One of the questions that we often receive is: What does Ayurveda say about chocolate? Before we begin to answer this question we need to make two statements so that we can all be on the same wavelength:
- When the Ayurvedic texts were composed the cacao bean was not known to the Indian culture. Therefore, there is no mention of the cacao bean in the Ayurvedic texts.
- Ayurveda says that food first and foremost must be wholesome and nutrient dense.
Based on the above two statements, we can now further look into the world of chocolate and make an educated decision.
The quick video below walks you through the process in a very easy to understand way. No prior ayurvedic knowledge required. 🙂
For your viewing pleasure, look for the CC button on the video, click on it and you will have subtitles.:-)
For more on the ayurvedic view on chocolate, read our book: Chocolate – A Love Affair For Your Senses: https://amzn.to/2SboK8u
Our favorite chocolate products: https://www.amazon.com/shop/spartanmindstrength?listId=1BQG56A86HP0K
If you are a health or fitness practitioner and wish to conduct your own Ayurveda & Chocolate tasting workshop: https://squareup.com/store/training-courses/item/outline-a-chocolate-ayurveda-workshop
To learn more about Ayurveda & The Mind, choose one of Spartan Mind Strength’s online self-paced courses, or in person trainings at https://squareup.com/store/training-courses
Gear Mentioned or Used On Our Videos and Podcasts
- Swanwick Blue-Light Blocking Sunglasses: https://amzn.to/2x34r75
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- Logitech Bluetooth Wireless Headset: https://amzn.to/2s1Iikx
Until next time much, much love from both of us!
By the way, what is your favorite chocolate bar? Let us know in the comment section below.
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Na’maste kala! Which in Greek means: May we all be well!
WEBVTT Kind: captions Language: en 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:09.570 It's amazing that chocolate, that comfort food is actually really really 00:00:09.570 --> 00:00:16.320 really good for us. Our favorite line is I consider chocolate, good chocolate, a food 00:00:16.320 --> 00:00:22.590 group. We have to keep in mind that not all chocolate is created equal. When we 00:00:22.590 --> 00:00:27.180 talk about chocolate for this next few minutes -- this is going to be about a 10 00:00:27.180 --> 00:00:34.710 to 15-minute broadcast -- we are referring to really clean chocolate, which is 00:00:34.710 --> 00:00:40.530 called these days bean to bar. Bean-to-bar chocolate. What does that 00:00:40.530 --> 00:00:50.280 mean? It means that it has gone through as little processing as possible. 00:00:50.280 --> 00:00:57.780 It's from the bean to the chocolate bar. What we like to actually call it is blossom 00:00:57.780 --> 00:01:04.890 to bar, from the flower to the bar. You will be surprised to know that this 00:01:04.890 --> 00:01:13.650 amazing superfood good chocolate actually starts as a tiny tiny flower 00:01:13.650 --> 00:01:21.720 and it's a miracle how it actually survives. Chocolate starts as a tiny tiny 00:01:21.720 --> 00:01:28.350 flower and those flowers actually even though they look extremely pretty they 00:01:28.350 --> 00:01:35.970 don't have a smell. Bees do not pollinate. Those flowers are pollinated by 00:01:35.970 --> 00:01:42.780 some really weird looking insects that live in the jungle, actually under 00:01:42.780 --> 00:01:47.970 leaves and things like that. It's a miracle how these flowers get pollinated. 00:01:47.970 --> 00:01:54.280 And the statistics are different but they say only about 3 out of a 00:01:54.280 --> 00:02:02.710 thousand of those flowers are actually gonna turn into the cacao pod and then 00:02:02.710 --> 00:02:09.429 those pods depending on the conditions may survive or not survive, if it's like 00:02:09.429 --> 00:02:15.130 too hot or too wet or things like that, they are not gonna necessarily make it. 00:02:15.130 --> 00:02:21.610 And then the beans come from those pods, and those pods have to open, have to be 00:02:21.610 --> 00:02:28.000 opened very carefully, have to be hand opened, actually workers use machetes and 00:02:28.000 --> 00:02:33.910 things like that to open them up. So you can't use machinery. It's amazing how we 00:02:33.910 --> 00:02:40.090 actually get to enjoy that chocolate pod. The process is very intriguing on 00:02:40.090 --> 00:02:47.500 how the pods are opened how they are fermented dried all that stuff how they 00:02:47.500 --> 00:02:55.120 survive from mold, fungi things like that how the beans make it to the chocolate 00:02:55.120 --> 00:03:04.000 makers and all that. There is the huge chocolate industry that actually produces 00:03:04.000 --> 00:03:10.000 chocolate that's not necessarily good for us and they don't care that much on 00:03:10.000 --> 00:03:17.079 the whole process on how clean it is and how humane the conditions are for the 00:03:17.079 --> 00:03:25.209 workers. But there are also the smaller chocolate makers who care a lot about 00:03:25.209 --> 00:03:31.109 that process and the conditions of the workers. We see a lot more of that 00:03:31.109 --> 00:03:38.350 bean-to-bar chocolate showing up. And on the positive side we also see some of 00:03:38.350 --> 00:03:42.519 the bigger chocolate makers who are actually starting to pay more attention. 