Cacao (forastero) Theobroma cacao Tropical Fruit Tree 24”-36”
The cacao tree is known as Theobroma cacao, according to the classification given to it by the Swedish scientist and naturalist Carl von Linné. The word Theobroma comes from the union of two Greek terms: Theo, which means God and Joke, whose meaning is food. Thus, cocoa was known as the “food of the gods.” The Mayans and Aztecs considered it a divine food and developed many of their rituals around this plant. From this nomenclature also comes the name of one of the essential compounds in cocoa, theobromine, an alkaloid chemical compound, naturally present in cocoa and other foods. It belongs to the methylxanthine family, just like caffeine. In fact, its effect is something similar to that which it causes, as it also manages to stimulate the nervous system, although in a somewhat softer way.
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Theobromine is one of the compounds responsible for that, when taking cocoa, we feel that feeling of enthusiasm, animation or happiness. It is slightly soluble in water and comes in the form of a white crystalline powder and has a bitter taste, and it is not addictive. Although cocoa is not the only source of theobromine, it is the best-known food that has it. Thus, its seeds can contain between 1 and 4% theobromine.
Apart from its stimulating function, theobromine’s properties translate into other beneficial effects for our body:
It has a diuretic and relaxing effect.
It can cause dilation of blood vessels and lowering of blood pressure.
It works as a mild antidepressant.
Stimulates the kidneys.
It also stimulates the cardiovascular and muscular systems.
Improves digestion and, in general, bowel movement.
It acts on the dilation of the bronchi, which helps in asthma attacks. For this reason, it is also used as a cough medicine.
Thus, theobromine performs a relevant function at the cardiac and respiratory level, in addition to causing that pleasant sensation. We must not forget that, if we want to benefit as much as possible from its effects, we must take cocoa in its most natural and pure version.