Cocoa health benefits, what you need to know
Just ate some chocolate? Ever feel guilty about reaching for the next chocolate chip cookie? Well now you have an excuse to have just one more bite! There are more research studies than ever to confirm the positive health benefits of cocoa and while we don’t know just how much is needed to make an impact, the results speak for themselves.
Cocoa’s health benefits are attributed to the flavonoids, a fairly popular topic in heath and nutrition. Flavonoids are a large group of plant- based antioxidants found in whole foods. Fruits, vegetables and spices are all good sources of flavonoids, not to mention good and healthy.
If you’re not one for eating chocolate, cocoa butter is great for your skin! Resistant to oxidation, cocoa butter can help with stretch marks and dry patches. It is extremely moisturizing. There are hundreds of recipes online for incorporating cocoa butter into your hair and skin and all thanks to a quick search on the internet.
While cocoa is fairly healthy alone, many commercial chocolate products, such as candy bars have been heavily processed and mixed with sugar, preservatives, and milk. Unfortunately, being processed deems many chocolate bars unhealthy. But try reaching for dark chocolate covered almonds, you may be surprised at how delicious they are!
The key benefits of cocoa butter and the reason people tend to see cocoa as a healthy food is for it’s ability to lower cholesterol. Cocoa has been shown not only to decrease LDL cholesterol, but will increase HDL cholesterol, and will reduce diabetes risk factors by preventing aggregation or the clumping process of blood cells. Also, cocoa may help with preventing memory loss. Furthermore, there is some good news about cocoa and blood pressure.
With all these good benefits it’s important to keep in mind that cocoa can’t provide all these benefits when it’s mixed with tons of sugar. As my mother would say “Everything in moderation.”