Cocoa is healthy and makes you happy - we like to hear that! However, this statement does not refer to classic chocolate, because the healthy effect of the cocoa it contains is greatly reduced by heating it during roasting and by combining it with milk and other additives.
It is better to only enjoy our raw cocoa with water and to avoid milk altogether.
The unprocessed bean is also known as a superfood because it literally explodes with healthy ingredients.
What makes cocoa so valuable
Raw cocoa has a positive effect on the entire organism: it strengthens the heart, ensures good blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. It promotes brain function and increases the ability to react and concentrate. A general function-supporting effect on the immune, hormonal and lymphatic systems could also be determined. Blood circulation, fat metabolism and skin aging are also positively influenced. It even increases insulin sensitivity, thereby preventing diabetes.
Minerals – indispensable for many bodily functions The cocoa bean offers an abundance of bulk and trace elements, including large amounts of magnesium, calcium and iron.
Hardly any other plant-based food contains more magnesium than cocoa. Up to approx. 500 mg per 100 g are contained, nuts are far behind with around 200 mg. Magnesium supports bone formation, the regulation of metabolism and brain performance. It promotes heart health and can relieve headaches. It also has a muscle-relaxing and cramp-relieving effect, which is why women in particular benefit from magnesium during their period and people who are physically active.
Cocoa has a high calcium content of around 160 mg per 100 g, higher than that of milk, which is around 120 mg. The mineral is important for bones, teeth and muscles, blood clotting and the transmission of nerve impulses.
The magic bean also contains a considerable amount of iron, which is essential for blood formation, at 7.3 mg per 100 g. To increase absorption, iron-rich foods such as cocoa should be consumed along with vitamin C.
Secondary plant substances
The healthy effect of the minerals in cocoa is further enhanced by secondary plant substances. They are also particularly abundant in the brown beans. The effective secondary substances include polyphenols, such as flavonoids, and amino acids, which serve as neurotransmitters. Many of the secondary plant substances also have a positive effect due to their antioxidant effect.
Antioxidants slow or prevent the oxidation of other substances. On the one hand, increased oxidative degradation in the body means physical stress, which can trigger cancer and inflammatory processes and accelerate aging. On the other hand, the oxidation causes a reduction in the value of the substance concerned. Fat deposits in the blood vessels are reduced by antioxidants. Milk, on the other hand, blocks the antioxidants in cocoa. If you want to take full advantage of the healthy effects of cocoa, you should rather enjoy the bean without milk.
Some amino acids in cocoa play a special role as neurotransmitters: endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and its precursor tryptophan and phenylethylamine increase well-being and ensure feelings of happiness. Since these active ingredients are mainly found in raw cocoa, cocoa nibs (pieces of broken beans) and beans make you much happier than chocolate!
A subgroup of polyphenols, the flavonoids, are found in cacao more than any other food — many times the amount found in blueberries or green tea, which are known to be antioxidants. They lower blood pressure and are held responsible for a lower risk of Alzheimer's, and the formation of unwanted fat deposits is counteracted.
Unsaturated fatty acids
The fat in the cocoa bean, the cocoa butter, is particularly valuable. It's rich in monounsaturated fats, which help maintain healthy heart function and increase levels of desirable types of cholesterol. Particularly noteworthy is the polyunsaturated fatty acid anandamide, which has a similar effect to the cannabinoid (cannabis), i.e. has a relaxing and mood-enhancing effect.
Another ingredient in cocoa, which is not only seen positively, is theobromine. It is closely related to caffeine and has an equally stimulating, albeit milder, effect. The substance has a vasodilating and heart-stimulating effect, but in high doses it is also responsible for sweating, tachycardia and headaches. It also has a mood-enhancing and cough-reducing effect. Sensitive people should enjoy cocoa, like coffee, more in the morning and not in large quantities.
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