Cocoa is most popular food worldwide due to its extraordinary taste. It is used
to make chocolate.
It is also used to prepare many dishes like cake, cookies, pastries and much more.
Apart from the variety of tastes, it provides a wide range of health benefits.
Cacao beans are derived from the small tree known as Theobroma Cacao.
It originated in Central, South America and Mexico. Cacao beans are available from cacao pods. Each cacao pods contain 20-60 almond size cacaos seed. Its size may vary.
After harvesting cacao pods are opened to get cacao seeds. This seed is fermented for 2-8 days and dried to remove the moisture and thus a cocoa is made available.
Cocoa Vs Cacao- Which is best?
Cacao seeds are the primary products that are available directly from the plant. Cacao seeds are
Good source of antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals and fats.
But to get to a cocoa, the seed is passed through various processes.
Due to heating, a large amount of antioxidants is destroyed.
So it is good to prefer raw cacao instead of highly processed cocoa. But you can also eat cocoa to get the health benefit.
Nutrition Value of Cocoa
It is among the super foods that are highly nutritious. It is packed with various nutrients.
- Vitamin A, C, B6, thiamin
- Essential dietary fats
Health Benefits of Cocoa
Raw cacao is made available as cocoa and dark chocolate. You can make it hot chocolate drink.
Thus, it adds taste and flavor to our life. Also, from it pleasant taste it also has many health benefits.
1. Healthy Heart
In a research cocoa/cacao has been proved to reduce the risk of heart disease. It contains flavonoids and antioxidants that increase the flexibility of arteries and veins.
Thus, it reduces blood pressure and promotes blood flow. Thus, it promotes heart health and reduces the risk of heart failure and stroke.
2. Skin Health
Research in London it has been proved that food with high Isoflavone reduces sunburn.
It contains anti-ageing and anti-oxidants thus it promotes a healthy skin.
3. Weight loss
It may be a good new for a chocolate lover, that chocolate promotes weight loss.
Dark chocolate can be eaten to reduce sugar craving. It can also reduce the craving for salty and fatty foods.
Thus it can promote a healthy weight loss.
Eating cocoa for 15 days can reduce the risk in type II diabetic patient. They can get good benefits of eating cocoa hot drink.
Isoflavones play an important role in preventing cardiovascular complication in a diabetic patient.
Flavones increase production of nitric acid which helps the arteries to relax.
(It is not prescribed to eat chocolate with high sugar and fat content. You should always eat raw cacao or dark chocolate)
It is the best mood enhancing food. It is proven to reduce stress and helps to combat depression. It also promotes brain health.
6. Free Radical
Cocoa is rich in antioxidants and flavones which reduces free radical.
Thus it protects from free radical which are produced due to pollution, UV rays, smoke, etc.
So it protects from the risk of cancer. It also reduces the ageing process that are caused due to an increase of free radical in the body.
So enjoy raw cacao, cocoa, dark chocolate or hot chocolate drink.