Chocolate may not be considered the healthiest of foods, but cocoa is one of the world’s longest recognised super foods. Cocoa contains many beneficial compounds, from antioxidants to brain and body boosting nutrients. Cocoa is much more than just a bedtime drink, so read on and find out more about the many and fabulous health benefits that cocoa has to offer:
1. Cocoa contains more antioxidants than green tea
When people think of a drink that contains antioxidants, they will usually think of green tea or red wine. It may come as a surprise then, to find out that cocoa contains more than twice the amount of antioxidants as does red wine and up to three times that of green tea.
2. Cocoa is a great source of magnesium
Especially good for menstruating women, cocoa contains magnesium, which is known to reduce nervous tension and premenstrual tension. Magnesium also reduces the risk of you developing blood clots.
3. A cup of hot cocoa is far better than a bar of chocolate!
The reason why chocolate gets such a bad press is not the cocoa, but all the saturated fat and sugar that it contains. Drink a cup of hot cocoa and you will get all the benefits, without all the fat.
4. It helps you think better
Researches found that cocoa can make you think more clearly. The flavonoids that cocoa contains increase the blood flow to the brain and improve your concentration and the clarity of your thinking.
5. It is good for your heart
Cocoa contains a significant amount of polyphenols, which researchers have proved can reduce blood pressure and increase the health of the heart.
6. It reduces stress
The ability of cocoa to calm a person down has been understood for centuries. In 17th century, in France, cocoa was used to clam ‘fits of anger and bad moods’. No wonder it makes such a great bedtime drink!
7. Cocoa is an anti-inflammatory
A study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that 40 grams of cocoa a day, consumed for 4 weeks, could reduce inflammation in the body and help to prevent arteries from clogging.
8. It gives you a boost of energy
Cocoa, drunk in the mornings, can give you an energy boost, which is comparable to coffee, but without the subsequent energy crash that coffee can cause, when the effects of the caffeine wear off.
9. It contains only healthy fats
Unlike chocolate, cocoa itself contains a variety of healthy fats, including oleic acid, which is the same fatty acid that is found in olive oil. Research has shown that consuming cocoa and dark chocolate can actually decrease the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
10. It can help you lose weight
Scientists believe that there is a connection between sensitivity to insulin and obesity. Eating cocoa beans can improve your sensitivity to insulin, which may be an aid to people who are trying to lose weight.