Whether as a hot drink early in the morning or served cold as a dessert, the benefits of cocoa powder are undeniable.
The thick brown mix does more than satisfy a craving but also does a lot of good for your heart.
Researchers in Germany have said substances found in cocoa, fruit and tea could help healthy people keep their heart and circulation in good working order as they get older.
In an article by the Guardian, it is stated that “the EU-funded project used powdered drinks provided by Mars which contained flavanols extracted from fresh cocoa beans. But the same substances are found in other foods, such as apples, pears, pomegranate and tea. The study is one of the first to look at the effects of flavanols in healthy people”.
A doctor at the University Hospital Düsseldorf, Christian Heiss, stated that while most research into the health effects of flavanols was centred on people with high blood pressure or other medical conditions, the latest pilot study suggested the compounds might benefit healthy people too.
Here are some benefits of cocoa powder to your heart.
*Reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
One of the major benefits that come with consuming cocoa powder is its blood pressure reducing ability. Whether in its powdered form or in the form of dark chocolate, scientists have proven that it can help lower blood pressure.
A study conducted showed that people in Central America had lower blood pressure than their non-cocoa drinking counterparts in the mainlands.
The flavanols present in cocoa are noted to improve nitric oxide levels in the blood, thus, enhancing the function of your blood vessels and reducing blood pressure.
This relaxes and dilates your arteries and blood vessels and improves blood circulation.
Another research analyzed 35 experiments that provided patients with 0.05–3.7 ounces (1.4–105 grams) of cocoa products or roughly 30–1,218 mg of flavanols. It was found that cocoa produced a small but significant reduction of 2 mmHg in blood pressure.
*Lowers susceptibility to heart attack*
Aside from reducing your risk of high blood pressure, flavanol-rich cocoa drinks have the power to prevent a heart attack.
Additionally, cocoa is said to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, improve blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and have a blood-thinning effect similar to aspirin.
These properties have been linked by scientists to a lower risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
Two Swedish studies found that chocolate intake is linked to a lower rate of heart failure at doses of up to one serving of 0.7–1.1 ounces (19–30 grams) of chocolate per day, but the effect was not seen when consuming higher amounts
Here are some ways you can consume OTI cocoa powder.
Hot or cold cocoa drink: Whether before you start the day or retire to bed, mix your hot or cold cocoa drink with your favouritemilk for taste.
Smoothies: You can add cocoa powder your favourite healthy smoothie recipe to give it a richer, chocolatey taste.
Sprinkle over fruit: Cocoa is particularly nice sprinkled over sweet tasting fruits like bananas or strawberries.