11 Health Benefits of Cocoa - Grace Ngo Foundation

Health, Knowledge, Natural Food Matters

Sunday, 9 September 2018

11 Health Benefits of Cocoa

Image result for cocoa drink

Despite all the posts and teachings, it is surprising when people express ignorance of the many health benefits of this plant based and nutritious drink.  Due to its numerous health benefits, many organisations and beverage company use cocoa in making many health products, the only difference is the added sugar, milk and other sweeteners, these additives found in these chocolate drinks and candies rob it of some of its health benefits.  Cocoa in its original state is an anti inflammatory and non sugar drink, however  when they are packaged with several additives like sugar, milk and flavours,  the original state is changed, it becomes mildly inflammatory and cannot fit into our description under discussion.


What is Cocoa

It is a low fat constituent of  cocoa bean which is processed with the fats removed and finely grounded  to give us the cocoa powder.  In its natural state, cocoa is a rich substance with high minerals and nutrients providing several health benefits.  Cocoa is thought to have been first used  by the Maya civilization of Central America.


Image result for cocoa powder


Today cocoa is most famous for its role particularly in chocolate production, however modern research is saying that cocoa is much more than just chocolate and candies because of its numerous health benefits. 


Here are 11  Health Benefits of Bitter Cocoa

1.  Improves Blood Flow

Bitter cocoa in its natural state has ability to improve blood flow to various parts of the body, this is due to the presence of flavonols and Polyphenols.  These nutrients play important roles in ensuring blood gets to the brain.  In this way  risk of  neuro-degenerative diseases are reduced  especially in the elederly.  Also flavanols assist in the production of  nitric oxide, which relaxes the muscles of your blood vessels, improving blood flow which enhances overall brain function.  It is a brain food.

2  Fights Depression

According to Healthline.com. One study on chocolate consumption and stress levels in pregnant women found that more frequent intake of  chocolate was associated with reduced stress levels and overall improved mood and calmness

3.   May Reduce Risk Of Diabetes

Cocoa and dark chocolate may reduce risk of diabetes and maintain healthy blood sugar, apart from its original bitter taste, some studies are saying that eating flavanoid rich foods like the ones found in cocoa can reduce insulin sensitivity  improve blood sugar control and reduce inflammations in diabetic persons/

4.  Improves Good Cholesterol

Researchers have observed a prominent reduction in bad cholesterol  in the people consuming cocoa powder.  It increases the good cholesterol while reducing the bad, in the blood which leads to reduced risk of heart disease.

5.  Treats Constipation

Those suffering from constipation will benefit from cocoa drink possibly with a teaspoon of honey.  It aids bowel movement.  Experience and testimonies from some elderly persons say that whenever they are constipated, their hope is on bitter cocoa powder.  I have heard of one elder folk who was constipated for days and declared that if only they could buy her cocoa, it will be over, and through to her words, 30 minutes after taken her warm cocoa, she went to pooh.  This effect will definitely have overall positive effect and relief on the colon.

6.  Skin Care

Cocoa enhances  skin elasticity, density and hydration.  Regular consumption of cocoa have shown good result on the skin texture and appearance. 

7.  Weight Loss

Bitter cocoa is one food in the diet of overweight persons who desire to loose weight.  It provides most of the nutrients needed for daily body function without added sugar.  The presence of polyphenols, being the main active ingredients in cocoa .  Regular  intake of cocoa modulates lipid metabolism to reduce the synthesis of fatty acids.  Besides aiding in reducing obesity, appropriate consumption of cocoa improves thermogenesis,  the heat production mechanism in the liver and which adipose tissues according to naturalfoodseries.com

8.  Supports Cardiovascular Health

A study has opined that some inevitable benefits of cocoa help strengthen the cardiovascular health.  This is made possible by the presence of some rich catechin, epicatechin and procyanidin with antioxidant properties which protect cells and strengthen the hearts.  Additional,  being a blood thinning beverage, it may play important role in preventing fatal blood clots from blocking the blood vessels which may lead to cardiac failure or other heart related issues.

9.   Prevents Cancer

More and more researching is suggesting  that cocoa powder inhibits the growth of cancerous cells  and supports the growth of healthy cells.  Particularly, it aids treat prostate and colon cancers,


10.  Contains Magnesium

Cocoa is a rich source of magnesium making it a good food for reducing nervous tension and premenstrual tension.  Magnesium also reduces the risk of developing cloths

11.  May Reduce Blood Pressure

This effect was first noticed in the cocoa drinking Island people of Central America, who had much lower blood pressure than their non-cocoa-drinking  mainland relatives.  The flavanols in cocoa are thought to improve nitric oxide levels in the blood which can enhance the function of your blood vessels and reduce blood pressure

Summary

Despite its numerous health benefits, it is important to note that it is a caffeine containing powder naturally and we know the effect of too much caffeine.  It is also a natural blood thinner.  Those on blood thinning medication must speak to their doctor before taking bitter cocoa.  Cocoa is best taken in the morning , although some persons testify they are good with cocoa at night.  whichever way, it is better to listen to your body. 


Source:  ww w.healthline.com
               www.naturalhealthseries.com





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