Whoa, Pure Jeevan's Back?!

2016 update: Aha, you noticed?! Welcome. Yes, we wanted to bring the site back online again, mainly because it's so packed with articles and information. It will be a work in progress for some time, as we changed web platforms and all sorts of tech stuff. So, a lot of links are hard-coded to old Wordpress-style links... just awful. But, in time we'll get all of it back in shape. For now, enjoy clicking around and reading!

Is Cacao Dangerous or Is Cacao a Super Food

David Wolfe Responds to Kevin Gianni's Cacao Incident Video

Is cacao dangerous or is it a super food? Anyone who's been learning about raw foods knows about raw cacao (check out a recent episode of Know Your Food: Cacao). It's raw chocolate without all the processing and additives normally included in the chocolate bars many buy from standard grocery stores. In its raw form, cacao has different nutritional components than typical processed chocolate. Many claim that raw chocolate is filled with mega doses of nutrients, making it a super food, and therefore extremely healthy for the human body. Others claim that even in its raw state, cacao is a stimulant that taxes the human body and cacao is more like a poison than a food. I've heard murmurs about negative effects of cacao for many years, but that was always subdued by the vociferous praise of cacao.

Recently, my friend Kevin Gianni (The Renegade Health Show) spoke out about cacao and his experiences with it. Kevin is well known in the raw food community, so his words came as a shock to many people. He explained in his video (below) that he developed a rash on his stomach. After much investigating and diet changes, he came to the conclusion that cacao was causing the rash (eliminating the cacao caused his skin to clear). He also stated that cacao had been stripping his body of vital minerals. Kevin pointed out that he was simply sharing his own experience with cacao, possibly shedding some light on a subject that may need to be further investigated. He advised others to take a look at their own reactions to the food, to see if they are experiencing any problems.

KEVIN'S CACAO INCIDENT

After Kevin's video aired, a lot of people started to speak out about the negative health they were feeling while consuming raw cacao. The murmur about cacao being unhealthy was no longer so quiet. However, cacao lovers continued to stand behind their beloved superfood, singing their boisterous raw cacao love songs.For many, there is now confusion about the issue of cacao being dangerous or a superfood.?

In a reply to Kevin's cacao incident video, David Wolfe (Mr. Avocado Cacao, himself) took a few minutes, during a video (below) he was making with Nick Good, to address Kevin's claim that cacao may not be healthy for everyone. David claimed that although Kevin was having a reaction, it was most likely caused by a mineral deficiency brought about by eating a high fruit diet. He stated that in a healthy, balanced body, cacao will not cause problems.

Live TV : UstreamDAVID WOLFE'S RESPONSE TO KEVIN'S CLAIM

(Forward the video to the 40:00 mark to hear what he says about Kevin's claim)

Are you confused? Is cacao a super food, a poisonous substance, or something else? Thank goodness we are able to think for ourselves, to experiment and come to our own conclusions. I've known many people who consume raw cacao on a daily basis and they are in heaven with it--it gives them a sense of euphoria, allows them to go through life with a smile and focused energy. I've also known some who have had negative experiences with cacao--their hearts race and they are unable to focus their thoughts. What does that say to you? Are those who have experienced health issues when consuming raw cacao simply mineral deficient, thus leading to their reaction? Or, is the cacao causing the problems? Who do we believe?

My advice is always to believe yourself--deep inside you have all the answers you'll ever need. Trust your instincts. Do you feel great when consuming raw cacao, experiencing nothing negative when doing so? If so, enjoy! Just continue being in tune with your body, paying attention to the signals it sends. Or, do you feel like your health is diminished when consuming raw cacao? If you do, then maybe it would be best to back away from the chocolate for a bit to see if you feel better without it. While you're at it, why not look into checking your mineral levels? You never know what you'll find! Be sure to share your findings with us, however, so we can all learn a bit more about this confusing subject of cacao and health.

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On November 28, 2008, RawBin wrote:

Thanks for posting this Wendi. So, how do i get my mineral levels tested
-Rawbin

On November 28, 2008, randomguru wrote:

Great post with lots of info and resources on the pros and cons of raw cacao. It definitely prompts further investigation and I'll let you know if I find some further info.

Right now I regularly have a raw cacao smoothie... daily! And not feeling any negative effects. I just use 1 tbsp per drink which I usually share with my wife, so that's 1/2 tbsp a day. I still feel it's a really good superfood, along with pumpkin seeds...

On November 28, 2008, chocolate girl wrote:

all i know is that i eat TONS of chocolate every day AND greens and i've never felt better!

On November 29, 2008, Shelley wrote:

Thank you SOOOOO much for posting this! After Kevin's video a few days ago, I've been really apprehensive about eating cacao and have been wondering what David Wolfe's response would be.....so I'm very appreciative you posted this.

On November 29, 2008, jprostko wrote:

Okay, here's my take.

I think cacao can be good for some people, but not with others. That said, I think that can change depending on one's health and just their general constitution. Obviously, some people are allergic to all cacao, raw or not. Some people have compromised livers, and cacao is a bit too much for them to handle. For a healthy person with no allergies to cacao, I think it can be a great food.

Personally, I haven't found it to be remotely addictive, and I don't have heart palpitation issues with it. Perhaps some people do though, and I don't pretend that possibility doesn't exist. To give you an idea of how much cacao I can and will consume during a day, I often either consume 2 ounces of nibs or beans, or 6 tablespoons of powder over the course of a day in smoothies. That said, I am primarily fueled by superfood smoothies, so to me it doesn't seem so exorbitant. There are plenty of days I do no cacao though, as I just kind of feel things out day to day.

