Cocoa powder has health and nutritional benefits. It is considered that the Maya civilisation of Central America was the first to consume it.
In the 16th century, Spanish invaders brought it to Europe and it immediately became popular as a health-promoting drug.
Cocoa powder is formed by crushing cocoa beans and eliminating the fat or cocoa butter.
Cocoa is now well-known for its use in baking. Latest study, on the other hand, has found that it does contain vital components that can help your health.
The following are health and nutritional advantages of cocoa powder.
1) Polyphenols are an excellent source of health benefits.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that occur naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate, and wine. Reduced inflammation, increased blood flow, lower blood pressure, and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels have all been associated to polyphenols.
Cocoa is one of the best sources of polyphenols. It’s rich in flavanols, which are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Processing and cooking cocoa, on the other hand, can lead to lose its healthful characteristics. While cocoa is an excellent source of polyphenols, it is sometimes treated with alkaline to lessen bitterness, which causes in a 60 percent reduction in flavanol concentration.
While cocoa is a good source of polyphenols, not all cocoa-based products offer the same benefits.
2)Improved Nitric Oxide Levels May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Cocoa, in both powdered and dark chocolate form, has been shown to help decrease 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 lower blood pressure.
This effect was first observed in the cocoa-drinking island people of Central America, who had lower blood pressure than their non-cocoa-drinking mainland relatives.
One study looked at 35 studies in which patients were given 0.05–3.7 ounces (1.4–105 grammes) of cocoa goods, or 30–1,218 mg of flavanols. It was discovered that cocoa reduced blood pressure by 2 mmHg, which was tiny yet substantial.
Furthermore, the effect was stronger in persons who already had high blood pressure than in people who did not, and in older adults versus younger ones.
It’s crucial to remember, though, that processing reduces the number of flavanols, so the effects are unlikely to be noticeable in the average chocolate bar.
3)May Reduce Your Chances of Having a Heart Attack or Stroke
Cocoa appears to have various qualities that may lessen your risk of heart attack and stroke in addition to decreasing blood pressure.
Nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates your arteries and blood vessels and promotes blood flow, is increased by flavanol-rich cocoa.
Furthermore, cocoa has been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, thin the blood in aidentical way to aspirin, develop blood sugar levels, and decrease inflammation.
Heart attack, heart failure, and stroke have all been attached to these qualities.
4)Polyphenols help your brain’s blood flow and function.
Polyphenols, such as those present in cocoa, have been shown in several studies to improve brain function and blood flow, potentially lowering your risk of neurodegenerative disorders.
Flavanols can run the blood-brain barrier and play a vital role in the metabolic pathways that create neurons and some other brain-related chemicals.
Flavanols also affect the creation of nitric oxide, which relaxes the muscles in your blood vessels, boosting blood flow and blood supply to your brain.
These studies suggest that cocoa has a beneficial influence on brain health and may have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. More research, however, is required.
5)Various Methods May Help to Improve Mood and Depression Symptoms
Cocoa’s influence on the brain also increases mood and symptoms of depression, in addition to its positive effects on age-related mental degeneration.
The flavanols in cocoa, the conversion of tryptophan to the natural mood stabiliser serotonin, the caffeine content, or just the sensory pleasure of eating chocolate could all play a role in its health benefits..
Chocolate consumption and stress levels in pregnant women were linked in one study, with more frequent consumption of chocolate being linked to less stress and improved mood in newborns.