Cocoa originated in Central America and Mexico, discovered long ago, about 3000 years ago. Cocoa has the scientific name of Theobroma cocoa, meaning “Food of Gods”.(1)
It is the delicious taste and excellent effect of cocoa on health, but since the beginning of the 20th century, cocoa and chocolate drinks have become a characteristic of culinary culture in Europe and increasingly spread all around the world.
Cocoa has many health benefits that many people cannot expect: antidepressants, weight loss, good sleep… Dietitians recommend drinking 1 cup of hot cocoa each morning to have an effective working day and maintain good health.
1. Enhance metabolism
Cocoa increases metabolism and allows the body to burn more calories every day. Therefore, it helps you lose weight very effectively.
Dr Shilpa Mittal, an Indian dietitian, said: “Cocoa is an excellent ingredient to promote metabolism. So, it is a great idea to use dark chocolate to make desserts. In particular, during the winter, when the body’s metabolic activity becomes weak, the use of chocolate is highly recommended “.
Many studies suggest that cocoa is not only antidepressant but also helps with weight loss
2. Eliminate cravings
The main ingredient in cocoa is theobromine, a substance that makes the body feel full and prevents cravings.
“Caffeine contained in cocoa is also effective in reducing appetite. Therefore, when eating cocoa or dark chocolate means you are fighting your appetite,” Dr Mittal emphasized.
3. Stabilize blood sugar
Cocoa slowly consumes blood sugar and the result of this slow consumption is the production of insulin, a substance that is able to stabilize blood sugar. This indicates that cocoa is very good for diabetics.
Cocoa contains more antioxidants than red wine or green tea. Antioxidants work to improve your digestive system. If the foods you eat do not digest, your body tends to accumulate toxins that reduce metabolism, you should consider using dark chocolate.
5. High nutritional value
In cocoa, there are all basic nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and lipids that help to provide energy. Fat in cocoa is mainly triglycerides and unsaturated fatty acids, good fat content in cocoa is equivalent to the content of monounsaturated fat in olive oil.
In addition, cocoa is also known for its high content of soluble fiber. Two tablespoons of cocoa powder contain up to 3.6 g of fiber. In addition to helping to create a feeling of fullness and reducing appetite, fiber also helps you to fight with constipation extremely well. Not only that, cocoa also means that you are bringing in many essential minerals, such as manganese, copper, iron, magnesium… needed for metabolism and body building.
6. Beauty skin
Biologically active substances in cocoa are good for the skin. The flavonoids can protect the skin from sun damage. In addition, cocoa also helps to improve blood circulation under the skin, making the skin more rosy; increases elasticity and moisture for the skin, helps to reduce wrinkles, gives you a more youthful looking skin. Apply a pure cocoa mask about 1-2 times a week, you will feel your skin improve markedly after a short time. You can also use cocoa as a substance to help to exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
7. Great relaxation
The pressure of work, family, society makes many people tired and lead to stress? Are you in need of relax? Nothing is better than sipping a cup of hot cocoa, listening to music, forgetting all the sorrow around, and falling asleep. You will feel more energetic, to face all difficulties in the most gentle way.
Why does cocoa do that ??? It is because cocoa helps to promote serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is known as a “happy brain”, which helps to repel stress.
8. Increase pleasure
Thanks to the amphetamine component in cocoa, it helps to stimulate the pleasure center in the cerebral cortex, enhancing the secretion of sex hormones. Instead of taking medicine to improve this situation, both tired and expensive can cause side effects, why not try it more gently? A hot cocoa cup every day will work hard.
9. Improve blood circulation, stabilize blood pressure, improve heart health
Epicatechin is a flavonoid found in cocoa. Each 100g of pure cocoa powder contains about 196mg of epicatechine, while sugarless chocolate contains only about 142mg and bitter chocolate contains only about 84 mg. Epicatechine helps to relax blood vessels, improves blood circulation, thus helping to stabilize blood pressure. These flavonoids also help to prevent blood platelets from mixing themselves, leading to blood clots. This is a great thing when it comes to cocoa’s effect.