Nothing compares to the flavor of chocolate (unofficially, the most craved food in the world). Regrettably, the excellent flavor comes with great repercussions.
Isn’t it true that chocolate contains a lot of calories in the form of fat and sugar?
No, there’s a way to satisfy your chocolate cravings while also enhancing your overall health. Let me introduce you to cocoa powder, the solution to all of your troubles. Let me start by explaining what cocoa powder is.
Cacao beans are harvested from cacao trees and used to make chocolate. Cacao beans are collected, fermented (to obtain their full flavor potential), dried, roasted, and mashed into a paste after being picked and fermented. Cocoa butter can be removed from this paste, leaving only dry cocoa powder.
The chocolate we love is made from a combination of cocoa powder and cocoa butter (along with some sweeteners).
Apart from being an important baking ingredient, a cocoa powder may be used in a variety of ways and added to almost everything. You may use it to make hot cocoa, add it to pancakes, mix it into yogurt, or eat it raw.
Cocoa powder has a wonderful, rich chocolate flavor while also delivering numerous health benefits.
1. Low in Calories/High in Fiber
Depending on the brand, one tablespoon of cocoa powder contains just about 10 calories. It has only one gram of fat, three grams of carbohydrates, and one gram of protein. In addition to these low statistics, cocoa powder has a high fiber level, with up to two grams per tablespoon.
Fiber is important for a balanced diet, and this 3-to-2 carb-to-fiber ratio is one of the best available. Cocoa powder is a simple (and tasty) way to increase your fiber intake while consuming very few calories.
2. Contains Essential Nutrients
Cocoa powder contains the minerals iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. Iron is required for the transport of oxygen throughout the body, the formation of red blood cells, and the immune system’s support.
Manganese is a component of an enzyme that helps the body produce cartilage and bones, metabolizes nutrients, and functions as an antioxidant.
Magnesium gives you energy and helps you keep your heart rhythm in check. Finally, zinc aids in the production and development of new cells, as well as supporting the immune system.
All of these advantages can be obtained by consuming one tablespoon of cocoa powder, which includes three to nine percent of the daily necessary mineral consumption.
3. Can Act as an Antidepressant
Some data suggest that cocoa powder can be used as an antidepressant. Aside from the joy-inducing flavor of chocolate, the neurotransmitter phenylethylamine found in the powder functions as a mood lifter and natural antidepressant.
Cocoa powder may also increase endorphins, which are natural opiates in the body, as well as serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is increased by antidepressants to improve overall happiness.
4. Rich in Polyphenols
Polyphenols are antioxidants that occur naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate, and wine.
They’ve been linked to a variety of health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, improved blood flow, and lower blood pressure.
One of the richest sources of polyphenols in cocoa. It’s high in flavanols, which are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
5. Can Help Cardiovascular Health
Many vital vitamins, minerals, and natural chemicals found in cocoa powder enhance heart health. It may lower the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack by including it in one’s diet.
Cocoa powder’s flavanol can help to widen blood vessels and arteries, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Chocolate consumption of up to one serving per day may lower your risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
Only dark chocolate with a high proportion of cocoa is generally thought to be good for your health.
Alternatives such as milk and white chocolate are heavy in fat, calories, and added sugar, and offer little of the same health benefits.
Consider adding natural, unsweetened cocoa powder to your diet if you’re seeking a nutritious snack or to increase your flavonoid consumption.
It’s a powerful antioxidant that helps the body and skin, as well as improving cardiovascular and neurological health.
About The Author:
Brooke Kelly is a freelance writer and business journalist from New York City. When she’s not working, you can find her traveling, jamming to music, and hiking with her corgi.