10 Wonderful Cocoa Benefits

10 Wonderful Cocoa Benefits and and a few healthy indulgent recipes

When you think of cocoa powder, you could not be blamed for possibly conjuring up the image of a bedtime drink. However, did you know just how good cocoa powder is for you in its own right?

Made by crushing cocoa beans and then removing the butter (fat), cocoa powder is stashed with nutrients, such as flavanol compounds, and antioxidants. Ten Health Benefits of Cocoa are as follows.

Cocoa Benefit #1: Decreases High Blood Pressure

The flavanol content of cocoa has been identified as helping to decrease high blood pressure courtesy of improving the nitric oxide levels in your body. [1]

Cocoa Benefit #2: Enhances Brain Function

Flavanols are also good news for the health of your brain, helping to enhance functions like memory and concentration. [2]

Cocoa Benefit #3: Improves Mood

Still with the flavanols in cocoa, evidence has shown how these can improve mood and help to fight serious mental health conditions such as depression. [3]

Cocoa Benefit #4: Neutralizes “free radicals”

The antioxidant content of cocoa powder helps to neutralize “free radicals” in the body. This is important since it has been shown that free radicals are the culprits behind people developing many serious health conditions. [4]

Cocoa Benefit #5: Improves Breathing

Cocoa contains two compounds, theophylline and xanthine, that can help relax the bronchial airways. This is good news for people with various respiratory ailments, to include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. [5]

Cocoa Benefit #6: Good for Red Blood Cells

The copper content of cocoa powder has been linked with improving the health and richness of the blood, notably increasing red blood cell levels. This is ideal for those suffering from any of the various types of anemia. [6]

Cocoa Benefit #7: Good For Skin

7. Going back to flavanols once more, research has shown that cocoa powder may also be helpful with the skin, particularly so in terms of reducing dryness and roughness.[7]

Cocoa Benefit #8: Loaded with Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital requirement for a healthy body, helping to protect the heart and nerves. It’s associated with getting a good night’s sleep by helping the brain to relax (hence how drinking cocoa before bedtime is so popular in parts of the world – whether the magnesium issue is known or not!)

Cocoa Benefit #9: Packed with Antioxidants

Recent studies have shown how the antioxidants in cocoa can have an inhibiting effect on already established cancer cells, as well as prevention of cancer in the first place. [8]

Cocoa Benefit #10: Improves Blood Sugar

For those suffering with type II diabetes, cocoa powder may offer some hope. That’s because evidence has shown a link between cocoa powder consumption and reducing the risk of insulin sensitivity as well as improved blood sugar. [9]


Cocoa powder can be used in any number of ways – as a drink in its own right or mixed into a fruit smoothie. It can also be incorporated into everyday dessert baking to add that familiar smooth texture and rich flavour.

References

[1] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22895979
[2] - https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cocoa-sweet-treat-brain-201502057676
[3] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24117885
[4] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/
[5] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25004832
[6] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19102811
[7] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702322
[8] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/
[9] - https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/dark-chocolate