Cocoa powder is obtained from cocoa beans, which are found in their natural or unprocessed form in tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapple, papaya, etc. Cocoa powder is often used for baking cakes and chocolates, but recent studies have shown that it may have more health benefits, including improving mental alertness, and heart health, and reducing the risk of certain cancers. In this article, we will discuss the various health benefits that regular intake of cocoa powder can offer to your overall health.
Health Benefits Of Regular Intake Of Cocoa Powder
1. Cognitive Function: According to Healthline, Regular intake of cocoa powder has been proven to improve the ability to recall memories and may help to reduce symptoms of dementia.
A study conducted by the University of Birmingham found that volunteers who consumed a daily dose of cocoa powder performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn't consume any.
Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Catania in Italy also revealed that cocoa flavanols enhanced cognitive performance in elderly individuals.
2. Diabetes: Regular consumption of cocoa powder has been linked to lower levels of insulin resistance, which is an important factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. A study in 2012 discovered that consumption of high-flavanol cocoa could significantly decrease insulin resistance in individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes.
3. Heart Health: Regular consumption of cocoa powder has also been linked to improved cardiovascular health. A meta-analysis of seven studies found that consumption of cocoa powder was associated with a 7.8% reduction in the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from any cardiovascular cause.
It was also noted that cocoa powder consumption was associated with a 7% reduction in the risk of coronary artery disease.
4. Blood Pressure: Several studies have linked regular consumption of cocoa powder to lower blood pressure. A meta-analysis of 10 studies found that cocoa flavanols significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.
5. Antioxidants: Cocoa powder is an excellent source of antioxidants which have the potential to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer.
A study conducted in 2017 revealed that cocoa powder had the highest concentration of antioxidants compared to all other food sources, with the most potent being epicatechin and catechin flavonoids.
Regular consumption of cocoa powder can provide numerous health benefits, including improved cognitive performance, decreased insulin resistance, reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease, lower blood pressure, and greater levels of antioxidants.
With these potential health benefits, it is no wonder that cocoa powder has become an increasingly popular health food. Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding cocoa powder to your diet to ensure that it is a healthy choice for you.
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