ceremonial Cacao VS Coffee: 5 reasons why you should consider making the switch


More and more people are making the switch from drinking freshly brewed coffee to ceremonial cacao. But why?

If you are a solid coffee drinker, You might be thinking… “Well easy for you to say, there is nothing that can beat that delicious smell and first sip of my morning coffee”. And yes, you might be right! I have been there myself. But, have you ever wondered what happens to your body when you drink coffee every day? Between afternoon crashes, anxiety, digestive issues, restlessness, insomnia, and a potential caffeine dependency, coffee can leave you depleted at the end of the day and make you not feel so very good.

For this and more reasons, I’ll explain to you below, the switch to drinking cacao is made by an increasing amount of people worldwide. Cacao is packed with antioxidants (one of the highest concentrations in any food in the world), magnesium, and mood enhancers that promote focus, reduce stress, and improve sleep. In addition to boosting your immune system and being a natural remedy for coughs, cacao helps to lower blood pressure, prevent strokes, promote overall heart health, aid in digestion, and build strong bones. But on an energetic level, cacao is known to help us open our heart chakra. Something that coffee simply cannot compare to.

Let me break it down for you ….

Side note: Not to be confused with Cocoa / cacao powder or 70-90% dark chocolate. I am talking here about the real deal, the best of the best: 100% pure organic Ceremonial Grade Cacao.

My name is Sharon Fernie and I am the founder of Herbal Cacao, helping people reconnect to their heart and contributing to their healthy conscious lifestyle, with the nourishing and healing powers of the sacred cacao plant, medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs.


1. Does cacao give you energy like coffee?

The caffeine myth

Most people who drink coffee on a daily basis do so not just for the taste, but also because of it’s energy / alert boosting effects. Especially when we just wake up and have to drag ourselves out of the bed to start the working day, coffee comes in handy and almost essential to some people. Why? Coffee contain caffeine that acts as a central nervous system stimulant. When it reaches your brain, the most noticeable effect is alertness. You’ll feel more awake and less tired, but….

Caffeine can trigger headaches. When you consume caffeine on a regular basis, your body becomes dependent on its effects. And because caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties, meaning that blood vessels narrow to restrict blood flow, also the blood vessels that surround the brain, and when consumption is stopped, the blood vessels enlarge. This causes an increase in blood flow around the brain and pressures surrounding the nerves. This can then trigger what is known as a caffeine withdrawal headache. Withdrawal headaches can last for a couple of weeks because it takes the body a while to adjust to not having caffeine in its system.

Instead of caffeine, cacao contains something called theobromine, which translates as “food of the gods”. Cacao is 99.9 percent caffeine-free. Theobromine is a naturally occurring stimulant that if family to caffeine, but works in a way more subtle way than the harsh caffeine does. It dilates blood vessels (instead of constricting them) to increase blood flow, which gives you the same boost of energy that coffee does—except it lasts longer and doesn’t have all the nasty side effects. Despite being a stimulant, theobromine can also help you to sleep better at night as it helps to balance brain chemistry helping to improve your focus and attention

*****My new morning ritual is now not drinking coffee anymore, but cacao as it always opens my heart. What a great way to start the day, with an open heart..

Melinte Reitzema, – Path of the Lioness

2. ceremonial cacao benefits: Improve your mood

Cacao contains naturally occurring mood enhancers like anandamide, serotonin, and tryptophan (the “bliss” chemical in our bodies, the “feel-good” chemical in our brains, and a natural antidepressant amino acid). On top of this cacao and is also know as “the love drug” In other words, it contains the same chemical our bodies release when we fall in love, which improves moods and increases focus and alertness. You will not find this extraordinary composition of love chemicals in any other food source in the world besides cacao.

No, unfortunately coffee doesn’t even come close. Also, don’t fall in the trap of many other store bought cacao products out there. Chocolate is the highly processed from of cacao and even though it still contains these amazing feel good chemicals they will be presented in much lower dosage compared to 100% pure Ceremonial Cacao

3. ceremonial cacao benefits : MOst powerful antioxidant food in the world

Antioxidants are substances in food which prevent damage to your body’s cells and tissues caused by free radicals. It’s important to keep free radicals in check, as they may contribute to aging, cancer and chronic diseases such as heart disease and Parkinson’s disease. Most people consume about 1–2 grams of antioxidants per day primarily from beverages like coffee and tea

Beverages are a much larger source of antioxidants in the Western diet than food. In fact, 79% of dietary antioxidants come from beverages, while only 21% come from food. Coffee is rich in several powerful antioxidants, including hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols, But Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of polyphenol antioxidants and flavonoids in any food in the world!

The antioxidant capacity of foods is referred to as its ORAC value, which stands for oxygen radical absorbance quality. In a lab test, a sample of the food is put in a test tube with molecules that generate free radical activity. After a period of time, the food is examined for free radical damage. The less damage there is, the higher the ORAC value. Coffee ranked very high on the list behind several types of berries. But the all time highest source is still Cacao! (Well actually mushrooms and in particular Chaga mushroom)

100g Coffee has an ORAC value of just 3000.

