Benefits of Cocoa for Health

Benefits of Cocoa for Health

Cocoa is the fruit where chocolate comes from. Pure cocoa or that has been processed into dark chocolate has many health benefits, ranging from improving mood, lowering high blood pressure, and even reducing the risk of heart disease.

The seeds in the cocoa pod are the main ingredient in making chocolate. Dark chocolate (unsweetened dark chocolate) comes from the cocoa bean which is basically bitter in taste. Dark chocolate is made by roasting cocoa beans, then grinding them until they are smooth. Cocoa powder is produced by squeezing cocoa butter from dark chocolate. To become sweet packaged chocolate, cocoa is added with sugar, vanilla, cocoa butter, and milk.

In cocoa powder, there are various nutrients that are good for health. The nutrients contained in cocoa include protein, carbohydrates, fiber, polyphenols, flavonoids, calcium, iron, caffeine, magnesium, and potassium.

Benefits of Cocoa for Health

The benefits of cocoa only apply to pure cocoa or dark chocolate, not sweet chocolate with added flavors and other ingredients. The more bitter and dark a chocolate is, the better. Rows of claims for the health benefits of cocoa include:

Lowering blood pressure

Research reveals that consumption of dark chocolate for 2-18 weeks in a row can lower blood pressure. This effect is thought to be related to nitric oxide (NO) which can help dilate blood vessels. The benefits of cocoa that can lower blood pressure are beneficial for people with high blood pressure.

Reduce the risk of heart disease

Eating chocolate can improve the function of the endothelium, which is the cells that line the inner surface of blood vessels. In addition, cocoa is rich in antioxidants, flavanols and NO, which can dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. This effect is good for preventing heart disease.

Increase energy

Eating a little chocolate is thought to make us more energetic. This is thanks to the fairly high calorie content, as well as the caffeine and magnesium in cocoa.

Slow down senility and maintain brain function

senile aka memory loss generally occurs in elderly people. A study suggests, the flavanols contained in cocoa can slow down the process of memory loss in the elderly. This effect is thought to be influenced by the benefits of cocoa which can improve blood flow to the brain, and the strong antioxidant effect that can reduce the impact of brain cell damage.

Improve mood (mood)

Theobromine, caffeine, and endorphins in cocoa affect a more positive mood and increase alertness. The active substance in cocoa can also increase endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that play a role in fighting stress and feelings of depression. Endorphins are also believed to increase sexual arousal.

Has anticancer properties

Cocoa contains high antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory. This effect is seen to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body and counteract the effects of cell damage, so that the risk of developing cancer can be reduced.

Helps control asthma symptoms

Natural cocoa powder has the potential to reduce the tendency to relapse in asthmatics. Theobromine and theophylline contained in cocoa have benefits as airway widening, so they can help reduce asthma symptoms.

Slows down aging of the skin

Cocoa has nutrients that are good for the skin, as well as chemicals that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it also helps improve blood flow to the skin. This effect is thought to play a role in helping to slow down skin tissue damage caused by sun exposure, and helping to slow down aging of the skin.
The various medical studies above do show that cocoa has many potential health benefits, but further studies and evidence are still needed to substantiate these claims.