Cocoa powder is extracted from cocoa beans and is considered as one of the healthiest super foods. Although chocolate is made from cocoa, it is not regarded as a healthy food due to its high content of sugar, but cocoa itself is rich in many beneficial compounds and is considered highly nutritious. It contains various healthy compounds such as fibre, iron, and magnesium needed by the body.
It has many health benefits that are as follows:
- It is beneficial for the health of your heart
Cocoa contains polyphenols that help to reduce blood pressure and is also good for the heart. It contributes when it comes to preventing blood clots that can result in cardiac failure or stroke.
- It contains significant amounts of antioxidants
Many people find it surprising that cocoa contains more antioxidants than green tea. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage, and cocoa contains more than twice the amount in red wine and three times the amount present in green tea.
- It clears the mind
Research shows that cocoa can help individuals to think clearly. It contains flavonoids that increase the flow of blood to the brain. This helps in improving concentration, clearing the mind and making sound decisions.
- It contains significant amounts of magnesium
Cocoa contains magnesium that has proved beneficial for menstruating women. It reduces premenstrual tension as well as nervous tension helping women during their monthly cycle.
- It decreases the risk of developing blood clots
One of the health benefits of cocoa is that it reduces the risk of developing blood clots and increases the flow of blood to the arteries. It also boosts the overall cognitive performance and lowers a person’s blood pressure. It contains potassium and calcium which also reduces LDL cholesterol.
- It decreases stress
Cocoa can calm a person. This also happens to be a natural property of cocoa has been accepted for centuries. During the 17th century, cocoa was used to calm fits of bad moods as well as fits of anger. Drinking a delicious hot cup of cocoa before bedtime helps in a peaceful night’s sleep.
- It helps to boost energy
Drinking a cup of cocoa in the morning can provide an energy boost similar to coffee. Cocoa in the morning is better than coffee because it does not result in an energy crash which a person might have to experience after the caffeine in their coffee wears off.
- Cocoa contains anti-inflammatory properties
According to research done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition if 40 grams of cocoa is consumed every day for a month it can reduce inflammation in the body and prevent clogging in the arteries.
- Improves insulin resistance
Cocoa helps to regulate sugar levels thus helping in the treatment of diabetes. Its therapeutic effects improve glucose metabolism and insulin strength and prevent cellular injury.
- Provide relief from Bronchial Asthma
Cocoa contains theophylline and xanthine that help to relax bronchial spasms and open blocked bronchial tubes. It also aids in the free flow of air to the lungs and helps in curing different allergies like shortness of breath and asthma.
- Helps to lose weight
Obesity and sensitivity to insulin go hand in hand. Cocoa improves sensitivity to insulin which helps people who are trying to lose weight.
- Cocoa is used in many natural medicinal products
Cocoa has been utilized in the manufacturing of different natural medicines due to its wound-healing and therapeutic properties. Cocoa extracts also help to prevent infection in the body.
- Cocoa hinders the growth of cancer cells
The procyanidins and flavonoids present in cocoa curb the growth of cancer cells without disturbing the growth of healthy and normal cells. Research shows that cocoa contains anti-proliferative and chemo-preventive qualities that are helpful in the treatment of different types of cancers such as prostate cancer and colon cancer.