00:03:42.519 --> 00:03:48.970 There's really really great hope for the world of chocolate. This bean to bar 00:03:48.970 --> 00:03:54.480 chocolate has very very few ingredients actually if you start google'ing or 00:03:54.480 --> 00:04:00.400 looking at your local markets for bean to bar chocolate and read the 00:04:00.400 --> 00:04:08.110 ingredients you're gonna see cacao bean cacao butter some form of good sugar 00:04:08.110 --> 00:04:14.560 maybe whole milk if it's milk chocolate and that's about it. Now they may add a 00:04:14.560 --> 00:04:20.799 couple of spices like ginger black pepper Himalayan salt things like that. 00:04:20.799 --> 00:04:28.599 The two main ingredients are the cacao powder and the cacao butter. And what's that? 00:04:28.599 --> 00:04:36.310 The cacao powder and the cacao butter are the two main parts of the cacao bean. Mostly 00:04:36.310 --> 00:04:42.760 the powder and the butter are part of the cacao bean. Actually the 00:04:42.760 --> 00:04:51.099 cacao nib which is the bean without the hull. 53% of a cacao nib is the cacao 00:04:51.099 --> 00:04:57.010 butter. Guess what the cacao butter is? The cacao butter is actually what is 00:04:57.010 --> 00:05:03.340 referred to as white chocolate. White chocolate is not just some weird colored 00:05:03.340 --> 00:05:10.120 chocolate or anything like that. The white chocolate is cacao butter which is 00:05:10.120 --> 00:05:18.729 the really really good fat and it's the half of the part of the cacao bean. White 00:05:18.729 --> 00:05:25.180 chocolate is actually really really good for us as long as it's the real cacao 00:05:25.180 --> 00:05:29.680 butter. There are a lot of white chocolates in the market that don't have 00:05:29.680 --> 00:05:35.950 any chocolate or any butter in them. Be careful when you choose white chocolate. 00:05:35.950 --> 00:05:40.740 Why do I like to say that good chocolate is a food group? Well, 00:05:40.740 --> 00:05:47.639 it is a very complete food. It has everything our brain needs everything 00:05:47.639 --> 00:05:55.729 our circulatory system needs everything our gut bacteria our gut brain needs. 00:05:55.729 --> 00:06:03.750 Just like good coffee good chocolate has the polyphenols that are what our good 00:06:03.750 --> 00:06:12.030 bacteria like to feed on. If we choose our chocolate wisely and enjoy it 00:06:12.030 --> 00:06:21.800 properly we are actually taking care of our health. Remember food is medicine but 00:06:21.800 --> 00:06:28.199 food that's good for us doesn't have to taste bad. Choose the chocolate wisely and 00:06:28.199 --> 00:06:36.720 you will be surprised at how great food that is great for us can taste. And all 00:06:36.720 --> 00:06:42.419 of that stuff is in our book, it's explained very very detailed. How do you 00:06:42.419 --> 00:06:46.009 choose good chocolate? Start looking around. 00:06:46.009 --> 00:06:52.889 Make it your intention to find chocolate that's really good for you Google look 00:06:52.889 --> 00:06:56.610 at your local markets look for bean-to-bar 00:06:56.610 --> 00:07:03.479 chocolate or craft chocolate, that's another term that's used for chocolate, 00:07:03.479 --> 00:07:10.979 craft chocolate, or artisan chocolate. You will be surprised at what you're 00:07:10.979 --> 00:07:16.949 gonna find. And call up those companies if they are not close to you if you 00:07:16.949 --> 00:07:22.770 can't go visit them call them up talk with them you will be amazed at how 00:07:22.770 --> 00:07:31.660 much love those small chocolate places put into the whole process. When you eat 00:07:31.660 --> 00:07:36.340 good chocolate you are not only helping yourselves you are helping the 00:07:36.340 --> 00:07:42.550 environment you are helping the farmers you are helping the workers you're 00:07:42.550 --> 00:07:49.000 helping put kids through schools you are preserving the rain forest you are 00:07:49.000 --> 00:07:55.540 helping the ecosystem there are amazing things that you are doing not just for 00:07:55.540 --> 00:08:02.910 yourselves, for the world. Chocolate is a very very old food. The oldest scientific 00:08:02.910 --> 00:08:11.650 evidence for chocolate is from like 1900 BC from the Olmecs then the Aztecs the 00:08:11.650 --> 00:08:18.580 Mayans they were enjoying chocolate. A lot of old cultures were enjoying chocolate. When 00:08:18.580 --> 00:08:26.770 you start looking at what old cultures used to eat and used to appreciate 00:08:26.770 --> 00:08:34.060 you are more likely to find that that food is really good for you, it is just 00:08:34.060 --> 00:08:40.750 how the whole process has become today that has lost a lot of that value. Ayurvedically 00:08:40.750 --> 00:08:46.870 speaking and according to Greek medicine chocolate has so many benefits. 