For Kevin, I think a lot of what Avo said is true, and I also wouldn't rule out the possibility of dehydration as being a factor. Also, perhaps Kevin didn't combine any kind of fat like coconut oil or cacao butter with the powder to balance it out a bit. In any case, it was obvious that Kevin's liver was taxed. I'm not sure if the cacao caused that, but I think it definitely made the condition worse.

Well, that's my take, Personally, I love cacao, but realize it isn't the best food for everybody. One person's medicine can be another person's poison, after all.

Speaking of cacao, I'm going to go visit my cacao trees right now and tell them I love them. :)

- joe

On November 29, 2008, langelbleu wrote:

Wendi thank you for offering this balanced post.
I agree that each of us must follow the guidance of our own bodies.
I find that in limited quantities cacao consumed on occasion is fine for me.
I can generally tolerate about 1 T of Cacao powder in a smoothie consumed over the course of most of a day. However more than that tends to make me feel wired, brittle and irritable so it is not something I like to partake in on a regular basis.
I use it mostly for recipes for special occasions when I want to have some extra fun with my food. That is what works for me. I don't feel the need to either praise it to the highest heavens, or condemn it to the deepest hells. It is what it is and works fine in moderation for me.

On November 30, 2008, Jenn wrote:

Great post, and I"m glad someone pulled this together in a neutral setting.

I know Kevin posted about his experience with cacao, and I knew he had issues before that post. I think what many people didn't get is that is wasn't an anti-cacao message he was sending but rather a ...this is one food my body has an issue with and if you do too it is OK, it's a biological thing and peoples bodies react differently.

For me, my problem is the amount of nuts/seeds that is in many raw foods. I like it, tastes great but my body is having more issues with that than sticking with low amounts of raw dairy and animal product. I recognize this as difference in bodies, but I am able to do my own research and know what is working and not working as opposed to simply believeing what any one 'expert' might say. People need to be in touch with their own bodies and not attack others for their own experiences!!

On December 1, 2008, Yardsnacker wrote:

I feel that videos like this are dour. It's borish to hear videos of people who go say that this or that was bad for them, therefore the implication is that it's bad for everyone, but "this is just my experience." Recently there was a video on agave that has a similar tone. I find that Paul Nisson has a similar bent when it comes to cacao. Kevin could have also been experiencing mold on the beans as well. Mold on nuts can cause rashes etc, and if you get some bad beans, you can experience this more than likely as well... My own experience then balances out this by saying that cacao is a gift and something that works well with me. I wonder if cacao and European folks have problems genetically. Is someone who has some ethnicity able to better tolerate it?

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

RawBin,

You are very welcome. :-) You can get your mineral levels checked through bloodwork. I get all kinds of things tested, including some minerals, and it usually takes nine vials (EEK!).

Lots of love to you!

Wendi
XOXOXO

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

Many people are regularly using cacao and not experiencing any problems. It really shows that we can't assume one way of eating can work for everyone. I do believe everyone can eat raw...it's just finding the right balance of raw foods for each individual that makes it a bit tricky at times.

You have been doing so great with your raw diet, Carlos! I'm so happy for you and enjoy reading your updates!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

Hi there, Vanessa!

It's nice to see that you stopped by my blog...the cacao lured you here, I'm sure. ;-)

No one can dispute that you are a vibrant, healthy, gorgeous being who regularly consumes cacao. Many people are regularly using cacao and not experiencing any problems. For those who can't consume it without problems, however, there may be some reason other than the cacao itself that causes the problem, like David was saying in that second video.

Personally, I think chocolate is edible love and if I could eat it, I'd have it every day! The taste, texture and smell just lure a person to it...and then the flood of beautiful love that comes after consuming it is divine!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks for your comment, Shelley. I've found that almost always you can discover opposing opinions on just about every topic imagineable. :-)

Lots of love to you!

Wendi
XOXOXO

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks for your very thoughtful comment, Joe!

I'm sure your cacao trees love you right back! Give them a bit of love from me, too, please!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks for your comment, Jen.

I absolutely love cacao/chocolate and wish that I could eat it. If I was able to eat it with no problems, I'd eat it every single day! I was responding to Vanessa Barg about it...I really feel like cacao is edible love in the body (that's what it feels like to me, anyway!). I guess I'd be on the praise wagon if I could eat it, but as it stands I'm just in the middle listening to the yay and nay sayers. I do believe many can eat it with no problems, but acknowledge that there are others who can't (for whatever reasons).

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks, Jenn.

I, too, have a problem with a lot of nuts/seeds. I love, Love, LOVE nut dips but my body just doesn't like them anymore. In the beginning of going raw I could eat them all the time and they were fine. Now, however, they sit in my stomach too long or something.

Yes, I think it's vitally important to be in tune to what does/doesn't work for your own body. It's great that you are listening to your body. Many people just don't do that.

Lots of love to you!

Wendi
XOXOXO

On December 3, 2008, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks for your comment, Sam.

I do think that more people can consume cacao without problems than those who can't. That's an interesting point about the problem possibly being mold that isn't visible. It's even more interesting that you question ethnicity and tolerability of cacao. A similar question was posed a long time ago on a raw forum about ethnicity and the ability to tolerate a predominantly fruit diet. Our bodies are so fascinating!!

Lots of love to you,

Wendi
XOXOXO

On June 1, 2009, Yud wrote:

Hi
Thank you for this comprehensive post.
I have another concern here that i need to resolve. A few days ago my lecturer talked about cacao and he said the cotyledon part of cacao seed contains approximately 1% caffeine. If that is true then it might cause the bad effects that caffeine does.
Please prove it wrong and any reference would really help.
Thanks!

On June 1, 2009, WendiDee wrote:

Thanks for your comment. I have no idea if your professor is correct, or not. Sorry. ;-)

Love,

Wendi
XOXOXO