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Cacao & Hemp - The Bliss Factor

Maya cacao god, Ek Chuah (photo by Thor Janson)

 Maya cacao god, Ek Chuah (photo by Thor Janson)

Cacao is the food of the Gods. Originated in the Amazon region more than 5,000 years ago, the image of cacao beans is found on potteries, which suggests that the Gods have given this black seed to mankind.

可可是眾神的食物,起源於五千多年前的亞馬遜地區,在陶器中發現可可豆的形象,當中有著天神賜予這顆黑色種子給人類的意味。



The Mayans cultivated the very first cacao farms in the Yucatan Peninsula in about 600 A.D. In their culture, the cacao pod was a symbol of life and fertility, which was why it was drawn on the stone carvings of palaces and temples. It was also traditionally used as an offering to the gods to bless the crops and the land.

Cacao became a royal drink in the last Aztec dynasty, it was not a dessert, but a bitter healthy drink made with cocoa, chili peppers, vanilla beans and spices, whipped and served in a golden cup. The word "chocolate" comes from the Mayan word "xocoatl", which means "bitter water".

直至公元600年,瑪雅人在尤卡坦半島培育了最早的可可種植園,在他們的文化中,可可豆莢象徵着生命和生育,所以經常出現在宮殿及寺廟的石雕上,在傳統上也被用作奉獻給上帝,祈求保佑農作及土地。

可可於阿茲特克最後一個王朝成為宮廷飲料,但那時的可可並不是甜點,而是味道苦澀的養生飲品,以辣椒、番椒、香草豆和香料添加在可可中,打起泡沫後裝在黃金杯子裡飲用。朱古力這個詞正是來源於瑪雅文字xocoatl,是「苦水」的意思。

 

 

There are different grades of cacao. The ceremonial cacao, also known as sacred cacao, were often used by the Mayans, Aztecs, and the modern Nahua culture. They used cacao in ceremonies and celebrations, especially at weddings, births, baptisms, funerals, religious gatherings and rituals.

可可的品質有不同的級別,被視為神聖的儀式級可可,是屬於美洲的瑪雅人、阿茲特克人和現代納瓦族的文化,他們在儀式和慶祝活動中會使用可可,尤其是在婚禮、分娩、洗禮、葬禮和宗教聚會及儀式上。


 

After conquering Mexico, the Spanish navigator, Hernán Cortés, brought cacao beans back to Europe and presented them to the king. The king felt energized and refreshed after drinking it. At that time, the Spanish even added sugar to the cacao to make it a fragrant and sweet drink. Therefore, cacao became the favorite drink of Spanish nobles and officials, and it even became a royal product, which was the original chocolate drink.

西班牙航海家柯達士征服了墨西哥之後,將可可豆帶回歐洲並獻給國王,當國王喝完可可飲品後,覺得精神百倍。當時西班牙人甚至在可可裡加入糖,熬成一種又香又甜的液體,因此可可成為西班牙達官貴人最喜愛的飲品,更成為宮中御品,這就是最初的朱古力。


 

Drinking cacao is a way to connect with plants in your daily life. Eating cacao gives your brain enough energy, to maintain good physical and mental health.

According to literature, cacao has over a hundred health benefits, including fighting off diseases, boosting energy, improving cardiovascular, liver, gastrointestinal and oral health. It is a diuretic and digestive aid, and can even boost mental energy and protect our skin. It can also activate the body's joy and healing factor, the endogenous cannabinoid "Anandamide".

喝可可是在日常生活中與植物接觸的一種方式,進食可可能讓大腦獲取足夠能量,促進身心健康。

根據文獻記載,可可有過百種健康價值,能抵抗疾病、增強體力、改善心血管、肝臟、腸胃和口腔健康,更能利尿和幫助消化,甚至能增進腦力和保護皮膚。甚至能夠激活身體內的喜樂和療癒因子,內源大麻素"極樂醯胺"。

 


CBD Chocolate

 

 

Cacao has the same magical power as cannabis, it has a unique synergistic effect that can increase the concentration of anandamide in our body and slows down its metabolism, making you feel happy and joyful.

Cacao has such a wide range of health values because it is rich in phytonutrients that supply the body with sufficient amounts of energy to function, which is why it is considered a superfood.

