Is Cocoa Powder Good For You?

Is Cocoa Powder Good For You?

Chocolate, a treat enjoyed by the world for its bold flavor, but where does it come from?

The humble cacao tree is where it all begins, growing cacao beans that are harvested and then utilized for so many different reasons, the most popular being a flavoring agent in baked goods and other sweet treats.

While it is often used as an indulgence, cacao is also known as a superfood. This is because cacao contains a high concentration of magnesium – one of the highest naturally occurring sources to be exact. It is also rich in Antioxidants, Selenium, Zinc and Calcium.

cocoa powder

To understand this, we need to first unpack where cocoa comes from. Cocoa comes from cacao beans harvested from cacao trees that are native to the Amazon rainforest. The beans are picked and fermented to unleash their flavor. From here, they are dried, roasted and crushed into a paste.

Cocoa butter is extracted from the paste, leaving behind the dry cacao powder that then becomes cocoa powder. When it comes to making chocolate, a combination of cocoa butter and powder is used.

Cocoa is often used in the kitchen and can be added to pretty much everything. From hot cocoa to pancakes and even yogurt and ice cream. Some people even choose to eat it raw, although we wouldn’t recommend it.

Of course, many tend to think that this combination may not be good for you given the sugar and fat present in the frozen dessert. So, is organic cocoa powder good for you? We’ll unpack this in detail below.

Cocoa Powder Benefits

In addition to the rich chocolate flavor, cocoa powder has a wide range of health benefits that prove that cocoa powder may actually be good for you. This can include:

  • A tablespoon of cocoa powder only contains 10 calories, three grams of carbs, one gram of protein, two grams of fiber and less than a gram of fat. This makes cocoa a simple way to add more fiber to your diet.
  • It’s rich in iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and manganese which have been proven to help boost immunity.
  • Selenium can also help manage and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy.
  • Manganese helps with nerve and muscle function and can reduce the risk of developing a neurological disorder.
  • Zinc is particularly helpful in promoting wound healing.
  • Flavonoids epicatechin and catechin are present and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Neurotransmitter phenethylamine is present in the powder and is a natural antidepressant and mood enhancer. Cocoa powder also releases endorphins and serotonin which also contributes to happier mood.
  • Improved cognitive functioning which includes improved memory, attention span and general cognitive performance.
  • A tablespoon of cocoa powder has about 12 milligrams of caffeine, which is a lot less than a cup of coffee or glass of soda.
  • Assists in regulating your metabolism and energy use while leaving you feeling fuller for longer, leading to the question “Is cocoa powder good for weight loss?”. The answer, of course, depends on a wide range of factors.
  • Flavanols present have proven to be good for your skin, providing a detox effect as well as increased skin elasticity and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Another compound found in cocoa is theobromine which reduces inflammation and can help prevent diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

With all of these benefits mentioned above, it’s easy to see how enjoying some chocolate is good for you – in moderation of course. But what are the cons?

The Side Effects Of Cocoa Powder

While the abovementioned benefits speak for themselves, consuming too much cocoa powder may have side effects. To start with, it contains caffeine and other caffeine related chemical. This means that individuals with a caffeine sensitivity may have a reaction to chocolate. Possible side effects include a fast heartbeat, insomnia, nervousness and increased urination.

In some cases, Cocoa powder has also been found to trigger allergic reactions, headaches, constipation, nausea and gas.

These side effects are a possibility; however, consuming chocolate and cocoa powder is safe for most people.

The Verdict Is In, Folks!

Based on our research, in moderate amounts, cocoa powder may actually be good for you. Of course, this may differ from person to person. You know your body and how it reacts to certain substances, so use this to guide your approach.

The information above is based on research and we are by no means making any medical claims. For more information on how cocoa can benefit you, please speak to your doctor.

In the meantime, why not order a pint or two of your favorite Nature’s Organic Chocolate Chip Ice Cream to get your chocolate fix and get 10% off your first order? We use organic cacao instead of traditional cocoa powder for a better taste that packs all of the benefits of cacao, making it the better option when it comes to chocolate ice cream.

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