Health Benefits of Raw Cocoa Powder (and what to use it in)
June 5, 2012 in nutrition
According to this interesting article, raw cocoa powder has more antioxidant flavonoids than any other food tested. Antioxidant flavonoids destroy free radicals, which otherwise can cause disease. Cocoa is one of the few foods that contains a high amount of phenethylamine, a neurotransmitter that acts like a mood elevator and natural antidepressant.
The University of Michigan Health System report that cocoa may possess endorphin-boosting properties and boost serotonin (a neurotransmitter found in antidepressants). In a study on rats filed by the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, a dose of 70% cocoa also lowered blood pressure by an average of 50 mmHg.
Cocoa powder (which is produced by removing cocoa butter from chocolate liquor) provides 3.6 grams of fiber (15% DV), 8% daily value of iron, 14% of magnesium, and has about 16mg of caffeine. You can use cocoa powder in a variety of things: oatmeal, smoothies, hot chocolate, granola bars, muffins, pancakes – ect. Check out Chocolate Covered Katie for more ideas on how to use cocoa powder in your cooking. Amazing recipes.
The bottom line: Chocolate is good for you, in moderation. The darker the better, since dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar!