Fruits

14 Benefits of Cocoa for Health – Properties and what it is for

The cocoa and its derivatives products such as chocolate are one of the main natural sources of flavonoids, substances of great importance for health.

Over the last few decades, cocoa has been the focus of much research. The cardiovascular effects of cocoa and chocolate have been extensively investigated. Some studies deal with other beneficial effects, such as the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective effects, among others.

benefits of cocoa for healthORIGIN OF COCOA

Cocoa is native to the Amazon Region and was historically considered a very important crop in Central and South America. Cocoa beans were so prized that native tribes used it as a form of currency. Its name means “food of the gods”.

The ancient peoples of Central America, the Mayans and the Aztecs, believed that this plant could transmit immortality. Due to this belief, cocoa consumption was generally reserved for royalty, warriors and other high society people.

While the Spaniards were exploring the Americas in the 16th century, cocoa was being introduced to Europe. Although initially consumed by the European elite, cocoa quickly spread to the world population. The best-known cocoa product, chocolate, had its origins in Europe.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF COCOA FRUIT

Cocoa is rich in mineral salts such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and copper. It is an excellent source of potassium, selenium and zinc, while providing the body with carbohydrates, proteins and dietary fiber.

Follow below the benefits of cocoa for your health:

COCOA BENEFITS

1.Improvement in blood pressure –  Studies have shown positive changes in blood pressure as a result of using cocoa-based products. Because it is rich in flavonoids, cocoa contributes to lower blood pressure and greater flexibility of blood vessels.

These favorable changes are also linked to the existence of antioxidants that encourage the formation of nitric oxide, which contributes to the maintenance of fresh blood vessels, ensuring that a healthy circulatory system is maintained.

2. Aids in cancer prevention – Cocoa has shown positive effects in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells without affecting the growth of normal healthy cells.

Studies have provided evidence about the chemopreventive and antiproliferative qualities exerted by the flavonoids present in cocoa. These curative effects have proven extremely valuable in the treatment of many types of cancer, including colon cancer and prostate cancer.

3. Diabetes prevention – Cocoa consumption has been shown to be efficient in regulating sugar levels in the system, aided by glucose metabolism.

One study confirmed that cocoa exerts an antioxidant action that takes care of medication for long-term diabetic problems, such as diabetic nephrotoxicity. Nephrotoxicity plays a fundamental role in diabetes mellitus and is a major cause of severe kidney disease. Free radicals intensify these complications by promoting oxidative stress, resulting in cell and tissue damage.

In addition, the substance present in cocoa helps to inhibit the development of cataracts driven by diabetes.

4. Controls blood cholesterol levels –  A study showed the hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic efficacy of cocoa, that is, they decrease the levels of glucose and cholesterol, respectively, in the blood.

A diet containing cocoa also showed a reduction in triglycerides and a visible increase in HDL cholesterol (so-called good cholesterol) levels.

5.Respiratory health – Cocoa beans contain  xanthine and theophylline, which help to relax the closed bronchi, airflow and combating allergies, asthma and shortness of breath.

6.Brain health –  Scientists point out that cocoa has neuroprotective effects, that is, it protects brain cells, neurons, in addition to having favorable effects on the functions of learning and memory. The findings point out that consuming cocoa-based products increases blood flow to the brain.

7. Cardiovascular Health –  Studies have shown that cocoa also has beneficial actions for cardiovascular health. It is rich in flavonoids that have antioxidant properties and help protect cells from oxidative damage, while making the heart stronger. Cocoa also helps to restructure endothelial function and encourage HDL cholesterol.

8. Wound Healing –  Fruit extracts have been recognized for their wound healing characteristics being used for the production of natural medications. The extracts help to prevent various types of infections in the body.

9.Obesity control –  A study presented the main benefits of cocoa to prevent obesity driven by a fat-based diet. Its consumption helps in inflection of lipid metabolism and in decreasing the synthesis of fatty acid transport. Cocoa also showed improvement in thermogenesis, the heat-making mechanism in fat tissues and in the liver.

10. Improves mood –  Cocoa ingestion had similar effects to those of antidepressants in some physiological processes. Studies have shown that cocoa flavonoids help improve mood, combat depression, and promote enhanced cognitive activity during ongoing brain effort.

11.Improves bowel function –  Research has shown that cocoa products consumed regularly help improve bowel performance by increasing the frequency of bowel movements without inducing side effects such as discomfort or abdominal pain.

12.Treatment of copper deficiency –  Studies have shown the value of cocoa in the copper exchange, resulting in great improvements in the hemoglobin level, in the evaluation of leukocytes and in the level of copper in patients with copper deficiency.

According to the results, cocoa is considered to be a rich copper component, as well as a remedy to treat its deficiency. He collaborates in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as anemia and leukopenia.

13.Treatment of neurodegenerative disorders –  The presence of flavonoids in cocoa has shown positive effects in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. The research results propose that these phytochemicals have synergistic characteristics, which help to reduce oxidative stress in the mind. This contributes to the prevention of damage to neuronal cells and works by protecting the membrane of these cells.

14.Skin care –  Cocoa has been shown to be effective in maintaining good skin health. Researches report that its consumption helps in reducing the effects of sun-induced spots and in reducing the roughness of the skin. It also helps to improve elasticity and hydration.

COCOA: TREE

The cocoa tree, or cocoa tree, whose scientific name is Theobroma cacao L., measures 12 to 25 feet tall, growing

naturally in tropical climates.

COCOA: FRUIT

The fruit is a sweet cellulose capsule that involves a cluster of about 40 cocoa seeds.

COCOA X CHOCOLATE

Cocoa and chocolate are different things. Cocoa is the low-fat component of finely ground beans. These beans, known as cocoa mass, are also made up of cocoa butter, which is a non-dairy product of natural origin.

Chocolate is a food based on fermented and roasted cocoa beans, with milk and sugar being commonly added.

BENEFITS OF COCOA POWDER

Muitos chocolates e produtos derivados são condenados por conterem muitas calorias, mas isso devido à adição de substâncias como açúcar e não ao próprio cacau. Na verdade, o cacau em pó, que vem do grão de cacau, é altamente nutritivo e pode proporcionar inúmeros benefícios à saúde.

VALORES NUTRICIONAIS DO CACAU EM PÓ

Duas colheres de sopa de cacau em pó contêm apenas 25 calorias e 1,5 g de gordura. Ele também fornece 14% do valor diário recomendado de fibras, 8% do valor diário de ferro e 14% do valor diário de magnésio.

CACAU COMO COMER

Aqui estão 5 ideias deliciosas para adicionar cacau na sua dieta sem qualquer culpa.

  • Substitua o achocolatado no preparo de vitaminas. Você pode adicionar cacau em pó na vitamina de banana e o próprio doce da fruta será suficiente.
  • Polvilhe cacau em pó sobre trufas de chocolate amargo
  • Prepare an oatmeal with honey and cocoa powder
  • Prepare a light cappuccino with skimmed milk powder, instant coffee and cocoa powder.
  • Bake banana oatmeal cookies and add cocoa powder to the dough.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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