可可與大麻一樣有著神奇的力量,能發揮獨特的協同效應,會令體內的極樂醯胺濃度瞬間提高,並減慢其代謝速度,讓人感到愉快和欣喜,身心康泰。

優質的可可有如此廣泛的健康價值,全因當中含有豐富的植物成份和營養,足夠供應身體運作所需,所以被視為超級食物。

 

Mineral - Magnesium
礦物質—鎂

Magnesium is an important mineral for the human body that can improve heart health, promote bowel movements and energize the brain. At the same time, it is the most deficient element in our daily diet. However, cacao is rich in magnesium.

鎂是對人體很重要礦物質,能改善心臟健康、促進腸胃蠕動,使大腦精力更充沛。同時卻也是飲食中最缺乏的元素,然而,可可卻有著大量的鎂元素。

 

Theobromine
可可鹼

Cacao beans contain theobromine, which stimulates the central nervous system. Theobromine is more effective than the cough medicine codeine, that has side effects such as constipation and drowsiness. Therefore, theobromine has a stronger cough suppressant effect than conventional therapies, and it may also improve tooth decay.

可可豆中有可可鹼,能刺激中樞神經系統。可可鹼的效果勝於止咳藥可待因,而可待因甚至還有諸如便祕和嗜睡等的副作用。因此,可可鹼有比傳統療法更強的止咳功效,而且也可以改善蛀牙。

 

Anandamide
極樂醯胺 

Anandamide is a neurotransmitter, which is associated with emotions, memory, desire and pain perception, etc. Anandamide can bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and make people feel excited. Eating cacao will increase the amount of anandamide in the body. Cacao also contains anandamide inhibitors, which slow down the breakdown of anandamide by enzymes in the body, thus making the duration of excitement even longer.

極樂醯胺是神經傳導物質,它與情緒、記憶、慾望、疼痛的感知等方面相關。極樂醯胺能與腦中大麻素的受體結合,使人亢奮。食用可可之後,體內極樂醯胺會變多,而可可亦含有極樂醯胺抑制劑,會減緩體內酵素分解極樂醯胺的速度,因此會使亢奮期持續更久。


Tryptophan
色胺酸 

Tryptophan is a mood enhancer. When it encounters magnesium, it binds with vitamin B and produces serotonin, which reduces anxiety and increases resistance to stress. However, tryptophan is easily disrupted by heat, and as a result, it is often insufficient in cooked foods. Therefore, eating cacao is an excellent way to obtain tryptophan.

色胺酸會使人心情愉悅,當它遇上體內的鎂後,會和維他命 B 結合並製造血清素,血清素能減少焦慮並增加抗壓力。然而,色胺酸遇熱易受破壞,導致熟食中往往缺乏色胺酸。因此,食用可可是攝取色胺酸的絕佳方式。

 

Cocoa Polypheno

可可多酚

Cacao contains cocoa polyphenol, which is a very strong antioxidant. Studies have shown that after eating chocolate, the concentration of antioxidants in the body will be greatly increased, even better than the effects of red wine and green tea. Antioxidants can remove free radicals, which are closely related to DNA damage, premature aging, heart problems and cancer. At the same time, cocoa polyphenols also have many other benefits, including lifting the spirit, preventing periodontal disease, maintaining a healthy heart, and more.

可可含有可可多酚(cocoa polyphenol),是極強抗氧化劑,有研究顯示,吃了朱古力後,體內的抗氧化劑濃度會大幅提升,甚至勝過紅酒和綠茶的效果。抗氧化劑能夠清除自由基,而自由基與 DNA 受損、提早老化、心臟 問題及癌症息息相關。同時,可可多酚還有很多功效,包括提振精神、預防牙周病、維持心臟健康等等。

 

Flavanol
黃烷醇

Flavanols are natural phytonutrients, which cacao has a high content of. It can help the body produce nitric oxide, accelerate blood flow through the brain, improve blood circulation, revitalize blood vessels in the brain and maintain the brain’s memory functions.

天然植物營養素,而可可擁有含量極高的黃烷醇,能使人體產生一氧化氮、使大腦血液加速、有助血液循環、活化腦部血管和維持記憶力的功效。

 

Phenethylamine
苯乙胺

Cacao and Cyanobacteria contain high levels of phenethylamine that can excite people and enhance focus and concentration. Phenethylamine is an alkaloid that acts as a central nervous system stimulant to create a feeling of being in love. This substance can make people feel confident and courageous in the process of falling in love without feeling exhausted. When the brain is filled with phenethylamine, presynaptic vesicles are the first to interact with phenethylamine, which then activates dopamine and increases its concentration, allowing people to concentrate and think positively.

