Health And Weight Loss Benefits Of Cocoa Beans
Love chocolates? Same here! Do you know your yummy chocolate is made from cocoa beans that are inside a pod? This post aims at discovering the health benefits offered by cocoa beans but before that a bit about the places where cocoa beans grow.
Cocoa beans had first appeared in the Amazon basin. They grow only in warm, moist and shady climates. Africa, Asia, Central and South America are the regions where cocoa beans are primarily grown.
Cocoa beans have more than 300 healthy compounds. They contain several minerals and vitamins including potassium and copper that support heart health and iron that helps in transporting oxygen throughout the body. Cocoa beans also have magnesium and calcium that are essential to carry out several bodily functions.
Health benefits of Cocoa beans
They function as an antidepressant
Cocoa beans are considered as nature’s anti-depressant. They are known to contain dopamine, serotonin and other compounds that help in promoting positive moods and mental health. They have substances that help in keeping serotonin and dopamine longer in the blood stream. This eases depression and brings in a feeling of well being.
They have antioxidant properties
According to studies, cocoa beans are one of the best known sources of antioxidants. The antioxidant content is 3 times more than green tea and two times more than red wine. So much for your excuse to drink red wine for the antioxidants in it! Blueberries are said to be good sources of antioxidants bit cocoa beans has surpassed that too as wild blueberries have 61 antioxidants and cocoa beans have 621. Amazing, isn’t it?
Antioxidants protect against free radical damage that lowers risk of cancer. They also regulate levels of cholesterol.
Great for cardiovascular health
Cocoa beans are known to be good for the cardiovascular system as they have polyphenols in them that is beneficial for heart health. Research says that it might also reduce blood pressure.
Cocoa beans have magnesium that is good for heart health. Magnesium increases the strength of the heart which ensures that it will keep pumping blood efficiently. It also reduces risk of blood clots that reduces risks of heart attacks and strokes.
They have epitcatechin in them
Epicatechin compound in cocoa beans has a lot of health benefits. The effects of epicatechin are similar to penicillin and anesthesia. It is known to reduce the risks of cancer, strokes, heart disease and diabetes. Being bitter, this compound is often removed from cocoa products. So, to get its benefits buy whole cocoa beans.
They boost energy
Cocoa beans have the ability to reduce anxiety and to increase alertness. A cup of cocoa provides the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee. Cocoa having fewer stimulants does not cause any strong crashes later, as cup of coffee does.
You were waiting for this particular benefit, right? Cocoa beans are viewed as a good weight loss aid. Research says that the polyphenols present in cocoa beans, improves one’s sensitivity to insulin. Scientists are studying the link between obesity and insulin resistance syndrome. An increase in insulin sensitivity from cocoa beans can support weight loss. Moreover, being a natural anti-depressant helps in keeping people’s mood on track so that they can follow their diet.
How to include cocoa beans in your diet?
Handling cocoa beans can be tough so you can go in for dark chocolate. The dark chocolate for good health should have certain characteristics that are as follows:
- It needs to have less than 70% cocoa.
- It should not have milk or any other dairy products as they hinder the body’s ability to absorb antioxidants.
- The chocolate should be made from cocoa butter and not from coconut oil or palm oil.
I have provided sufficient reasons for you to include dark chocolate in your diet! Go ahead and indulge!
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