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Cacao: the Queen of the Happy Hormones

Today we wanted to celebrate four of the well-known hormones that are naturally found in cacao and that are scientifically proven help to regulate our mood, promote happiness and pleasure. We’ve detailed each of these bad boys in the images below.

There are lots of ways that we can naturally produce these happy hormones.

Dopamine – “the feel good hormone” is naturally stimulated by longer sleep, exercise and sunshine”.

Serotonin – “the happy chemical” can be boosted when we eat foods high in tryptophan (e.g., nuts & seeds, fruits) combined with carbohydrates (e.g., whole wheat bread and oats), when we meditate, and when we receive massage.

Endorphins – “the natural pain reliever” are also stimulated through exercise, as well as when we have sex, laugh and enjoy music.

Oxytocin – “the love hormone” can be increased when we cuddle our pets, engage in long hugs, intake vitamin C and socialise.

Cacao helps us to produce all FOUR.

You could say cacao’s the same as getting the benefits of petting your dog, feeling the high of a run, enjoying the heat of the sun and receiving a relaxing massage all at once. 😊

We never knew any of the science when we first fell in love with cacao, but we find the science fascinating as it supports that which we intuitively knew and experienced. Love when that happens!   

In the same breath, cacao is generally contraindicated with antidepressants, especially MAOIs and some SSRIs. It may result in a really bad headache, or worse, cause the development of serotonin syndrome which can have severe implications. Cacao paste contains tryptophan and MAO inhibitors that may cause a synergistic intensification when combined with antidepressants. We aren’t the experts in this field and 100% recommend you speak to your trusted health care professional before consuming cacao if you are taking anti-depressants.