00:08:46.870 --> 00:08:55.450 It has a lot of the tastes that we don't get to experience in our daily food it 00:08:55.450 --> 00:09:01.960 has the clean bitter taste the clean astringent taste and the clean sweet 00:09:01.960 --> 00:09:07.350 taste and the clean oily taste. Those are four fundamental 00:09:07.350 --> 00:09:18.100 tastes that we don't get to eat enough in our daily intake. The best time to enjoy 00:09:18.100 --> 00:09:21.860 chocolate actually according to both Ayurveda and the Greek 00:09:21.860 --> 00:09:30.860 medicine is in the afternoon actually four hours before sunset. Because that is 00:09:30.860 --> 00:09:38.120 when our nervous system does the most work and those tastes that we just 00:09:38.120 --> 00:09:44.300 mentioned help our nervous system balance. You're sitting at your desk at 00:09:44.300 --> 00:09:50.360 around 4:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the afternoon and you feel that crash 00:09:50.360 --> 00:09:53.540 like you are tired you just want to take a nap 00:09:53.540 --> 00:10:00.110 you want to reach for like junk food or comfort food something like that. Have a 00:10:00.110 --> 00:10:07.690 good, have a piece of good bean to bar chocolate and you will be amazed at what 00:10:07.690 --> 00:10:14.390 that is gonna do for you. The other great thing about good chocolate is you are 00:10:14.390 --> 00:10:21.950 not gonna want to devour the whole bar. A good small sized piece, average sized 00:10:21.950 --> 00:10:27.680 piece, is gonna be enough for you, it's gonna be very satisfying because it has 00:10:27.680 --> 00:10:33.740 all the good elements that your body needs. Good chocolate is gonna have 00:10:33.740 --> 00:10:42.560 also is gonna have not just the bitter taste. Good chocolate reflects where 00:10:42.560 --> 00:10:49.070 the bean grew up in. You're gonna have even if there is nothing added, no 00:10:49.070 --> 00:10:57.290 black pepper no salt no too much sugar no fruit nothing depending on where the 00:10:57.290 --> 00:11:04.670 bean came from you're gonna taste blackberries raspberries you're gonna 00:11:04.670 --> 00:11:14.029 taste pistachios you're gonna taste wood you're gonna taste licorice you're gonna 00:11:14.029 --> 00:11:21.110 taste vanilla you are gonna taste bananas, it all depends. And what I like 00:11:21.110 --> 00:11:29.510 to say is, listen through your taste to what the bean has 00:11:29.510 --> 00:11:39.640 to tell you about the area it grew up in. When you eat your chocolate don't just 00:11:39.640 --> 00:11:45.620 chew on it and swallow it. Let it melt in your mouth 00:11:45.620 --> 00:11:54.970 close your eyes don't even talk let it dissolve in your mouth and pay attention 00:11:54.970 --> 00:12:01.990 to the taste that it reveals. If the chocolate hasn't been processed properly 00:12:01.990 --> 00:12:08.270 you're gonna feel like it's about to tell you something but it doesn't really, 00:12:08.270 --> 00:12:14.540 nothing happens. But if the chocolate has been processed properly you're gonna 00:12:14.540 --> 00:12:25.220 actually listen to a lot of messages about the earth about the climate about the 00:12:25.220 --> 00:12:32.690 neighboring plants about how it was dried about how it was roasted. A lot of 00:12:32.690 --> 00:12:39.080 chocolate makers actually don't add anything to a lot of their chocolate 00:12:39.080 --> 00:12:46.250 because the bean doesn't need it, it's complete it's full of information. Food 00:12:46.250 --> 00:12:52.790 is information. Listen to them and you will be surprised. Choose your chocolate with the 00:12:52.790 --> 00:13:02.240 utmost care enjoy it with love and listen to the messages it has to tell 00:13:02.240 --> 00:13:07.280 you and know that you are doing a lot of greatness 00:13:07.280 --> 00:13:11.570 not just for your own health but for the world 00:13:11.570 --> 00:13:18.350 and for the people that worked really hard to bring that to your 00:13:18.350 --> 00:13:26.420 palette. Spread the word about bean to bar amazing chocolate made with tons of 00:13:26.420 --> 00:13:28.840 love.