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Cocoa is a rich in micronutrients polyphenols. It is a powerful antioxidants flavanols which helps to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Furthermore, it helps to control blood sugars and reduce cholesterol. Thus far, when processing cocoa into chocolate and other products greatly decrease the benefits. People most commonly consume cocoa as hot and creamy drink. However, there are many uses for cocoa. It actually has many health benefits. Cocoa is known to have anti-depressant effects too. When drinking natural or non-alkalised, cocoa powder and dark chocolates provide the most benefits. However, it may not taste as nice as hot cocoa mixes you find in supermarkets.
Cocoa is highly concentrated powder. It is made from chocolate liquor which is a paste created from cocoa beans. Cocoa beans derive from the fruit of cacao. It is mostly used to craft beverages and a flavouring ingredient.
When you crush cocoa beans and remove the cocoa butter or the fat, you produce cocoa powder. Nowadays, cocoa is famous for producing chocolates. Cocoa has been known to be in use in the Maya civilisation of the Central America. Spanish conquerors introduced it to Europe in the 16th century. It quickly became a medicinal ingredient. Today, modern studies reveal that it does contain important compounds that may benefit your health.
Cocoa is known to improve blood flow too. So, consuming up to one serve of dark chocolate per day may be helpful to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, cocoa may exert positive effects on moods and reduce symptoms of depression. It achieves this by reducing stress levels. Thus far, it improves calmness and general psychological well-being. However, more research is needed to confirm this theory.
Somewhat strangely, cocoa intake may help to control weight. It true even in the form of chocolate. It is believed cocoa helps by regulating the use of energy and reducing your appetite. Furthermore, it increases fat oxidation and improves feelings of fullness. A study reveals a link between a lower body mass index with people who consume chocolates more frequently. However, it also links eating chocolate per day often leads to consuming more calories. Thus far, according to another weight management study claims using low-carbohydrate diets and eating about 42 grams of cocoa chocolate per day lose weight faster than a regular diet.
In fact, other research finds chocolate consumption increases weight. However, many of them failed to differentiate which types of chocolate was consumed. Whether it was white or milk chocolate. It does not have the same effect as dark chocolate. Adding cocoa to your diet may help reduce weight.
Cancer protection properties
Flavanols in fruits and vegetables attracts a great deal of interest because of their cancer protection properties. Thus far, cocoa contains the highest concentration of flavanols in comparison to all food groups. It can significantly contribute to their amounts in your diet. Studies on components of cocoa is known to protect cells against damage from reactive molecules. It fights inflammation and inhibits cell growth. Thus, induces cancer cell death and helps to prevent the spread of cancer cells.
Animal studies using cocoa-rich diet or cocoa extracts show positive results in reducing breast, pancreatic, prostate, liver and colon cancer. It may help leukemia patients too.