The cocoa is a dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao which cocoa solids and butter are extracted, it also serves as a base for chocolate. Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids and procyanidins that help to provide anti-ageing properties. It has also a high concentration of epicatechin that is helpful for cardiovascular health.Cocoa beans have a high content of minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, calcium and manganese. It is an excellent source of potassium, selenium and zinc. It also possesses monounsaturated fats such as palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid. The cocoa bean is packed with various health benefits such as providing relief from constipation, cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, bronchial asthma, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. It helps to heal the wound fast, improve cardiovascular health, skincare and brain health. It is also helpful for curing the deficiency of copper. It helps to enhance mood and has positive effects on neurotoxicity.
Researchers found that consuming cocoa-containing foods can help lower blood pressure levels in a small sample size of participants, cocoa bean has flavonoids that help to lower blood pressure and enhance the elasticity of blood vessels. The research shows that it has a positive effect on diastolic and systolic blood pressure. It is possible due to antioxidants that promote nitric oxide production that helps to relax blood vessels. Additionally, it maintains the normal circulatory system.
Cocoa is rich in flavonol which has positive effects on brain health. It helps to assist with memory functions and learning. These neuroprotective benefits could also have favourable effects on learning and memory functions. The findings have advocated that the consumption of cocoa-based products may enhance the flow of blood to the brain and they have provided evidence of the therapeutic potential for curing vascular disorders.
Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids – namely, procyanidin, catechin, and epicatechin, which may have antioxidant properties. In moderate amounts, it can help in protecting the cells from damage, while strengthening the heart. It may prevent the formation of fatal blood clots which can lead to stroke or cardiac failure. The flavonoids possibly possess anti-platelet aggregating effects and modulate primary hemostasis, which is the measure of time blood takes to clot.
A study has shown the potential benefits of cocoa might include preventing high-fat-diet-induced obesity. Its intake can help in modulating lipid metabolism and may reduce the synthesis and transport of fatty acids. It may also improve thermogenesis, which is the mechanism of heat production in white adipose tissues and the liver. However, remember that if you are consuming cocoa powder in foods and beverages that contain high amounts of sugar and fat, it will be detrimental to weight loss.
All these and more are the benefits of cocoa bean.