A recent study discovered that cocoa consumption reduces high blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Cocoa was introduced to Europe in the 16th century by Spanish conquerors and quickly became popular as a health-promoting medicine. Crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter results in cocoa powder.

Cocoa is best known today for its role in chocolate production. Modern research, however, has revealed that it does contain important compounds that can benefit your health.

Here are the reasons why you should incorporate cocoa into your life.

1. Rich In Polyphenols

Antioxidants called polyphenols are found naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate, and wine. They have been associated with a number of health advantages, including lowered blood pressure, enhanced blood flow, reduced inflammation, and lowered cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Cocoa is an excellent source of polyphenols. It contains significant amounts of flavanols, which have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

On the other hand, processing and cooking cocoa might make it lose some of its advantageous qualities. Alkaline is frequently used to treat it in order to lessen bitterness, although this lowers the flavanol concentration by 60%. Despite the fact that cocoa is a good source of polyphenols, not all products containing cocoa are created equal.

2. May Reduce Blood Pressure

Both dark chocolate and cocoa powder have the potential to reduce blood pressure. The first people to experience this effect were the cocoa-drinking islands of Central America, whose blood pressure was much lower than that of their non-cocoa-drinking mainland counterparts.

Nitric oxide levels in the blood are thought to be increased by cocoa flavanols, which can improve blood vessel function and lower blood pressure.

3. Helps Nervous System

Polyphenols, such as those found in cocoa, have been shown in studies to reduce your risk of neurodegenerative diseases by improving brain function and blood flow. Flavanols are able to pass across the blood-brain barrier and take part in the metabolic processes that result in the production of neurons and other crucial molecules for brain function.

The synthesis of nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessel muscles and improves blood flow and blood supply to the brain, is also influenced by flavanols.

4. May Cure Depression

In addition to its effect on age-related mental degeneration, cocoa's effect on the brain may improve mood and symptoms of depression.

Cocoa's flavanols, the conversion of tryptophan to the natural mood stabiliser serotonin, its caffeine content, or simply the sensory pleasure of eating chocolate may all have a positive effect on mood.

5. Anti-cancer Properties

Because of their ability to prevent cancer, their low toxicity, and the absence of harmful side effects, flavanols found in fruits, vegetables, and other foods have drawn the attention of researchers. Cocoa has the highest flavanol concentration per weight of any food and can contribute significantly to your daily intake.

Cocoa components have been studied in test tubes and have been found to have antioxidant qualities, protect cells from reactive chemical damage, fight inflammation, restrict cell development, promote cancer cell death, and aid in the prevention of cancer cell spread.