5 Scientifically Backed Health Benefits Of Cocoa

Cocoa powder is a high nutrient food item that contains important minerals. Here are some research backed health benefits. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Jul 19, 2022Updated at: Jul 19, 2022
5 Scientifically Backed Health Benefits Of Cocoa

Cocoa is a powder made using roasted and dried cacao beans. Cacao beans are the fermented seeds of the cacao tree.  These ground beans also contain cocoa butter, which is a non-dairy natural fat. The chocolates and cocoa-products available in the market might not contain the original beneficial flavonols of cacao beans as they can get destroyed due to over-processing. Cocoa powder is a good source of polyphenols including catechins, flavonol glycosides, anthocyanins, and procyanidins. Here are some scientifically backed health benefits of unsweetened cocoa powder. 

Here are 5 scientifically backed health benefits of cocoa: 

1. Improves brain function 

Cocoa contains polyphenols that have the potential to help enhance blood flow to the brain. There are many studies that support polyphenols present in cocoa may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases by enhancing brain function and blood flow. It contains flavanols, which can cross the blood-brain hindrance and help in the biochemical processes that produce neurons and important molecules for proper functioning of the brain. Flavanols also help in the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes your blood vessel muscles, improves blood flow and its supply to your brain

2. May lower blood pressure levels

According to researchers, having cocoa rich foods can help in reducing the blood pressure levels, which was also proved in a small study of participants. As per a meta-analysis, it was revealed that it might have a positive impact on the systolic and diastolic blood pressure as a result of having cocoa-based foods as compared to black or green tea for 7 days. These changes occur because of the presence of antioxidants in cocoa that can improve the production of nitric oxide, which helps in relaxing the blood vessels.  

Also read: 5 Reasons That Cocoa Powder is Healthy For You

3. May reduce risk of heart attack

Cocoa powder is a good source of flavonoids such as procyanidin, catechin, and epicatechin, which may also contain antioxidant properties. If consumed in moderate quantities, cocoa powder can help in preventing cell damage, along with making the heart stronger. It may prevent the formation of life threatening blood clots, which can result in stroke or heart failure. According to a review article in Ahajournals, cocoa can improve your cardiovascular health. 

cocoa

Also read: Good News For Chocolate Lovers As Research Finds This Sweet Treat To Be Good For Heart

4. May balance cholesterol levels 

Cocoa might have hypocholesterolemic effects on your cholesterol levels, as well as hypoglycemic effects on your glucose levels, as shown in a 2004 research. This can facilitate a boost in good cholesterol (HDL) levels, and reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and triglycerides in the body. 

5. May help with weight management 

Obesity resulting from consuming fat-rich foods might be prevented by cocoa, according to research. Consuming cocoa may help minimise the transport and synthesis of fatty acids, and can modulate lipid metabolism. It can also improve the process of heat production in the liver and white adipose tissues, a mechanism otherwise known as thermogenesis. It is important to know that consumption of cocoa in sugar and fat-rich meals will have adverse effects on weight loss. 

Image credits: Freepik

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