Other than being your favorite ingredient in a cup of fuming hot chocolate and a delight for the chocolate lovers, there are numerous health benefits of cocoa powder. Before digging any deeper, discover what cocoa powder is.
What is Cocoa Powder?
Cocoa is a plant from which the most loved chocolate gets made. By pressing roasted cocoa seeds between rollers, you get unsweetened cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is further produced by squeezing cocoa butter (fat) from it and making a powder of the remaining material.
Do you know where was Cocoa Powder discovered?
Cocoa Powder has its origin in Central America. Maya civilization discovered the cocoa first. Spanish conquerors introduced it in the 16th century to Europe. Maya Civilization was the first to recognize the health benefits of cocoa powder. Feel sure to thank Mayas for all the chocolate you get.
Understand in Detail the Cocoa Powder Nutrition
Are you concerned about how many calories in cocoa powder or how many carbs in cocoa powder are present? Get an answer to all that and much more like how much caffeine in cocoa powder present and how much fat right here?
Not just chocolates. Cocoa powder is a store of nutrition.
Highly rich in fiber, magnesium, iron, manganese, protein, good cholesterol, phosphorous, and much more, cocoa powder is a treasure of nutrition and is known to benefit the body in the most amazing ways. From weight loss to blood pressure, the magical powder has a cure to all.
Recommended Read: Diet plans for Weight Loss
Nutritional Profile of Cocoa Powder (per 100 grams)
- Energy- 956 kJ
- Carbs- 57.90 grams
- Fat- 13.70 grams
- Protein- 19.60 grams
- Caffeine- 230 milligrams
From black and white cocoa powder to organic cocoa powder(1), all of them have their own set of benefits. Read on to discover more health benefits of cocoa powder.
Health Benefits of Cocoa Powder
1. Reduces inflammation
Cocoa powder is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants which reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, improves blood sugar levels, and makes the blood flow better.
2. Controls blood pressure
Consuming dark chocolate which is a rich source of cocoa powder reduces blood pressure and improves the function of your blood vessels.
Read More: Home Remedies for Hypertension
3. Improves heart health
Cocoa Powder is a rich source of nitric oxide which lowers the chance of encountering a heart stroke or any other heart diseases by your body.
4. Enhances brain function
Consuming small amounts of chocolate improves the flow of blood to your brain and to improve your brain function. However, you may not see the same effect in large consumptions. Consuming chocolate in small amounts on a daily basis improves the mental health of the people and has positive effects on the people who have Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
5. Releases happy hormones
Probably known by many, sweetened cocoa powder in chocolates and other desserts, improves mood and releases happy hormones in the body. It reduces the symptoms of depression and creates a sensory pleasure in your body. Frequent intake of cocoa powder is known to reduce stress and improves psychological well-being.
Also Read: Essential Oils for Depression
6. Stimulates insulin secretion
Cocoa Powder is rich in flavanols. Flavanols are one of the best ways to control insulin secretion and encourage sugar level uptake in the body. Though overeating of chocolate maybe not suitable for sugar control, the right quantity of cocoa powder does have a few anti-diabetic benefits(2).
7. Fights suntan
Other than being a sweet tooth’s favorite, cocoa powder is an unusual ingredient for application to remove tanning. Mix it with honey and cinnamon and leave the mask for a while before washing it off.
Read More: Home Remedies to Remove Sun Tan
8. Helps in weight loss
Cocoa Powder and cocoa powder rich products play a vital role in reducing weight. Cocoa powder when consumed in the form of chocolates provides high energy to the body, increases fat oxidation and reduces appetite by inhibiting the feeling of fullness, thus, helping in reducing weight.
9. Combats Asthma
Cocoa contains anti-asthmatic compounds like theophylline and theobromine which s beneficial for the people who have asthma. Theobromine also helps in reducing the problem of coughing as it contains caffeine. Theophylline, on the other hand, relaxes your airways and helps you dilate your lungs.
Recommended Read: Home Remedies for Asthma
10. Improves oral health
Cocoa powder has anti-enzymatic, immune-stimulating, and antibacterial properties. All of these contribute to the oral benefits of cocoa powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder and black cocoa powder is known to reduce the cavity formed in the teeth.
11. Enhances skin health
Last but not least, cocoa powder has amazing skin benefits. White cocoa powder and organic cocoa powder improve the texture of the skin on application. Cocoa powder is an excellent exfoliator and gets the skin rid off any dirt or pollution in the pores. The powdered surface of the cocoa improves blood circulation in the skin and hydrates the skin. It also reduces acne(3).
Use of Cocoa Powder in Various Recipies
For working on the health benefits of cocoa powder, there are many fun ways to include cocoa powder in your diet.
- Hot cocoa/ cold cocoa: Mix cocoa powder in your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk for a delicious chocolate milkshake.
- Bake it to cake it: You can liberally add cocoa powder to your homemade cakes, puddings, pancakes, etc.
- Sprinkle it on top: You can use cocoa powder as a nice sprinkler over your favorite fruits like strawberries, bananas, apples, and more.
- Chew on the granola bars: Bump up your health with a few health granola bars or energy bars while you get a nice workout done.
- Smooth it out: Add generous amounts of cocoa powder, black or white to your smoothies or a rich and chocolaty taste.
Including the right amount of cocoa powder in your diet is necessary for replenishing the health benefits of cocoa powder. Overconsumption and excessive use are always harmful to cocoa powder.
What is the difference between raw cacao and cocoa powder?
The difference between the two lies in the processing. Cacao beans and cocoa powder have the same origin; however, the way these two get processed marks the difference among them. You can hog upon cacao beans raw, whereas cocoa powder is usually a part of deserts and chocolates in the market.
With that said, cocoa powder has captivated a considerable part of delicious cuisines. Now, so you know the health benefits of cocoa powder, hogging upon chocolates in a right way will not make you guilt-ridden. Its easy and nutrition’s add-on to your diet in creative ways can maximize your health benefits if you stick to a healthy diet and routine along with reasonable portion sizes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is pure cocoa powder goof for you?
If taken in proper ways and right sizes, the pure cocoa powder has numerous benefits.
2. Is cocoa powder gluten free?
Yes, there is no gluten in cocoa powder as there is no gluten in cacao pods from which cocoa powder gets made.
3. Is it bad to drink hot chocolate every day?
Hot chocolate comes with a high quantity of sugar content as well. Consuming high volumes of sugar may be harmful. If you are on a sugar-free hot chocolate diet in a small amount, there is no harm.