Cocoa powder is made by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter. Cocoa powder is commonly used to bake, as in, chocolate cake, brownies etc. Also, the powder can be drank as hot or cold tea. Today, cocoa is most famous for its role in chocolate production. However, modern research has revealed that it does indeed contain important compounds that can benefit your health. Consuming cocoa can improve blood flow and reduce cholesterol. Eating up to one serving of chocolate per day may reduce your risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke. Cocoa is likely safe for most people. Cocoa contains caffeine and related chemicals, therefore eating large amounts might cause caffeine-related side effects such as nervousness, increased urination, sleeplessness, and a fast heartbeat. A compound found in cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, may help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes (T2D), a new study suggests. Previous studies have found that cocoa flavanols affect obesity, insulin resistance, and glucose tolerance.
Nutritional benefits of consuming Cocoa powder includes;
- Rich in Polyphenols That Provide Several Health Benefits:
Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants found in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate and wine.
They have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation, better blood flow, lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- May Reduce High Blood Pressure by Improving Nitric Oxide Levels:
Cocoa, both in its powdered form and in the form of dark chocolate, may be able to help lower blood pressure. 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.
- May Lower Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke:
Flavanol-rich cocoa improves the level of nitric oxide in your blood, which relaxes and dilates your arteries and blood vessels and improves blood flow. What’s more, cocoa has been found to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, have a blood thinning effect similar to aspirin, improve blood sugars and reduce inflammation.
- May Improve Mood and Symptoms of Depression by Various Means:
Cocoa’s effect on the brain may also improve mood and symptoms of depression. The positive effects on mood may be due to cocoa’s flavanols, the conversion of tryptophan to the natural mood stabilizer serotonin or its caffeine content.
- May Aid Weight Control in Many Surprising Ways:
Cocoa intake, even in the form of chocolate, may help you control your weight. It’s thought that cocoa may help by regulating the use of energy, reducing appetite and inflammation and increasing fat oxidation and feelings of fullness.
What’s more? Cocoa may have Cancer-Protective properties, has antibacterial and immune-stimulating properties, may benefit your teeth and skin and of course, it is very easy to include in your diet.