Cocoa is the seed of a plant that is popularly used to produce chocolate. Cocoa contains beneficial nutrients that may be used to treat or prevent heart disease and high blood pressure. Cocoa bean fat may be used to protect the skin from fine lines and stretch marks, although cocoa is full of its benefits. But consumers are advised to eat the right amount to prevent any side effects that may occur.
It is believed that consuming cocoa may be beneficial in many ways. Because cocoa contains calories, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and various minerals that are essential for the growth of the body such as potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, etc., as well as many other substances such as antioxidants Lavonoid Epicatechins, catechins, procyanidins, etc.
However, the essential substances in cocoa have a more or less positive effect on the body. Therefore, there is some research on the benefits of cocoa as follows.
- Lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is a condition where the pressure inside the arteries is prolonged above normal, which can lead to health problems such as heart disease if not properly treated.
This is because the flavonoids found in cocoa may increase nitric oxide production in the body. Which serves to dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Therefore, some experimental studies have found that any diet made from cocoa may result in slightly lower blood pressure in healthy adults in a short period. Moreover, there are still many human studies that suggest consuming cocoa may help the lining of blood vessels work better. Reduce blood pressure in patients at risk of hypertension. Including patients with coronary heart disease and heart attack as well.
However, consumers should wait for more long-term research to confirm the properties of cocoa in lowering blood pressure clearly. If wanting to consume cocoa for therapeutic effects, Should consult a doctor about the proper consumption principles.
- Treat heart disease
Heart disease, such as Coronary heart disease, Arrhythmia Congenital heart disease, etc. These health problems can be life-threatening.
One human research revealed that eating cocoa products may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Likewise, Several experimental studies in humans also point out that Regular intake of cocoa-rich foods, which is rich in flavonoids, may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, lowering blood pressure, and also improves the work of blood vessels.
Although these studies indicate the benefits of cocoa. But consumers should wait for more large sample studies. To know the optimal dosage and form of cocoa that is most effective in therapeutic action.
- Lower cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fat within the bloodstream. Although the human body requires cholesterol to help many processes, an excessive amount of cholesterol in the body can raise the risk of heart disease. Therefore, all 42 volunteers were researched to drink milk containing cocoa powder over a period of 4 weeks. Consuming cocoa may help lower blood lipid levels. This may increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce bad cholesterol that reacts with certain substances to produce free radicals, especially in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition to taking care of yourself away from high cholesterol, such as exercising regularly or avoiding high-fat foods. Eating cocoa may be one way to lower cholesterol levels, however, this is just a small trial. Therefore, further research into the effectiveness of cocoa should be conducted in the future.
- Cure diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas cannot make enough insulin or not creating efficiency. As a result, blood sugar levels rise and damage various organs, especially blood vessels and nerves.
Human research from eight European countries has found that foods rich in flavonoids like cocoa may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and one study indicates that consuming cocoa products in diets and blood sugar levels may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
However, this research is only to collect the answers from questionnaires and experiments in specific samples Therefore have to wait for further research or evidence in the future To support more research findings.
- Against Asthma
Asthma is a disease in which the bronchi contract and narrow due to chronic inflammation. Making the trachea more sensitive to stimuli that enter the body than normal people. The patient may have difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing while breathing, and not full of breath Although asthma is not a serious health problem for some. But if the symptoms of the disease become more severe, it can be life-threatening.
It is said that natural, unsweetened cocoa powder is rich in anti-asthmatic compounds such as theobromine and theophylline. Therefore a study in mice With results appearing that consuming this form of cocoa powder may reduce the severity of asthma symptoms when taken in the same dosage that was used in the trial.
Further studies in humans are needed to confirm this feature before conclusions are drawn. Because this research is only in animal studies.
- Lose weight
Weight loss is achieved through self-indulgence, such as diet or exercise, and from illnesses that we don’t want to happen, such as cancer or chronic inflammation In general, weight loss results from a decrease in body fat. But with significant weight loss, it can cause the body to lose protein and other essential substances.
