Considered the ‘Food of the Gods’, cocoa provides interesting health properties, especially when consumed regularly.
All the incredible qualities of cocoa
Nervous system stimulant
If there is a food that helps us feel good every time we consume it, it is cocoa without a doubt. Why? Mainly because it contains a series of components that act as stimulants and euphoriants.
This quality translates into something very simple: every time we eat a portion of pure cocoa or chocolate we achieve a pleasant feeling of well-being due to the presence of phenylethylamine, which acts in the brain, triggering a state of emotional well-being and of euphoria.
Cocoa helps increase the production of endorphins, hormones that improve our mood. In addition, we must not forget that it stands out for being a tremendously energetic food, a quality that translates into something very simple: it helps us regain strength in situations of physical and mental fatigue, being useful to stay more active.
Stimulating the digestive system
In addition to its qualities as a stimulant of our nervous system and our emotions, cocoa acts as an excellent digestive, as well as being a wonderful stimulant of our digestive system.
Good against constipation
On the other hand, several studies have confirmed the benefits of cocoa as a natural relief against constipation, thanks precisely to the fact that it becomes an ideal food to tone and stimulate the digestive system.
But its qualities do not end here, since a study carried out by the University of the State of Louisiana (in the United States), found that certain substances present in cocoa reach the colon, where they are fermented by microorganisms and good bacteria present in our bacterial flora.
Excellent for maintaining good cardiovascular health
Did you know that cocoa is very rich in antioxidants? These natural compounds are capable of preventing the negative action of free radicals in our body, helping to prevent the degeneration of our cells (responsible for the appearance of many diseases).
Due to its richness in antioxidants, cocoa is ideal for our cardiovascular system, preventing the onset of heart disease. In addition, it helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, while its richness in theobromine makes it an ideal food to increase HDL cholesterol.
Good for the skin and against cellulite
These same benefits have a very important anti-cellulite, antioxidant and even softening activity, which are used by chocolate therapy, a therapy that as you are sure you know consists of applying it to the skin through massage.
The most interesting thing in addition to everything that we have discussed so far, is its reducing capacity, ideal for people who want to take care of their line. Of course, this property would only be in the pure cocoa extract itself.
Recent studies have estimated that approximately 4 cocoa capsules would provide the same amount of polyphenols as 250 g tablets. Of dark chocolate. Therefore, cocoa is ideal as a fat burner, reducing, antioxidant and anti-cellulite.
Other interesting benefits of cocoa
In addition to the qualities mentioned above, cocoa also provides other interesting properties. Which are?
- Protective effect in case of diabetes, thanks to its richness in polyphenols, which could help reduce the risk of diabetes. This was also confirmed by a review / meta-analysis carried out in 2016.
What are the main contraindications of cocoa?
Although cocoa is generally a natural food with many health benefits, the truth is that, as with any other food or drink, that does not prevent it from presenting its own contraindications.
In this sense, on the one hand, we must take into account that cocoa contains traces of caffeine, so that its consumption is not recommended in case of high blood pressure or nervous states.
On the other hand, as it contains active ingredients with astringent qualities, especially due to the presence of tannins, its consumption is not recommended either in case of constipation or hemorrhoids.
Nor can we forget something fundamental: it is not the same to consume pure cocoa than to consume it as we find it today in most cases: in the form of chocolates and chocolates with a high content of added sugar, a high amount of fat, and without However, very little percentage of cocoa.
What is cocoa?
Cacao basically consists of the seed of the tree named Theobroma cacao L., the popularly known cacao tree, also known as cacao tree. It is a tree that belongs to the Malvaceae or Malvaceae family, whose main habitat is tropical America, originating mainly from the Amazon basin until gradually extending to the south of present-day Mexico.
It has a fruit that is actually a berry, with an elongated shape, which turns red or purple-yellow. This fruit is used for the production of both cocoa powder (dry and dark in color) and cocoa fat or butter (natural edible bean fat).
The cacao, mainly as food, exerts a remarkable stimulating properties that comfort and reanimate our body. Not surprisingly, it is one of the best-known foods that exist, especially because it is a product from which one of the most consumed desserts par excellence is obtained: chocolate.
And it is that we are faced with a natural product extremely rich in polyphenols that in fact provides a very interesting variety of benefits and health properties, capable of stimulating our body, comforting us and increasing our spirits.
A good example of its consumption is found in many of the products that, today, we can enjoy from cocoa. In this sense, bitter cocoa is obtained from the clean cocoa beans, roasted and crushed. It is at this time when sugar and milk are usually added to make what is known as milk chocolate.