Cocoa, the brown coloured powder is truly a miracle of nature, feel experts who also say that it is full of abundant goodness and health benefits and is one of the best medicinal foods available to man.
Meenu Beri, MD (path) HOD Hematology, Cytopathology and Clinical Pathology, Lifeline Laboratory and Palak Mathur, Dietician, Healthians at home diagnostic service provider, list the various benefits of cocoa.
1. Cocoa is full of a high amount of flavonoids which makes it a great source of antioxidants. Cocoa even has better antioxidant content than green tea. The flavonoid help maintain a healthy brain. It has a neuroprotective benefit and enhances memory and learning.
2. Cocoa powder contains high level of alkaloids which enhances breathing flow and cures chronic allergies. Cocoa powder soothes the breathing process and brings relief to those suffering from breathing problems like asthma.
3. Cocoa powder is known for its healthy goodness. It is really good for heart health and prevents fatal blood clots from blocking the blood vessels, hence, avoiding severe cardiac problems. The flavonoid in cocoa beans lowers blood pressure and improves the elasticity of veins and blood vessels. The antioxidants in cocoa cause stimulation of nitric oxide and control the pressure of blood vessels.
4. Cocoa is great for your skin. That is the reason why cocoa is highly used for making skin care products. It’s not just the amazing smell and the flavour but the presence of immense healthy goodness. Flavanol present in cocoa decreases the hazardous effects of ultraviolet rays and also reduces scaling and roughness of the skin. Cocoa enhances the skin elasticity, density and brings a healthy glow to the skin.
5. Cocoa powder is also considered to provide cancer curing benefits. Used particularly in the cure of prostate and colon cancer. Cocoa powder prevents the development of cancer cells and also protects the growth of healthy cells. Cocoa powder clearly demonstrates anti-proliferative properties to cure cancer with the help of procyanidins and flavonol.
6. Cocoa also helps in fighting constipation. It enhances bowel function and provides relief from gastrointestinal discomfort.
7. Cocoa helps control diabetes and also assists with the treatment. Cocoa based products are advised to be included in the daily diet to improve the insulin resistance and level of glucose in the body. Cocoa has hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic effects. There is a reduction in LDL cholesterol, glucose level, and triglycerides in the blood due to cocoa consumption. Cocoa increases insulin sensitivity and hypermetabolism of glucose. This function regulates sugar levels.
8. Consuming cocoa helps release stress. Cocoa can help uplift your mood and deal with sudden upsurges of mood swings. Its antidepressant property helps to relieve mental exertion and also facilitates certain physiological processes, which helps in mood elevation.