可可跟藍綠藻中都有大量的苯乙胺,能使人興奮並加強專注力。苯乙胺是種使人產生戀愛感的神經興奮劑,這種物質能使人們在戀愛過程中不知疲憊,並擁有信心和勇氣。大腦充滿苯乙胺時,突觸前囊泡會先引入苯乙胺,多巴胺才會被激活並增加濃度,讓人可以集中精神和正向思考。

 

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)
單胺氧化酶抑制劑

Cocoa contains enzyme inhibitors that regulate neurotransmitters, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) and other similar compounds, which may have anti-aging, anti-depressant and appetite reducing effects.

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) depletes or recycles neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. When we are young, large amounts of neurotransmitters could be easily produced which makes us happy. As we age, MAO becomes more active, thus reducing the concentration of neurotransmitters inside our body, causing us to feel depressed, irritable and speeding up the aging process. However, MAOI found in cacao can inhibit the MAO in the body and therefore increase the concentration of neurotransmitters, making cacao an excellent anti-aging and anti-depression food.

可可含有調節神經傳導物質的酵素抑制劑,例如單胺氧化酶抑制劑 (簡稱 MAOI,Monoamine oxidase inhibitor) 和其他類似化合物,這些物質可以抗衰老、抗憂鬱和降低食慾。

單胺氧化酶(簡稱 MAO)會消耗或回收血清素、多巴胺、腎上腺素和正腎上腺素等神經傳導物質。人類在年輕的時候能製造大量神經傳導物質,從而感到快樂。到了年老的時候,MAO 會越來越活躍,因而降低神經傳導物質的濃度,使我們感到憂鬱、脾氣更暴躁並加速老化。然而,可可中的 MAOI 能抑制體內的 MAO,使神經傳導物質濃度增加,所以可可是絕佳的抗衰老和抗憂鬱食品。

 

Fatty acid

脂肪酸 

Cacao beans are rich in fatty acids, which is why chocolate is a fat-rich product. The special fatty acid in cacao can increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein), to help maintain a healthy heart. Therefore, although cacao is high in calories, it is not likely to cause obesity.

可可豆中有大量的可可脂,所以朱古力是脂肪含量豐富的產品。可可中特殊的脂肪酸,有增加高密度膽固醇 HDL (High-density lipoprotein)、降低低密度膽固醇 LDL(Low-density lipoprotein)的功效,可以維持心臟健康。因此可可的熱量雖然高,卻不易造成肥胖。

 

 

Cacao and chocolate have become increasingly popular around the world, there are now many different types of chocolate and flavours, but there are only very few quality brands. Most of the commercial chocolates are loaded with sugar, fat or oil and flavor regulators, which are not good for health and could not bring out the magical properties of cacao.

可可和朱古力日漸普及,世界各地亦發展出不同口味和種類,但能在一般商店中接觸到的優質品牌少之又少,通常都是添加了大量糖分和味道調節劑的朱古力,對身體無益之餘,更沒有發揮出可可的神奇力量。

 

 

Some of the brands commonly found in supermarkets do not only exploit farmers, they even use African slaves and child labours, which is highly unethical. Currently, 60% of the world's cacao comes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, and it is estimated that 2.1 million children are enslaved to supply cacao beans to companies such as Cadbury and Nestle. 

Those unscrupulous companies lack business ethics, yet their products are not as good as those made with heart and passion by small businesses. This is why we should always support local farmers and artisans, for a more sustainable land and environmental development. 

Buying from indigenous-owned businesses, supporting small farmers, paying a fair wage, buying rare or heirloom varieties, supporting land conservation, and researching your materials are all ways to help cultivate equity in the cacao trade. 

在超級市場常見的牌子中,有些不但剝削農民,甚至使用非洲奴隸和童工作為勞動力。目前世界上的可可有六成來自非洲加納和象牙海岸,估計總共有210萬名兒童被勞役,為吉百利及雀巢等大公司提供可可豆。

這些無良企業不但缺乏商業道德,產品質素亦遠不及那些用真心和熱誠製作的小企業,所我們應該支持本地農戶和品牌,使土地和環境得以可持續發展,協助可可豆農業能更公平地進行貿易。

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