Commonly referred to as a “Super Food”, Cocoa beans contain a large amount of healthy nutrients your body needs. Cocoa beans are seeds from a cocoa tree, and they are the primary ingredient in chocolate. Including Cocoa beans in your daily diet is an easy way to give your body a healthy boost. Some benefits include:
Plenty of Antioxidants
Researchers agree that cocoa beans are one of the most natural, antioxidant-rich foods you can consume. In fact, in its natural form cocoa beans have three times the amount of antioxidants of green tea. Antioxidants promote healthy cholesterol, protect against cell damage, and may even help prevent certain types of cancers. Those are just a few examples. All around, antioxidants are extremely beneficial to the human body.
A Natural Antidepressant
Sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Antidepressant”, Cocoa beans contain three key neurotransmitters that promote a positive mood. Serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine all work together to keep your mental state happy. In addition to this, cocoa beans also contain monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, which allow the three neurotransmitters to circulate in your blood stream longer than they normally would.
Supports a Healthy Weight
Although research is thin in this area, it is generally believed that cocoa beans help promote weight-loss. This is due to the polyphenols contained in the beans, which may improve insulin sensitivity, thus helping you maintain a proper weight.
Promotes a Healthy Heart
It is a fact that cocoa beans have a positive impact on the cardiovascular system. Cocoa beans do this by lowering the “bad” cholesterol in your blood stream and raising the “good” cholesterol levels. Cocoa beans also contain magnesium, which keeps blood free of clots, and keeps your heart pumping blood efficiently.
When consuming cocoa beans, you have a couple options. Some people choose to eat them raw, and while this is undoubtedly the most beneficial way to eat them, it is also the most bitter. Dark chocolate is a far more enjoyable way to eat cocoa beans. It would be wise to purchase a bar that contains at least 70% cocoa, and that does not contain any milk, as milk would detract from your body’s ability to absorb the natural antioxidants.