Most of us think that all good things are those that are considered hazardous to the health. This, however, was proven wrong when the news broke out about the different health benefits that can be acquired from consuming dark chocolate and/or cocoa powder. This information was received by many people with great enthusiasm since dark chocolates are considered as one of the most favorite sweets and desserts of all time. It is indeed unbelievable that something as good as dark chocolates or cocoa can be very beneficial for our health. Nevertheless, this should still be taken in moderation since the significant increase of cocoa in the diet is not yet well defined by many health experts. But what are the cocoa health benefits?
Discovering the Healthy Benefits of Cocoa
Dark chocolates as well as cocoa derive most of their benefits from their components called flavonoids. These are plant pigments that are capable of producing antioxidant properties in the body in order to counteract cellular damage which can lead to certain types of chronic diseases such as those that affect the heart as well as cancer. In addition to this, the use of cocoa powder has also been shown to effectively reduce blood pressure and improve the blood flow in humans. Experts have also concluded that a cup of hot cocoa contains three times more antioxidants compared to a cup of green tea. As we all know, green tea is also known to provide countless health benefits. Having all these antioxidants, we can definitely say that including cocoa or dark chocolate in the diet can be very helpful in improving the condition of our health. Nonetheless, cocoa should still be consumed in reasonable quantities since this food product also contains drawbacks if taken in high contents.
Discussing the Advantages of Cocoa in Health
• Improves or Enhances the Mood – one of the most common characteristics of cocoa is that it contains mood enhancing qualities. Regular consumption of pure cocoa can uplift the mood and make an individual more active. This provides more energy for the muscles and also improves the metabolism of the body. This mood elevating effect of the cocoa is due to its component called phenylethylamine.
• Alleviates Depression and Stress from the Body – Aside from enhancing the mood, cocoa is also capable of treating depression. This is because of its anti depressant capabilities which are likewise capable of correcting stress. In addition to this, cocoa is also safe to use than most anti depressant medications since this does not cause any harmful side effects in the body. This is made possible by the Polyphenolic extract obtained from the non-roasted cocoa which has high amounts of flavonoids that make the cocoa a great anti depressant agent.
• Reduces the Risk of many Diseases – people who consume cocoa regularly do have less than 10% chance of having strokes, cancer, diabetes and heart failure. Even diabetic people can eat sugar free cocoa in order to prevent adverse effects on the insulin levels of the body.
• Improves the Blood Flow of the Body – Cocoa is also an effective agent in improving the blood flow in the body. Many physicians have already recommended cocoa since it contains high amounts of epicatechin, which is a substance good for the enhancement of blood flow.
• Improves Blood Pressure Status – In connection to the improvement of blood flow, cocoa can also lower down high blood pressure in the body. People who consume at least 3 to 4 cups of cocoa have lesser chances of obtaining hypertension problems and cardiovascular diseases. The flavonoids contained in cocoa are efficient in bringing down the systolic as well as the diastolic blood pressure of the body.
• Prevents Early Signs of Aging and Skin Problems – aside from all the mentioned health benefits of cocoa to the body, this tasty food is also good in delaying the aging process and improving our youthfulness. Cocoa is already considered a popular agent for skin and beauty enhancement. The flavanols in cocoa help the vascular tissues to relax which improves the functioning of the blood vessels. This can also treat various types of skin problems and has an anti cancer property that helps prevent the occurrence of skin cancer.
• Provides Great Aid in Digestion – Cocoa is also useful in fighting constipation. This food allows the improvement of digestion, which helps in the relief of constipation. This is caused by the presence of magnesium in cocoa which affects the bowel movement and promotes normal digestion.
Other Benefits of Cocoa
Aside from the ones mentioned above, cocoa is also beneficial for lactating mothers. This is due to its capacity to increase the milk production of the woman’s breast. Aside from this, cocoa is also useful in regulating inflammatory and immune responses to the blood vessel walls. As we can see, cocoa can offer a lot of health benefits for our body. This is clearly a perfect example that some things are just too good to be true and cocoa is definitely not an exception!