Benefits of Cocoa Powder

The medicinal value of cocoa powder is not new as it had been in practice for a long time in history. 

Today, we use cocoa powder in confectionery, dessert, ice-cream, chocolates, drink, etc. 

Cocoa powder is not only able to make your food items delicious, but also it offers some amazing health benefits [1].

In this article, you will be able to know some of the excellent benefits that make this ingredient invaluable.

Continue reading this article to learn more about cocoa powder’s health benefits.

15 Excellent Health Benefits of Eating Cocoa Powder

You may want to know how your favorite food ingredient cocoa can aid your health in so many aspects. Read below to know about the fantastic health benefits that cocoa powder can offer:

1. Cocoa Powder May Prevent Cancer.

If your favorite dishes include cocoa powder, it may prove effective in fighting cancer cells in your body.

Your body develops cancerous cells by the intake of pollutant diet and air daily. It is mandatory to inhibit those dangerous cells to protect your body from developing cancer.

Antioxidant is said to be an effective component in fighting cancer cells, given that more conclusive researches are needed [2]. 

Surprisingly, cocoa beans are also rich in antioxidants, which can prevent free radicals [3]. The antioxidant components in cocoa powder are known as polyphenol and flavonoid. 

Antioxidant can help in the following ways:

  • It Protects from bacteria and cell damage
  • It Prevents cancer cell growth and spreading
  • It Compels cancerous cells to die

It is safer to use unprocessed cocoa powder in your dishes or drinks as the processed cocoa powder may contain less antioxidants. 

2. It May Control High Blood Pressure

Cocoa powder can be an excellent source of food to treat hypertension.

Both powdered cocoa and dark chocolate may help in reducing blood pressure. 

Flavonoids in cocoa powder improve nitric oxide levels in the blood, thus, it increases blood flow in vessels. This function lowers blood pressure ultimately [4].

You may intake cocoa powder, dark chocolate, or cocoa drink on every alternate day to keep nitric oxide flow in your blood.

Cocoa powder intake may help people lower their bad LDL cholesterol level.

3. It May Lower Heart Attack Risk

Besides contributing to lowering blood pressure, cocoa powder may help in ensuring a healthy heart.

As cocoa powder improves blood flow in the vessels, it improves the heartbeat rate.

It helps in blood thinning, improves blood sugar, and reduces inflammation in blood circulation. Thus it reduces the risk of heart attack, heart stroke, and heart failure.

Cocoa powder contains healthy fatty acids like monounsaturated and saturated fats, which ensures better cardiovascular health in you [4].


4. It Can Regulate Blood Sugar Level

Overconsumption of chocolate may not be suitable for blood sugar control, but the cocoa powder can have a protective effect against diabetes if consumed in a proper amount.

Some studies show that a higher intake of flavonols may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes [5]. 

Studies also show that flavonol-rich foods, including dark chocolate and cocoa powder, can reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar control, and reduce insulin sensitivity in people.

The proanthocyanidin is a derived component from cocoa powder [6]. It helps in restricting cataract formation, which happens due to diabetes complications [7]. 

5. Cocoa Powder Intake May Boost Brain Function

Your brain must ensure smooth blood flow to function properly. Polyphenols in cocoa powder can minimize the neurodegenerative damage, help in blood flow, and ensure proper brain function.

Flavonols in cocoa can cross the brain barrier to participate in neural function and keep its activities in order.

The flavonoid is believed to prevent and reduce many neural diseases that affect people over age [8]. Regular consumption of cocoa may help prevent Alzheimer and Parkinson [8].

Cocoa may possess a reversal capacity of the brain damage caused by Alzheimer and Parkinson. 

If you ever feel boredom and reluctant to work, drink a cup of hot cocoa or chocolate. It will help you get rid of fatigue and boost your brain function to get onto your work instantly.

6. It Is Effective in Fighting Depression

Cocoa works as a natural antidepressant if consumed as a drink, smoothies, or dark chocolate [9].

The flavonoid in cocoa powder promotes cognitive activities in the brain and fights depression [10]. It increases happy-feel mood and provides your brain the aphrodisiac-like effects.

Many studies show that polyphenols present in cocoa may improve your mood, and it has the potential to reduce chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Expecting mothers are very much fond of chocolates, and the reason is quite understandable. Eating chocolates helps them uplift their mood and fight depression.

A study found that eating chocolate by senior men helped them achieve a better health and psychological condition [11].

7. It Assures Better Dental Health

You may depend on unsweetened cocoa powder for protecting your dental health.

Cocoa powder contains many antibacterial, immunity-increasing, and anti-enzymatic properties that may be protective for your tooth against cavities and gum diseases [12].

According to a rat-lab study, inducing cocoa extract proved to be treating dental cavities. Another component named theobromine found in cocoa may protect your tooth enamel [13, 14].

