Cocoa boasts of many good properties as it is rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium and flavonoids. The theobromine and caffeine in the cocoa bean produce a mildly stimulating effect whereas the carbohydrates and easily digested fats make it an exceptional high-energy food.
Cocoa has a rich cultural history and has long been used as a medicinal plant for all imaginable
symptoms, especially against cardiovascular disease, fainting, shortness of breath and fatigue.
There’s much to suggest that it is flavonols in cocoa that give the beneficial effects, which are also found in certain fruits, beans, tea and wine.
Cocoa is mostly used in desserts and snacks, but there are also a lot of recipes with cocoa in the main courses as it gives an interesting twist to the meal and eating experience.
Although cocoa is considered a delicacy and rich taste, it’s greatly known for its medicinal properties too.
Increases Mental Agility
Did you know that you can increase your brain capacity and focus with the help of cocoa? A piece of dark chocolate or a cacao powder protein shake are perfect if you have an upcoming meeting, an important test or a dinner with a potential love interest. Cocoa contains a large number of antioxidants that are bound to do wonders for your brain.
According to a study, cocoa also improves memory and increases blood supply to the brain, which in the short term can increase attention and performance. Flavanols, one of the main components in cocoa, dilate blood vessels, allowing more oxygen and blood to reach important areas of the brain. It can help you fight fatigue and the effects of aging.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Moderate habitual consumption of cocoa will help you prevent the most common cardiovascular diseases: cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. However, beware of other types of chocolate that cause the opposite effect on the body.
Cocoa can thus help you regulate blood pressure and prevent diseases that affect the blood vessels and the heart. Due to its content of active flavonoids, cocoa improves circulation in the same way as many medicines do.
Raises Good Cholesterol (HDL)
Polyphenols in cocoa powder and dark chocolate can successfully, but modestly, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising the antioxidant capacity of good cholesterol (HDL), according to research published in the AJCN.
Dark chocolate with cocoa also works wonders against inflammation. During digestion, a process called fermentation occurs which creates anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart, according to research presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in 2014.
Antioxidants and fiber found in cocoa powder are not completely digested until they reach the colon where the compounds are absorbed into the body, reducing inflammation in the heart tissue and reducing the risk of stroke in the long term.
Keeps Skin Young and Balances Hormonal Mood Swings
As mentioned earlier, cocoa contains plenty of antioxidants that work positively in our bodies. The antioxidants in cocoa, among other things, help your skin stay young and firm longer.
There is a reason why we like to eat chocolate around the time of our period. The serotonin levels in the body can then decrease and because the cocoa bean contains this feel-good substance, you will be happier with chocolate.
Lowers Blood Pressure
If you have slightly elevated blood pressure, a piece of dark chocolate a day can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, according to research from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Cocoa polyphenols helped reduce high blood pressure from 86 percent to 68 percent in participants (44 in total) aged 56 to 73, who ate about 6 grams of dark chocolate (containing 30 mg of polyphenols) a day for 18 weeks. So for good health, it’s good to consume dark chocolate but don’t over-consume.
Cocoa contains a substance called theobromine which has an effect on the vagus nerve, which controls coughing, and reduces its activity. It may feel unlikely, but eating a few pieces of dark chocolate a day can help you cure cough attacks.
This allows us to easily reach for a hot and comforting chocolate drink when we feel under the weather. However, try to avoid using milk as it can increase the amount of mucus and make the condition worse.
In this article, we shared wonderful and interesting reasons to consume cocoa. This irresistible and delicious food item is a natural cure for certain health conditions. In addition to being an excellent antioxidant, it also strengthens our cardiovascular health as well as our gut flora.