Organic with the USDA and EU by the Control Union. Through this they receive technical, social and financial assistance to ensure that they are able to continue to provide a consistent, quality product. Although Cacao can be grown in Australia, is not of the quality and flavour that can be obtained as well as it can from the Peruvian Andes, hence our decision to import this product.

    The International Cacao Organisation (ICCO) has been growing steadily due to the increased demand for quality cacao products. They support Cacao farmers, and have introduced many to Organic methods and techniques for farming and post-harvest processing, as well as making great efforts to ensure sustainability, traceability and transparency.
  • traditional uses

    Staple Food Source
    Currency
    Food of the Gods
    Skin Conditions
    Anti-Fatigue
    Medicine Delivery
    Sacrifices
    Ceremonies
    Toxic to females
     

    History

    It’s hard to pin down the exact origin of Cacao due to wild and diverse amazonian landscape where it comes from. Although, archeological digs have been able to trace it to the Olmec, Mayan and Aztecs, between 1900-900BC, where cacaos active ingredient theobromine has been found in their pottery and ceramics - pretty cool! Obviously Cacao powder is a direct product from Cacao beans, so the history is relating directly to Cacao rather than a part of it.

    Historically Cacao has been used nutritionally, as a primary medicinal remedy and during ceremonies / sacrifices. Cacao paste was used to deliver other medicines where the body required them and counter bitterness of drugs, and of course-more recently it has been revered as a confectionary.
    • The Olmec people were proposed to be the first in Mesoamerica and are said to have laid the foundations for the following cultures, including the use of Cacao! Little is written about their use of cacao other than it being found in their pottery.
    • The Mayans overthrew the Olmecs, their mythology indicates that they believed their gods discovered Cacao (kawkaw) in a mountain (among other foods), and after their divine grandmother goddess "Xmucane" created humans from Maize they were given cacao by the "Plumbed Serpent". Their Cacao god, "Ek Chuah", was then celebrated annually when they held a festival where they made animal sacrifices, various offerings and exchanged gifts.
      Jonathon Haas-curator of the chocolate exhibition at the field museum in Chicago-has said that Cacao was seen by the Mayan people as a "beverage of everyday people and the food of the gods".
      Chocolate at every meal - YES PLEASE!
      When making their beverages it is said that the Mayan people would scoop out the seeds and allow them to turn a rich, dark brown via fermentation, they would then dry and roast them to make a chocolate paste, mix it with water and spices, finally creating a cold, bitter, thick and foamy drink, which was thickened by pouring the liquid from one vessel to another. YUM - JUST YUM!
      Interestingly, it would seem that the first association of Chocolate and love, which may be a westernised assumption, was when the Mayans drank cacao during marriage ceremonies. But since it was also used during baptisms, and other religious ceremonies, it would appear that they just LOVED chocolate! And who wouldn't! Here at The Grove we definitely go with "chocolate is the food of love".
      They also used Cacao beans as currency to trade for food and clothing. It was very valuable due to it being difficult to grow and having a low yield. Counterfeiting was also a problem, the beans would be removed from the outer pod and filled with mud, or different items would be painted the same colour.
    • Aztec mythology indicates that Cacao (cacahuatl meaning "bitter water") was similarly discovered in a mountain (with other foods) by their god "Quetzalcoatl". They regularly made offerings to many gods, one such offering involved priests piercing their earlobes and covering the beans with their blood. They also believed that the cacao beverage was toxic to females and children, so only men were allowed to partake - lucky men.
      Having overthrown the Mayan people and taken their lands, the Aztecs also began using cacao as currency. And were known to mix cacao with tobacco and smoke it.

    WESTERNISATION:

    1500's
    Christopher Columbus originally discovered the fruit in 1502, with his Son noticing that the natives valued it greatly, having been reported to say "for when they were brought on board ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick it up, as if an eye had fallen." Although Columbus took them back to Spain, they were not embraced until Spanish Friars took them back and introduced them to the Spanish nobel court called chocolatl.
    1600's
    The wealthy French were said to be touting a cacao drink as being delicious and healthy.
    1700's
    The French had moved it to the Uk and opened a hot chocolate house, leading to this kind of houses popping up throughout the England.
    1800's
    Cacao spread quickly and throughout Europe, many countries were producing chocolatey products from cacao. When the steam engine was introduced it made production costs much lower, and so chocolate became accessible to all and not just a product enjoyed by the wealthy.

    DOCUMENTED MEDICINAL USES OF CACAO:

    Badianus Codex (1552)
    This is the Aztec manuscript of all things medicinal in the aztec world. The content is unique in that the information it is exactly as the Aztecs described, with no alterations or interpretations. Cacao flowers to treat fatigue. Cacao bark, flowers, butter and leaves were used to treat skin conditions such as burns, cuts and irritations.
    Florentine Codex (1590)
    This is an encyclopaedia of all things Spanish, there are a few books, one of which is dedicated to the aztecs, in this book it is referenced that Cacao beans, maize and the herb tlacoxochitl (Calliandra anomala) are prescribed for fever, shortness of breath and heart issues.
    European 16th to early 20th century
    There are various manuscripts during this period that mention the use of Cacao for around 100+ medicinal purposes, some of which have not been substantiated by science including:
    • anti-fatigue,
    • organ health and function,
    • anemia,
    • poor appetite,
    • mental fatigue,
    • poor breast milk production,
    • consumption/tuberculosis,
    • fever,
    • gout,
    • kidney stones,
    • longevity, and
    • poor sexual appetite/low virility.
  • Getting in the Kitchen

    As the whole bean straight from the tree, you can take these little rascals anywhere as a quick snack. Pop them in the kids lunch boxes, or smash them down into nibs at home and use them in cooking or on cereal. They are great with any berries, nuts and seeds. Or you can even grind them with your coffee beans for a Mocha. :)

    Recipes in the Blog

     

    Care

    We have packaged your product in cost effective black bags, which protect the products from damaging UV rays which degrade your product. We have also inserted a silica-based desiccant pack to absorb any unwanted moisture and keep your products safer and help them last longer.
    To ensure your product status fresh we recommend storing it in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight, this will also ensure that it is not exposed to additional heat and moisture.

    Cautions

    To some Cacao may act as a stimulant.
    Cacao also contains Theobromine that can be toxic to dogs, cats and other animals, causing a variety of symptoms including; hyperactivity, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea and in some instances seizures and possible death. If you have concerns we recommend consulting your health care practitioner.

THIS PRODUCT IS NOT A MIRACLE DRUG. THE GROVE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO TREAT, DIAGNOSE, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
FOR FULL DISCLAIMER THE LINK IN THIS WEBSITES FOOTER.


PERUVIAN Tradition

At The Grove we are committed to ensuring that the products that we source are done so while respecting the; environment, people and traditional cultures that have flourished there for 1000's of years. We work closely with our suppliers to support the farmers, their families, the communities and the natural environment that they live in, ensuring the sustainability, economy, traditions and quality of the entire process from seed to table. By ensuring that our products are sourced in this way, ensures consistent premium flavour and nutrient content.



"I drink cocoa: with it I am glad, my heart takes pleasure, my heart is happy" — aztec poem excerpt


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