Did you know that cocoa that we consume today began to be used at least 1600 years BC? The use was made in slightly different ways, not exactly in powder or in chocolate bars. This transformation happened only later, after a long time and a long trajectory of cocoa. It all started with indigenous in Latin America: Mayans, Aztecs and then some kings, with the arrival of cocoa in Europe. When it was only at the beginning of the 19th century that cocoa began to be mixed with sugar, milk and other components to have the common and popular chocolate bars of today.
- To understand about the chocolate manufacturing process, we made another post here.
The fact is that the first populations that consumed cocoa in abundance lower mortality rate, less problems cardiovascular and delay in aging. That is, even with so many modifications and by-products of cocoa, one thing is certain: it is very good for health when consumed in the right way. Therefore, we list here the benefits of cocoa and what are the ways to consume it daily for a healthier routine.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The main benefit is that cocoa is rich in flavonoids, which are compounds present in vegetables capable of fighting free radicals. These have function antioxidant, which help protect healthy cells and are extremely important in preventing cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and blood circulation problems. Just like green tea and red fruits, but even more in cocoa.
(2) GOOD HUMOR
Consuming cocoa helps to increase the level of serotonin, the hormone that puts us in a good mood. Although in lesser quantity, it produces endorphins and cortisol, which are responsible for the desire and control of stress, respectively. It is no wonder that it is also widely consumed during PMS.
A compound also very present in cocoa is the iron, important for the control of anemia caused by lack of iron and other benefits in the body. Of course, before consuming, it is important to ask your doctor or nutritionist, ok?
- We’ve also made cocoa balls with granola and it’s delicious! Click here.
(4) BLOOD CIRCULATION AND DISEASE PREVENTION
As already mentioned, cocoa is an excellent antioxidant and that alone has a lot of positive effects. In addition, the fruit can be excellent for improving blood circulation, prevent cholesterol build-up, aid in memory, prevent thrombosis and reduce blood pressure. There are also substances with anti-inflammatory effects.
- A brownie always looks good too, doesn’t it? Even more so when it is made without milk and with more natural products. Click here.
HOW TO CONSUME
One thing is certain: what brings benefits and positive effects is the cocoa alone, just! Therefore, milk chocolate, powdered chocolate, ultra-processed with several other ingredients – such as milk, sugar, fat and etc. – will not bring all these benefits. Thus, giving preferences for “purer” products is the best option. 70% chocolate, or even 50%, are indicated. And of course, the use of cocoa powder in recipes. Several studies also point out that using the cocoa with cow’s milk it causes a direct interaction between the components and prevents the absorption of flavonoids.
- Want to understand more about the difference between 100% cocoa, powdered chocolate and chocolate milk? Click here.
But what is the right amount to consume? There is no ideal portion of cocoa to be consumed daily, it depends on each and every body. However, the main recommendations say something between 10g and 40g per day. This is equivalent 2 to 5 squares 70% chocolate or something around 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Remembering that any exaggeration can be harmful ?
Do you love chocolate and cocoa? Leave your thoughts on this historic ingredient in the comments ?