Bitterness: 100% pure cacao is bitter. Overconsumption can cause nausea. A moderate intake of 2 to 3 ounces (57 to 85 grams) per day is recommended.
Antidepressants: People on SSRI antidepressants and anti-psychotics should consume low to average doses of cacao as higher doses may not be compatible with the MAOI's (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) in cacao.
Heart Rate: Cacao can raise the heart rate slightly. Individuals with a medical condition that may be affected by an increase in heart rate should drink cacao in moderation. Consult with a doctor before consuming cacao.
Blood Pressure: Low-caffeine cacao can stabilize heart rate and may help individuals with low blood pressure.
Other Substances: Cacao increases blood flow to the brain by 30-40%, so any other substances in the blood will be amplified.
Caffeine: Caffeine content in cacao can vary widely among cacao varieties and cacao makers. Moderate caffeine consumption may be suitable for people with caffeine intolerance.
Pregnant and Nursing Women: Most babies do well with moderate cacao consumption by the mother. A dose of 1oz (28gm) in the first 2 trimesters and about 2/3oz (20gm) in the last trimester is recommended. Breastfeeding women can consume 2/3oz (20gm) until they are aware of how the infant reacts to cacao.
Children: Children can consume cacao in moderation according to their body weight. Children who have had a moderate amount of cacao may experience improved focus.
Pets: Cacao contains compounds that can be fatal to dogs, cats, parrots, and horses. Do not allow pets to consume cacao.