What is cocoa powder?
Cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans. The cocoa beans are dried, fermented, and then roasted and powdered, which is known as cocoa powder.
This cocoa powder is one of the ingredients in chocolate. The seeds of the cocoa tree have an intensely bitter taste.
Cocoa or cocoa is a plant of the Amazon Valley in South America. Its cultivation has expanded to several other countries in Central America. It was then cultivated in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon in Africa.
Its cultivation then began in Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Guinea in Asia. It is also cultivated in South India and Orissa.
The scientific name of the cocoa is Theobroma cacao and cocoa in English is found by the French. In 1657, a Frenchman popularized chocolate by establishing a ‘Chocolate House’ in London.
Starting from 1890 to 1950, its cultivation became more widespread. Ivory Coast currently produces 43 percent of the world’s cocoa.
Cocoa powder is rich in theobromine, which helps reduce inflammation and can protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Nutritional value of cocoa powder
Below are the nutrients of cocoa powder –
- Calories: 49
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
The health benefits of cocoa powder
Below are the health benefits of cocoa or cocoa powder –
May lower high blood pressure:
Cocoa powder or dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure. The flavonols in cocoa powder can improve nitric oxide levels in the blood, which can increase blood vessel function and lower blood pressure.
Reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke:
In addition to lowering blood pressure, cocoa powder has been shown to have properties that can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Flavonol-rich cocoa powder improves blood nitric oxide levels by relaxing and dilating arteries and blood vessels to improve blood flow.
Also, cocoa powder can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. This reduces the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. A review of nine studies of 157,809 people found that eating more dark chocolate significantly reduced the risk of heart disease, stroke, and death.
Improves blood flow to the brain and brain function:
Several studies have shown that the polyphenols in cocoa powder can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases by improving brain function and blood flow. Flavanols stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes vascular muscles, improves blood flow and blood supply to the brain.
Studies have shown that the flavonols in cocoa powder are psychoactive and can improve mental performance in people.
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that we get naturally from fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate. Polyphenols help to reduce digestive problems, maintain weight, improve cardiovascular disease, and lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Cocoa powder is one of the sources of polyphenols.
Improves mood and frustration:
Cocoa can improve mood and depression symptoms in addition to the effects on the age-related emotional decline. A study on chocolate intake and stress levels in pregnant women found that chocolate consumption was associated with the improved mood in children.
Another study found that eating high-polyphenol cocoa powder improved serenity and satiety.
Reduces the symptoms of type-2 diabetes:
Cocoa has some anti-diabetic effects. Test-tube studies indicate that the flavonols in cocoa powder can slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines, improve insulin secretion, and reduce inflammation.
Some studies have shown that high levels of flavonols derived from cocoa may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, eating flavonol-rich dark chocolate can reduce insulin sensitivity, improve blood sugar control, and reduce inflammation in diabetic and non-diabetic individuals.
Contains cancer-protective properties:
Cancer is a terrible killer disease. Flavonols derived from cocoa powder, like fruits and vegetables, have anti-cancer properties. Test-tube studies on cocoa have shown that cocoa has antioxidant effects that protect cells from damage, fight inflammation, inhibit cancer cell growth, and help prevent cancer cell proliferation.
A cocoa-rich diet can reduce breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer.
Cocoa is rich in phytonutrients but low in fat and sugar, so the calories I get from cocoa powder are healthy. Studies have also shown that cocoa provides energy and enhances the feeling of fullness.
Help people with asthma:
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that can be life-threatening. Cocoa is beneficial for asthma patients, as it contains atomic compounds such as theobromine and theophylline. These two ingredients can help people with asthma. However, it is not yet known how it helps.
Benefits teeth and skin:
Several studies have found that cocoa powder has protective effects against dental cavities and gum disease. Cocoa has antibacterial, anti-enzymatic, and immune-stimulating properties that are good for oral health.
Another popular aspect of cocoa is that it is good for the skin. The polyphenols in cocoa powder have important effects on the skin. Cocoa protects the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, helps in the blood circulation of the skin, and keeps the skin hydrated.
If you suffer from a complex disease or go through a regular medical course for any other reason, you must consult your doctor before eating.