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The benefits of cocoa are not only to improve mood, but also prevent various types of diseases. However, don't be misguided. These he alth benefits can only be obtained by consuming pure or processed cocoa into dark chocolate
Cocoa is a plant that is widely cultivated in Indonesia. The seeds are often used as the main ingredient for making chocolate. Dark chocolate comes from the cocoa bean which is bitter in nature.
Dark chocolate is made by roasting cocoa beans, then grinding them until they are smooth and into cocoa powder.
In cocoa powder, there are various nutrients and he alth benefits, such as protein, carbohydrates, fiber, polyphenols, flavonoids, calcium, iron, caffeine, magnesium, and potassium.
Benefits of Cocoa for He alth
Not all types of cocoa can provide he alth benefits. Only pure cocoa or dark chocolate is good for consumption, not cocoa that has been added to flavorings or other ingredients. The more bitter and dark the chocolate, the more benefits it has for the body.
Well, here are some of the benefits of cocoa that you can get:
1. Lowering blood pressure
Pure cocoa or dark chocolate is believed to be good for consumption by people with hypertension. These benefits are thought to come from nitrogen oxide compounds that can dilate blood vessels.
This benefit is also supported by research which reveals that consumption of dark chocolate for 2-8 weeks in a row can lower blood pressure.
2. Reducing the risk of heart disease
Its role as a lowering of blood pressure makes cocoa also good for consumption to prevent heart disease. In addition to nitrogen oxides, this benefit also comes from the antioxidant content of flavonoids.
3. Increase stamina
Pure cocoa is a good source of calories, so it can provide additional stamina and make you more energetic in carrying out activities. Cocoa also contains caffeine which is known as a natural stimulant that can keep you focused and awake.
4. Prevent senile dementia and maintain brain function
senility generally occurs in the elderly. A study revealed that the flavonoid antioxidants contained in cocoa can slow down the process of memory loss in the elderly.
This effect is thought to be influenced by the benefits of cocoa which can improve blood flow to the brain and reduce the impact of brain cell damage due to aging.
5. Improve your mood
Theobromine and caffeine compounds in cocoa can affect your mood to be more positive and increase your sense of alertness.
Not only that, the active substance phenethylamine in cocoa can also increase the production of endorphins, which are chemical compounds in the brain that play a role in fighting stress and overcoming feelings of depression.
6. Has anticancer properties
Cocoa contains high antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. Thanks to its content and properties, cocoa is believed to be able to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body and counteract the effects of cell damage, so that the risk of getting cancer can be reduced.
7. Controlling asthma symptoms
Pure cocoa powder is believed to reduce the recurrence of symptoms in asthmatics. This benefit comes from theobromine and theophylline compounds which can widen the airways, thereby reducing asthma symptoms.
8. Slows down aging of the skin
Cocoa contains a variety of nutrients that are good for the skin. In addition, chemical compounds that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory can also improve blood flow to the skin.
This effect is thought to play a role in slowing down skin tissue damage due to sun exposure and slowing down aging of the skin. However, consumption should also be limited, because a study revealed that long-term chocolate consumption can actually trigger and worsen acne.
The various medical studies above do show that pure cocoa has many he alth benefits. However, further studies and evidence are needed to confirm these claims.
Despite the various benefits of cocoa, you are advised not to use cocoa as a therapeutic treatment to treat a disease. Consult a doctor to ensure the safety of consuming cocoa if you suffer from certain medical conditions.