8. It May Nourish Your Skin

Your skin needs to ensure smooth blood and oxygen flow to look healthy and shiny.

Cocoa polyphenols and flavonols may have antioxidant effects on your skin [15]. It can rejoice your skin function to make it look youthful and glowing.

The antioxidant in cocoa may protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet ray of the sun [15]. It is said that those who eat cocoa regularly have softer and acne-free skin.


9. Cocoa Powder Intake May Aid People with Asthma

People who suffer from asthma may experience a life-threatening condition sometimes in their lives. Cocoa powder may be a savior for those who experience asthmatic symptoms.

Cocoa contains some anti-asthmatic compounds such as theobromine and theophylline.

Theobromine has healing effects much like caffeine, which may treat persistent coughing [16].

On the other hand, theophylline may help your lung dilate, which relaxes your airways and decreases inflammation in the walls of the lungs [17, 18].

Though cocoa may somewhat prove beneficial in treating asthmatic symptoms, more conclusive researches are necessary to prove its application in drug manufacturing.

10. It May Increase Healing Power

As cocoa is rich in antioxidants, it can be trusted as a therapeutic and healing ingredient.

Cocoa extract is used in producing various medicinal products that heal infections in the body naturally [19]. 

It is also believed to treat Helicobacter Pylori bacteria in the body if consumed with suitable medication, but conclusive studies are necessary to be sure.

11. It May Help Your Weight Management

Cocoa is a processed ingredient from which the fat is separated. And if you consume cocoa in unsweetened form, you have a high chance of losing your weight.

Unprocessed and unsweetened cocoa powder may lower obesity-related inflammation, help you feel fuller in the stomach, control your appetite, and restrict fat building in your body [20].

A study found that the group of people who consumed more cocoa chocolate within a certain period lost weight faster than those who continued a regular diet without cocoa chocolate [21]. 

The conclusion should be open to further research, but it is evident that cocoa and cocoa-rich products could be supportive in losing or maintaining weight.


12. It May Ease Constipation

Consumption of cocoa-rich products may help in quicker colonic, rectal, and intestinal movement times. It makes bowel movement easier, which reduces constipation [22].

Regular consumption of cocoa powder or cocoa products may increase the frequency of bowel movements and improve stool discharge without having any adverse effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort.

13. It May Recover Your Copper Deficiency 

Cocoa powder may help in copper deficiency. It is considered a copper-rich ingredient.

Cocoa bean is used in substitution for copper in copper deficiency therapy [23]. It helps improve hemoglobin level, white blood cell count, and copper content.

Adding cocoa powder in your regular diet may help in treating copper deficiency as well as preventing anemia, leukopenia, and neutropenia. 

14. It May Recover Your Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency may cause fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, muscle cramp, etc. 

Cocoa and dark chocolate provide magnesium, and regular consumption of cocoa products may prove beneficial to fight these ailments [24].

Low magnesium diet may prove a long term adverse effects on your body. You may choose to include cocoa-rich foods in your diet to avoid experiencing weakness, neural malfunction, dental, or skeletal problems.


15. Cocoa Powder is Effective in Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When you consume cocoa powder, it releases neurotransmitters like serotonin, anandamide, and phenylethylamine in the brain, which reduces tension and anxiety.

If you are suffering from chronic fatigue, drink hot or cold cocoa to cheer yourself. It works instantly and gives you a soothing feel.

The neurotransmitters released by cocoa fights chronic fatigue syndrome [25].

Side Effects of Consuming Cocoa Powder

You should be aware of both the beneficial and harmful effects of cocoa powder consumption. 

Below are some side effects you should be aware of:

  • Try to consume unprocessed and unsweetened cocoa powder as the processed and sweetened cocoa products carry many health risks.
  • Cocoa intake may interact with certain medications of asthma, depression, and diabetes. Consult your doctor for safe and healthy consumption of cocoa powder.
  • Overconsumption of cocoa powder may have allergic reactions, headaches, and digestive problems.
  • Uncontrolled consumption of cocoa powder may make you addicted to caffeine, cause sleeplessness, and make heartbeat irregular.
  • Nursing mothers should consume cocoa powder moderately as overeating may create abdominal discomfort in infants.

Bottom Line

The unmatched taste and its medicinal benefits have made cocoa powder a captivating ingredient throughout the globe. People have been addicted to cocoa drink and dark chocolate for many decades.

Cocoa is enjoyable as well as healthy. 

Cocoa powder may be included in your regular diet such as dark chocolate, smoothies, hot/cold cocoa, pudding, cocoa sprinkle, granola bar, etc.

You should be careful about eating cocoa-rich chocolates, smoothies, or desserts as they contain a certain amount of sugar and fat. 

Try to consume these foods sparingly and add the fat and sugar-free portion of cocoa to your balanced diet. Make sure this prized ingredient contains your health along with its relishing taste.

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