One 18-week animal trial found that consuming a dietary supplement containing cocoa powder may reduce the rate of weight gain. As well as increasing the amount of fat excreted in the feces in mice, groups that received a high-fat diet. However, those who want to consume cocoa for such results should always consult a doctor first. Because this research was studied in animals. Therefore, it cannot be confirmed that it can be used safely for weight loss.
However, losing weight can be achieved in several ways, such as changing dietary habits, exercising, and getting enough sleep, etc. It should be kept within the scope of the fit so as not to cause negative effects on your health later.
- Beneficial to the skin.
Our skin changes with increasing age. Which may have both wrinkles Elderly freckles or dryness can occur and if you have more fragile skin and less fat on your face, it can lead to unevenness and sagging. For the benefits of cocoa to the skin. A study in 10 healthy women fed cocoa beverages containing high and low flavonoids found that cocoa beverages containing high flavonoid content. May improve blood flow under the skin and the oxygen concentration in the blood. In the same way, Another study conducted in two women groups revealed that eating a diet containing cocoa flavonoids may protect the skin from the sun. Helps the blood under the skin to flow better. It also promotes the epidermis to look beautiful and complete and maintain moisture as well.
The health benefits of cocoa on the skin have not been fully confirmed. This is because these studies are only performed on a very small sample. Therefore, further research in this area should be conducted.
- Have good mental health.
Besides, cocoa affects physical health but also affects mental health. By mental health means having a happy mental state. This may enable us to cope with the stress of life work efficiently and can also live with people in society as well.
The experimental study of men who had similar socioeconomic characteristics found that older adults who enjoy cocoa may be in good health. Be optimistic and also have better mental health than those who like other types of snacks.
However, these studies were only collected through questionnaires. This results in insufficient results to confirm the efficacy of cocoa, so further research should be conducted.
Safety of consuming cocoa
Although it is believed that cocoa has many benefits. But more research is needed to support these results, so consumers should research the nutrition facts about cocoa and eat the right amount of cocoa each day. If in doubt, always consult with your doctor about the correct dosage and dosage form first. So as not to cause side effects that may affect the health.
This is because cocoa contains caffeine and related chemicals. If consumed in large quantities, it can cause side effects such as nervousness. Increased urine, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, etc., and for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Eating cocoa may be safe when eaten in moderation or the normal amount found at meals, however, be careful not to eat too much, as the caffeine in cocoa can be harmful to mother and child.
For those in the following conditions, caution should be exercised when consuming cocoa.
- Migraine headaches, cocoa may trigger migraine headaches in people who are sensitive to pain.
- Osteoporosis, cocoa caffeine may cause osteoporosis patients to excrete more calcium through the urine. Therefore should always be careful in eating cocoa.
- Patients undergoing surgery, consuming cocoa may interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery, so patients should stop taking cocoa for at least 2 weeks before undergoing surgery.
- Anxiety, large amounts of caffeine from cocoa can make the patient experience anxiety or exacerbation.
- Bleeding disorders, Cocoa products might slow blood clotting which increases the risk of bleeding disorders.
- Glaucoma, the caffeine in cocoa may increase intraocular pressure. Patients should be careful about consuming cocoa at all times.
- GERD(Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), cocoa can interfere with esophageal function and worsen GERD symptoms.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Diarrhea, consuming large amounts of caffeine from cocoa products may worsen the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea.
- Heart disease, the caffeine in cocoa may make some people with heart problems experience palpitations. It also increases the heart rate and can make people with an irregular heartbeat worse Therefore should be consumed in the right amount The recommended daily intake of cocoa is 19-54 grams, 46-100 grams of dark chocolate per day, or cocoa products containing 16.6-1080 milligrams of polyphenols per day.
-High blood pressure, The caffeine in cocoa might increase blood pressure in people with hypertension. But for those who already consume large amounts of caffeine, may have less high blood pressure. The recommended daily intake of cocoa for those with such problems is to consume chocolate or cocoa that provides the body with 25-1,080 milligrams of polyphenols per day.
- Diabetes, The sugar in cocoa products may increase blood sugar levels. It also interferes with the control of blood sugar in people with diabetes.