Sunday, July 9, 2023
Cocoa is one of the most rich in antioxidants that are good for your health and your immune system. So what are the benefits of cocoa for physical and psychological health?
The benefits of cocoa
What is cocoa
Cocoa is made from cocoa beans that come from the plant Theobroma cacao L. It is the primary ingredient in chocolate, and cocoa powder offers many potential health benefits. It is made by grinding cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter.
Cocoa was first cultivated in South America, and in the 1850s there was mass production of cocoa thanks to steam-powered machines.
Now, more than 4.5 million tons of cocoa is consumed around the world each year.
Cocoa nutritional value
Cocoa contains the following nutritional value:
- A large amount of fat, about 40-50% is in cocoa butter.
- 33% of oleic acid.
- 25% of palmitic acid.
- 33% of stearic acid.
Polyphenols, 10% of dry weight of whole grain:
- Catechins (37%).
- Anthocyanidins (4%).
- Proanthocyanins (58%).
Nitrogenous compounds, including:
- Methylxanthines (theobromine and caffeine).
Cocoa is also rich in:
In addition to the nutritional value, the following are the nutrients of cocoa:
1. Macronutrients in Cocoa
The macronutrients in cocoa include:
- 49 calories.
- 12 grams of carbohydrates.
- 7 grams of fiber.
- 4 grams of protein.
- 3 grams of fat.
2. Micronutrients in cocoa
Micronutrients found in cocoa include:
- Iron (77% DV).
- Magnesium (125% DV).
- Phosphorus (73% DV).
- Potassium (44% DV).
- Zinc (45% DV).
- Copper (190% DV).
- Manganese (192% DV).
- Selenium (20% DV).
3. The presence of antioxidants and flavonoids in cocoa
Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, tea, and chocolate.
The antioxidants in cocoa are associated with many health benefits, including:
- Reduce inflammation.
- improve blood flow.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Cocoa is particularly rich in flavanols, which have:
- Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
However, processing and heating cocoa may lose its beneficial properties. It is often treated with:
- Alkali to reduce bitterness, so the flavanol content is reduced by 60%.
The benefits of cocoa
Cocoa provides many health benefits, including: reduced inflammation, improved heart and brain health, and weight control.
Cacao was first used in Central America by the Mayan civilization, it was introduced to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors and quickly became popular as a health-promoting food. Here are the benefits of cocoa:
1. Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Cocoa contains properties that may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, as cocoa rich in flavanols:
- Improve the level of nitric oxide in the blood.
- Relaxation and widening of arteries and blood vessels.
- improve blood flow.
Cocoa also lowers harmful LDL cholesterol, and reduces insulin resistance and inflammation. These characteristics have been linked to a reduced risk of:
- Heart attacks.
- heart failure
- brain attack.
Higher chocolate consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and death, according to the National Health Service National Library of Medicine.
2. Improve brain health and cognitive performance
The polyphenols in cocoa:
- Reducing the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases by improving brain function and blood flow.
- It serves as a blood-brain barrier, and is involved in the biochemical pathways that produce neurons important for brain function.
- They affect the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes the muscles of blood vessels, and improves blood supply to the brain.
I found one ThresherOlder adults who ate high-flavanol cocoa had 8% more blood flow to the brain after one week and 10% more after two weeks.
3. Enhance mood and promote relaxation
Cocoa’s effect on the brain improves mood and symptoms of depression, thanks to:
- Converting tryptophan to the natural mood stabilizer serotonin.
- The sensory pleasure of eating chocolate.
I found one studies Dark chocolate is associated with a lower chance of developing symptoms of clinical depression.
4. It improves symptoms of type 2 diabetes
It is known that excessive intake of chocolate is not good for controlling blood sugar, but cocoa has some anti-diabetic effects.
indicate studies It indicates that cocoa flavanols can:
- It slows the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine.
- It improves insulin secretion.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Stimulates the absorption of sugar from the blood into the muscles.
The results of the studies indicate that the polyphenols in cocoa have a positive effect on the prevention and control of diabetes, although more research is needed.
Benefits of cocoa for pregnant women
Pregnant women can eat and enjoy cocoa, especially dark chocolate, throughout their pregnancy. Research has proven the significant benefits they provide, including:
- The possibility of lowering blood pressure and the risk of some complications.
- Improve blood flow to the baby and the mother.
Benefits of cocoa for the skin
The theobromine in cocoa powder can help increase blood flow to the surface of the skin, which leads to:
- Brighter complexion.
Vitamin C helps:
- Dark spots fade.
- Reduce hyperpigmentation.
- Open any kind of patches.
The benefits of cocoa for sex
The mood-boosting chemical found in cocoa, phenethylamine, triggers the release of the same endorphins that are released when you fall in love, which can help improve your sex life.
Benefits of cocoa for men
Cocoa is particularly beneficial for men, as it:
- The flavonoids found in cocoa work to: Improve nitric oxide levels in the blood.
And nitric oxide is essential for male sexual arousal.
Benefits of cocoa for hair
Cocoa powder is particularly beneficial for hair, as it contains essential amino acids, carotenoids that give beneficial hair growth, and antimicrobial properties.
Use it as an herbal mask for dandruff-prone scalp.
Benefits of cocoa with milk
Among the benefits of milk with chocolate, we find:
- A source of protein.
- A source of carbohydrates.
- Enhanced carbohydrates provided to your muscles and liver.
Frequently asked questions that may interest you
What is the best time to drink cocoa?
The best time to drink cocoa if you are feeling anxious or stressed is before bed as it helps the body to:
- get rid of that situation.
- Sleep and relieve insomnia.