Cacao beans, the fermented seeds of the cacao tree, are ground into a powder and then roasted, husked, and dried. The cocoa tree naturally grows in tropical settings and reaches a height of 12 to 25 feet. The “fruits,” or cacao beans, are really tasty pulp-filled pods that contain a cluster of 20–40 cacao seeds. Theobroma cacao, the Latin name for cacao beans, means “Food of the Gods.” The naturally occurring, non-dairy fat found in cacao beans known as cocoa butter is also present in these pulverized beans (also known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass). Cocoa butter makes somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of cocoa liquor.
You might have noticed cacao powder and cocoa powder side by side in the supermarket aisles and wondered what the distinction was. When we talk about cacao powder, we’re talking about a product manufactured from raw beans that has more antioxidants than cocoa powder. Since they can be degraded by over-processing, commercially available chocolates and cocoa-products might not be abundant in the beneficial flavonols of cacao beans. We examine the advantages of dry, unsweetened cocoa powder for health in this article.
Due to the unsweetened raw cocoa powder’s high antioxidant content, drinking a hot cup of cocoa may be as beneficial as it is scrumptious. One of cocoa’s greatest health benefits may be its potential to reduce blood pressure, lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help people control their weight. Additionally, the powerful polyphenols in cocoa may enhance blood flow to the brain.
BenefitsIt’s crucial to drink cocoa from a reliable source to reap its health benefits. You can think about include a tiny piece of dark, unsweetened, or unprocessed chocolate in your diet to add flavor and nutrition.
May Improve Brain HealthA high concentration of flavonoids, such as flavonol, may be present in cocoa. According to studies conducted under the direction of Dr. Norman K. Hollenberg, flavanol may help to maintain brain health. These neuroprotective advantages might also improve learning and memory capabilities. The research has supported the idea that consuming foods containing cocoa may improve blood flow to the brain and has shown that treating vascular problems may be possible.
May Regulate Blood Sugar LevelsAccording to a study that was written up in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating cocoa powder may help to improve insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. These systems in turn could support the control of blood sugar levels in the body. According to one animal study, the proanthocyanidins generated from this substance may aid in preventing the cataract formation that is occasionally brought on by diabetes. Consuming this flavanol-rich bean may also have therapeutic benefits in terms of enhancing vascular function in diabetics taking various drugs.
May Lower High Blood PressureIn a limited sample of volunteers, researchers discovered that eating meals containing cocoa can help lower blood pressure levels. A meta-analysis also found that ingesting goods containing cocoa for seven days may have resulted in lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure than consuming black or green tea. Antioxidants included in it are thought to be responsible for these beneficial effects because they can increase nitric oxide synthesis, which keeps blood vessels flexible.
May Balance Cholesterol LevelsAccording to a 2004 study, cocoa may have effects on blood sugar and cholesterol levels that are hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic, respectively. Triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels can be decreased, while HDL (good) cholesterol levels may noticeably increase as a result.
May Lower Risk Of Heart Attacks & StrokeProcyanidin, catechin, and epicatechin are three types of flavonoids that are abundant in cocoa powder and may have antioxidant qualities. It can help prevent cell damage and strengthen the heart when used in moderation. It might stop deadly blood clots from forming, which can cause heart failure or a stroke. The time it takes for blood to clot is modulated by the flavonoids, which may also have anti-platelet aggregating properties. In the end, this may aid in preventing thrombosis and atherosclerosis.
Potential Antioxidant Capacity
It is clear from a 2003 comparison study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that cocoa may have greater antioxidant potential than red wine, black tea, and green tea. The presence of oxygen-based free radicals in the body can potentially be neutralized by antioxidants.
Additionally, flavonoids and phenolic phytochemicals are likely rich in cocoa powder. It may contain high concentrations of zinc, which might help protect against oxidative stress, a major factor in premature aging.
MIMI (Multi ion mask insert)
- Can be worn with any facemask and provides additional heavy-duty protection.
- Adult & Youth Sizes Available
May Relieve Bronchial Asthma
Xanthine and theophylline, which are found in cacao beans, can help to relieve bronchial spasms and widen narrowed bronchial tubes. This may provide it anti-asthmatic effects, making it useful for treating asthma and other allergic diseases as well as shortness of breath.
Since unsweetened powder includes theobromine, research from 2014 that was published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology indicated that it may have anti-asthmatic qualities.
May Help With Skin CareConsuming flavonol-rich cocoa may assist to lessen the effects of UV-induced erythema and may lessen scaling and roughness of the skin, according to research. Additionally, it might help to improve skin’s density, moisture, and elasticity. The epicatechin found in cocoa may help to increase hemoglobin’s oxygen saturation, promote healthy blood flow to the dermal (skin) tissues, and aid in endogenous photo-protection. It can also be used to make a variety of skin care goods.
May Aid in Weight ManagementAccording to a study, one of cocoa’s possible advantages is that it may help prevent obesity brought on by high-fat diets. Its use may lessen fatty acid production and transport while helping to modulate lipid metabolism. Additionally, it might enhance thermogenesis, the liver’s and white adipose tissues’ method for producing heat. But keep in mind that drinking cocoa powder with foods and drinks that are high in fat and sugar will prevent you from losing weight.
Potentially Neuroprotective PropertiesEpicatechin and catechin, two flavonoids present in cocoa, may have anti-neurodegenerative properties. As a type of flavonoid, cocoa procyanidins were found to be protective against oxidative stress in a rat model research by Cho et al. Oxidative stress has been significantly connected to the onset of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. The long-term potential benefits of this bean against neurodegenerative illnesses need to be further investigated in human studies.
Most people can probably safely consume chocolate. Caffeine and several similar compounds are found in cocoa. Caffeine side effects, such as anxiousness, increased urination, insomnia, and a rapid heartbeat, may be brought on by excessive consumption.
Constipation, allergic skin responses, and migraine headaches may all be brought on by cocoa. Additionally, it may result in digestive issues like gas, bloating, nausea, and discomfort in the intestines.
It is also LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people to apply cocoa butter on their skin. However, it could result in a rash.