Properties and benefits of pure cacao (not cocoa powder)
COCOA : A FOOD CONSIDERED SACRED BY THE ANCIENT MESOAMERICAN PEOPLES FOR ITS MANY BENEFITS ON MIND AND BODY
In this post I will highlight the main actions of cocoa in our body. However, we are talking about pure cocoa, without added sugars, or cocoa beans (in nibs or ground - like our ceremonial cacao), and not cocoa powder, which instead is the result of an industrial processing with salts to which it has been extracted the precious cocoa butter. Here we will talk about the benefits (roughly) of pure cocoa, that is, whole-grain cocoa.
More and more people are changing their eating habits in favor of balanced, balanced diets with few added sugars. Cocoa thus becomes a precious ally for our daily diet, providing our body with carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
A healthy choice suitable for everyone, but also for those with diabetes, those who are overweight, those in menopause, those suffering from mild depressive states, or even for those with chronic iron and zinc deficiencies. The Mesoamerican populations, the first to know the uses of cocoa such as the Maya, Aztecs, Nahua, considered cocoa a natural medicine.
PROPERTIES AND BENEFITS
SOURCE OF PRECIOUS ANTIOXIDANTS, PERFORMS ANTI-AGING ACTION IN A NATURAL WAY
Scientific studies carried out by the University of Seoul in South Korea show that COCOA beans contain antioxidants: 30 times more than green tea and red wine, confirming it among the foods with more antioxidant power. (Source: American Chemical Society http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0344385 ). Other studies are showing (yet to be confirmed) that epicatechins are able to increase liposis and therefore burn fat, placing it among the anti-obesity foods. Cocoa contains antioxidants known as flavonoids, among which kaempferol quercetin and isoramnetine.
IT WOULD HELP CONCENTRATION AND MEMORY
Cocoa would help memory and concentration: the phosphorus contained in cocoa is considered useful in intellectual fatigue, as well as caffeine and theobromine that stimulate brain activity.
SOURCE OF MINERALS, VITAMINS, PROTEINS AND FIBERS
Contains significant amounts of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, manganese and iron. Magnesium helps calcium fix itself in the bones; the zinc it is the most present mineral, after iron, in all tissues and, associated with the B vitamins of which cocoa is rich, intervenes in the digestive processes, stimulates the immune system.
Potassium contributes to the vital functions of our body. Useful in regulating muscle contractility, reducing water retention and coordinating nerve transmission. Recent studies have also shown how important potassium can be in prevent and reduce blood pressure.
The content of magnesium (225 mg / 100 g, Vaicacao) makes it beneficial in case of cramps and muscle hypertension. It is also indicated in the pre-menstrual period to reduce belly pains. Also indicated in case of intellectual fatigue, or after a stressful day. Cocoa is recommended for those suffering from anemia and vegans, due to its iron and vegetable protein content. Allied food for those who practice sports, but also for those who need a boost during work healthy energy, without increasing blood sugar. It also contains B vitamins (B2, B3, B5, B6) E, J, K, and large amounts of fiber.
HELPS TO FIGHT STRESS AND IMPROVE MOOD TONE
It is a precursor of fundamental neurotransmitters such as: serotonin, endorphin, anandamide and phenylethylamine.
Serotonin is the hormone of good mood, which is why cacao improves mood and promotes positive thoughts. When we eat cocoa our body feels like falling in love and this gives us a positive spirit.
Contains "tryptophan" essential amino acid that humans do not produce. In addition it is necessary to introduce it with the power supply. The role of tryptophan is to synthesize serotonin.
PLAYS STIMULATING ACTION THANKS TO THEOBROMINE
Cocoa contains theobromine, an alkaloid that stimulates blood flow and can be active in the human body for up to 4-6 hours. Theobromine is the stimulating element of cocoa, a compound similar to caffeine. However, theobromine is much gentler in the body than caffeine and therefore does not interfere with people's sleep cycle.
Cocoa therefore contains a high quantity of theobromine (about 2-2,7%), which exerts a cardiotonic and vasodilatory action, as well as having a mild diuretic power. Recent scientific studies have shown that this element could perform a sedative function against respiratory diseases, such as cough and asthma.
RECOMMENDED DAILY DOSES and CONTRAINDICATIONS
Due to the content of theobromine, an exciting substance in cocoa similar to caffeine, it is better to choose to consume it during the day and not during night meals. While we don't all have the same physiological needs or responses to what we eat, this advice can be helpful for those with insomnia.
Pregnant women and people suffering from serious heart diseases, should consult their doctor before using it, as cocoa purp has a vasodilating action.
* It is always advisable to have a varied diet, drink plenty of water and play sports. In no case should VAICACAO be a substitute for a varied diet or taken as a substitute for medicines.