100g Raw cacao has an * ORAC value of over 85,000. (But Chaga will blow you mind with an ORAC value of over 146,700!)

4. ceremonial cacao benefits : highest plant-based sources of magnesium & iron


Coffee contains five different minerals including calcium and potassium. The mineral value of 100 g coffee is 2 mg calcium, 49 mg potassium, 3 mg magnesium, 3 mg phosphorus, and 2 mg sodium. This is very low compared to our favorite Cacao.

Cacao is extremely rich in vital minerals, needed for optimal bodily functioning and when I say rich, I mean really really really rich! Cacao is one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium & iron in the world! Besides these 2 very important minerals cacao is also rich in calcium best known for strengthening bones and teeth. And other key trace elements including chromium, which helps regulate blood sugar, & zinc, which plays an important role in the growth process, insulin storage, protein synthesis, and sperm production. It also strengthens the immune system.

Other essential vitamins & minerals found in cacao are: vitamine A, B2, B3, B1, E, C and pantothenic acid. And minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, sulfur and potassium.

Did you know …. that magnesium it is the most depleted mineral in our Western society?! These micro-nutrients is essential for over 300 detoxification processes in the body. Magnesium is also important for a healthy heart and science discovered that the concentration of magnesium is 18x higher in the heart than in the bloodstream. Magnesium also helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with laser-sharp clarity and focus. Magnesium is therefore also known as “the relaxation mineral” It lowers pain sensitivity, calms the nerves and is also helpful in menstrual cramps due to its muscle-relaxing effect. Just for this reason, i would want to already consume this heavenly drink everyday in my diet.

Cacao is a powerful prebiotic,- meaning a happy healthy gut

Cacao helps to keep the beneficial bacteria in your intestines happy and healthy. Beneficial bacteria in your colon feed on antioxidants and as you could read before cacao contains an extreme amount of polyphenols ( the most potent antioxidant of all). They get breaking down and resulting small metabolites to get absorbed into your bloodstream, where they will have their beneficial effects.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about it being as acidic and harsh on your digestive system as coffee is; its pH level is usually between 6.4 and 6.8

5. ceremonial cacao benefits: help you lose weight

Coffee is a beverage that is not just highly promoted for its energizing effects, but also a lot of people worldwide are drinking coffee to help lose weight. A popular way to help achieve losing weight is to consume fewer calories than you usually take in. In that sense, black coffee is an ideal beverage to drink for weight loss as it contains less than 5 calories per serving (one 8-0z cup). However due to the high caffeine content, coffee can also mess up your sleep. Even though the high caffeine content is associated with increased metabolism, poor sleep is again linked to increased appetite and hunger. Also, bear in mind what the other nasty side effects of too much caffeine can do to you…

Cacao on the other hand helps you lose weight, as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer!

How? Apart from being a beverage full of happy compounds, cacao is also loaded with nutrients and contains about 50% fat the good type of fat. These good type of fats do not raise blood cholesterol levels and helps to transport nutrients and oxygen to all cells in your body. Remember how I was mentioning cacao helps to open up the blood vessels too?

The carbohydrates found in cacao are mostly soluble dietary fibers that keep us feeling full for longer. It’s also believed that consuming cacao increases the production of a protein called adiponectin. Adults with a higher level of adiponectin in their blood tend to have lower levels of body fat.

A recent study tried to analyse the effects of cacao on patients who are suffering from high-fat induced obesity. The study showed that consumption of cacao along with a high-fat diet, prevented weight gain due to the diet. The anti-obesity activity of cacao works on a genetic level. Meaning; it turns off the genes which are responsible for the synthesis of fatty acids, so these fats do not get accumulated in the system and prevent weight gain.

It all adds up to the overall total package with all these extra benefits described above when consuming cacao. And I dint even mentioned the delicious taste of cacao yet!!

Are you ready to make the switch?

After reading all these amazing benefits of drinking ceremonial cacao, compared to coffee are you you considering in making the switch? If so, all it takes now is just a mindset shift. Here are a few tips to assist you in your transition.

  • Start small. If you are new to ceremonial cacao and don’t want to give up coffee completely, that’s totally fine! Many cacao lovers start by replacing just 1 cup of coffee for cacao on a day and take cacao with a very low dosage. If this is you,I recommend to start with just 1 piece (10 gram) to notice the delicious taste, as well as a bodily effect! Eventually, you can add more cacao as you wish. PS. To avoid withdrawal symptoms like headaches as mentioned above. I highly recommend this step
  • Trust is the first step in making any changes. Trust that cacao will take care of you.
  • Set your intention for your morning beverage. What would you like to gain from consuming this. What would you like to experience, More joy, peaceful morning start, more energy, nutrients to feed your body? What ever it is for, with intention we create meaning and make this more powerful.

Where to buy your Ceremonial Cacao ?

To add some extra health benefits to your cacao consider choosing one of the unique blends from Herbal Cacao

Click here to visit the full collection on our website.

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Thank you for reading my blog post in our Herbal Cacao Journal. 

Feel free to share this post with anyone who you might think can benefit from reading this.

Sharon Fernie (Founder of Herbal Cacao)

With love, 

Sharon Fernie, Founder Herbal Cacao

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