Who doesn’t like a healthy helping of cocoa? Cocoa is one of the most loved flavours on the planet. So much so that it can almost become addictive.
The rich intense flavour of cocoa powder is delicious with anything including smoothies, coffee, or oatmeal. Many people even make savoury cocoa sauces to put on their meat.
Other than its incredible flavour, there are many other benefits of cocoa powder. Cocoa has been found to have truly impressive health benefits.
10 Health Benefits of Organic Cocoa Powder You May Not Have Heard Of
There are so many incredible benefits of eating cocoa powder that you won’t believe that something so delicious could be so good for you. These benefits have lasting effects that can improve your health overall.
1. Come On Get Happy
If you struggle with mood regulation or you just need a mood boost, grab some cocoa. Researchers have described Cocoa as a natural antidepressant that can healthily raise your happiness levels.
Cocoa contains the mood-boosting chemicals anandamide. This chemical helps make people feel euphoric. Cocoa has also been found to have an effect on the reward centre of the brain.
Researchers have also found that cocoa interacts with your neurotransmitter systems to release dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which make you feel happier.
2. Boost Your Sex Appeal
We all know that anything made with cocoa is straight-up sexy. This is because cocoa has been found to possess aphrodisiac *wink wink*.
If you want to find your way into anyone’s heart, you give him or her something with cocoa powder’s rich, deep, seductive flavour.
Another mood-enhancing chemical found in cocoa is phenethylamine, this chemical releases the same endorphins that are released when we fall in love, so it can help improve your sex life.
3. Feel the Power
Cocoa contains a healthy amount of caffeine. This helps to boost energy and fight fatigue. Not only does it have a good amount of caffeine, but it also contains magnesium.
Two tablespoons of cocoa powder have about 14% of your body’s daily value of Magnesium. Magnesium has been found to keep your body energized naturally.
Magnesium has been found to protect your body against other issues such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and osteoporosis. Cocoa is known to be one of the healthiest ways to keep your body energized and awake.
4. Protect Your Heart
Cocoa is choc-full of the anti-inflammatory antioxidants flavanols. These antioxidants have been found to help your heart and your entire cardiovascular system.
Flavanols may protect your body against cardiovascular disease, improves your blood circulation and lowers the risk of stroke.
Other antioxidants, called polyphenols, in cocoa are known to help reduce HDL is (bad cholesterol) levels and prevent atherosclerosis, also known as the hardening of the arteries. It is impressive what cocoa can do for your heart.
5. Keep the Wrinkles Away
For beautiful flawless skin, you simply need to get your daily serving of cocoa. Polyphenols have been found to help protect your cells from premature oxidation this will keep your skin from looking aged or becoming wrinkled.
It can also improve your skin texture and give it a glowing look. In one study, researchers found that cocoa helped improve skin microcirculation and skin hydration.
You will look more youthful and bright with just a little more cocoa in your diet.
Not only does eating cocoa powder help your skin, but using cocoa butter as a moisturizer has also been found to keep skin soft and smooth.
6. Keeps Your Brain Sharper
Cocoa has been found to improve cognitive function and memory. Cocoa has been found to increase blood flow to the brain. Cocoa could possibly prevent age‐related cognitive impairment and forgetfulness.
Certain studies have said that cocoa could possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases.
Just a little bit more cocoa can help keep your brain at its best for longer and keep your memory at its best.
7. Helps your Gut
Your digestive health can be greatly improved by a diet rich in cocoa. The flavanols in cocoa have been found to become prebiotic (stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut) when they are digested.
Prebiotics have been found to work with probiotics to help promote digestive health.
They balance the bacteria in your gut and ensure that the “good” bacteria in your stomach flourish and this helps to improve the health of your entire digestive system.
8. Protects Your Teeth
Researchers have found that more cocoa powder in your diet can actually prevent tooth decay.
Certain compounds in the cocoa bean husk have antibacterial properties and have been found to fight against plaque. It could even be more effective than fluoride to fight cavities.
Also, the compound, CBH, which is found in cocoa powder, has been found to help harden your enamel. If you want to keep those pearly whites as beautiful as possible, add some more cocoa to your diet.
9. Boosts Your Metabolism to Keep You Thin
The polyphenols in cocoa have been found to help boost your metabolism and this will encourage you to lose weight faster.
Cocoa improves your body’s ability to metabolize the dietary fat that you consume from becoming fatty tissue in your body.
Since cocoa helps your digestive health, this also keeps you from gaining weight. The least processed cocoa extracts seemed to have the largest impact on your metabolism.
10. Balances Hormonal Mood Swings
There’s a reason why women crave cocoa during their *ahem* “lady time”. Cocoa has been found to balance brain neurotransmitter levels, and this is especially helpful during PMS when serotonin levels tend to drop.
Cocoa can calm changes in hormone levels as well and it also restores feelings of well-being. The mood-enhancing aspects of cocoa that we already discussed is helpful here as well.
Improving Your Health with Cocoa
Simply finding healthy ways of adding cocoa to your diet can make a huge impact on your health. Eating cocoa with a bunch of processed sugar will negate any of the benefits that cocoa offers.
Also, some scientists say that eating cocoa with dairy milk can make the antioxidants in cocoa not as effective.
Just adding a tablespoon of pure cocoa powder to your favourite smoothie or your favourite recipe of overnight oats can be the additional bit of cocoa that you need to truly improve your health.
Try some new recipes that use this ingredient in its raw form so that it can have the largest impact on your body.