Pure Cocoa is considered a “super food” because it contains more than 50 nutrients and bio active components, e.g. polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect us and provide health benefits, especially cardiovascular health. In addition, this food gives us energy, helps us maintain the ideal weight and improves mood, as they have assured in an event organised by the Cocoa Observatory.
They are antioxidants that reduce blood pressure and protect against bad cholesterol, something that, for now, no medicine is capable of achieving.”
In addition, adds the expert, it stimulates “the production of nitric oxide in the arteries, which dilates the blood vessels and, therefore, improves circulation. Increasing blood flow improves cognitive functions and helps increase attention.”
This food is currently the subject of numerous investigations because the positive benefit on health has been demonstrated thanks to its nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, and In nutrition, present during the event.
Defatted Cocoa stands out for its high fibre content (35%), which helps maintain intestinal regularity and has a satiating effect on controlling weight. On the other hand, the Cocoa Observatory also highlighted that it contains B vitamins and is rich in minerals such as manganese, copper and magnesium.
However, not all Cocoa is the same, and it is necessary to differentiate the pure ones from those subjected to chemical treatments such as alkalinisation. In addition, various studies have shown that those treated with alkalinisation lose up to 60 per cent of the flavonoids, composed of polyphenols, responsible for the antioxidant effect.
Effects of regular consumption consuming cocoa regularly has an impact on health and also serves as a measure to prevent cardiovascular, neurological or metabolic diseases, among others, because
Prolonged consumption reduces blood pressure in hypertensive people due to dilation of the arteries. Also, it reduces bad cholesterol or ‘LDL’ responsible for atherosclerosis, a progressive narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of cholesterol, platelets and other substances that produce stiffness and difficulty in blood flow.
It has been observed that the main fatty component of theobromine and flavonoids, stearic acid, does not increase blood cholesterol when consumed. It also does not negatively alter glucose in overweight people and helps to control the risk of diabetes and hypertension better.
Cocoa components can also regulate hormonal metabolism, specifically corticosteroids, which is an additional help to avoid health problems caused by obesity. Incorporating this food into the diet, accompanied by regular physical activity, could reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in obese people.
During the event, they wanted to highlight that another of the benefits of Cocoa is that its consumption is attributed to a lower risk of mild memory loss in older people. At the same time, it can help reverse these alterations. Therefore, regular consumption improves cognitive performance without causing side effects.
Healthy recipes with cocoa
The day has participated in one of the most influential bloggers and You Tubers in nutrition, Isabel Llano, better known as Isasaweis. The expert has indicated that “eating healthy is not the same as eating boring. The secret is a balanced and varied diet, without restrictions and thinking about nutrients instead of calories”.
“Cocoa gives variety to our diet while enriching it with phytochemicals that are almost exclusive to this super food. We can easily include it in the diet with refreshing and energetic shakes, desserts or the well-known ‘ smoothies,'” he detailed.
To demonstrate the ease of consuming Cocoa healthily, the blogger has developed two recipes that contain the necessary nutrients to provide the person with enough energy.
One is the ‘express date, almond and cocoa bar’, to which artisanal honey or agave syrup can be added to add a sweeter touch. To make it, first, you have to grind the dates, almonds, Cocoa, oil and honey until you get a homogeneous paste. It is then mixed in a mould and flattened with a spatula, leaving a smooth surface. Finally, it is covered and left in the refrigerator for two or three hours.
The other recipe consists of making a ‘smoothie’ with bananas, Cocoa, honey, cinnamon and almond milk, to which we can add a tablespoon of sesame or hemp seeds and a tablespoon of ground almonds.