Health Benefits of Cocoa, Lowering Blood Pressure to Improve Mood

The beans in the cocoa pod are the main ingredient in chocolate making. Unsweetened dark chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, which is basically bitter in taste. Dark chocolate is made by roasting cocoa beans, then grinding them until they are smooth.

Cocoa powder is produced by kneading cocoa butter from dark chocolate. To become a sweet packaged chocolate, cocoa is added with sugar, vanilla, cocoa butter, and milk.

In cocoa powder, there are various nutrients that are good for health. The nutrients contained in cocoa include protein, carbohydrates, fiber, polyphenols, flavonoids, calcium, iron, caffeine, magnesium, and potassium.

Benefits of Cocoa for Health

The benefits of cocoa only apply to pure cocoa or dark chocolate, not chocolate with a sweet taste that has been added with flavorings and other ingredients. The bitter and black the chocolate, the better. The health benefits of cocoa include:

1. Lowering blood pressure

Research reveals that consumption of dark chocolate for 2-18 weeks in a row can lower blood pressure. This effect is thought to be related to the substance nitric oxide (NO) which can help dilate blood vessels. The benefits of cocoa which can lower blood pressure are beneficial for people with high blood pressure.

2. Reducing the risk of heart disease

Eating chocolate can improve the function of the endothelium, the cells that line the inner surface of blood vessels. In addition, cocoa is rich in flavanol antioxidants and NO substances that can dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. This effect is good for preventing heart disease.

3. Increase energy

Eating a little chocolate is thought to make us more energized. This is thanks to the fairly high calorie content, as well as the caffeine and magnesium in cocoa.

4. Maintain brain function

A study suggests that the flavanols contained in cocoa can slow down the memory loss process in the elderly. This effect is thought to be influenced by the benefits of cocoa, which can increase blood flow to the brain, and the strong antioxidant effect that can reduce the impact of brain cell damage.

5. Improve mood

Theobromine, caffeine, and endorphins contained in cocoa influence mood to be more positive and increase alertness. The active substances in cocoa can also increase endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that play a role in fighting stress and feelings of depression. Endorphins are also believed to increase sexual desire.

5. Has anticancer properties

Cocoa is high in antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory. This effect is seen to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body and counteract the effects of cell damage, so that the risk of developing cancer can be reduced.

6. Helps control asthma symptoms

Natural cocoa powder has the potential to reduce the likelihood of relapses in people with asthma. The theobromine and theophylline contained in cocoa have benefits as airway dilators, so they can help reduce asthma symptoms.

7. Slows down aging of the skin

Cocoa has nutrients that are good for the skin, as well as chemicals that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as help improve blood flow to the skin. This effect is thought to play a role in helping to slow down damage to skin tissue due to sun exposure, and to help slow down aging of the skin.

The various medical studies above do show that cocoa has many potential health benefits, but further studies and evidence are still needed to corroborate these claims.

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