3 Properties of Cocoa

31 August, 2020
Cocoa has flavonoid compounds that provide antioxidant properties and a bitter taste. Read along to find out more.
 

Cocoa is a product that at times has little to do with commercial chocolate. Chocolate is made by adding sugar and other additives to enhance the flavor of small amounts of cocoa. Contrary to popular belief, cocoa isn’t sweet, it’s actually rather bitter. It’s brown in color and quite aromatic. Cocoa has certain properties that are beneficial to human health. Unfortunately, commercial chocolate doesn’t take advantage of all of the health benefits unless it is chocolate made with 80 percent cocoa.

Cocoa is an excellent antioxidant

One of the most important benefits that cocoa provides is its antioxidant potential. Similar to coffee it has the ability to reduce cell damage.

Therefore, it’s beneficial when it comes to anti-aging, as confirmed in this article published in the Molecules Magazine. Flavanoids are responsible for this important ability.

As you can see, introducing cocoa into your balanced diet can be healthy. You can also combine it with other products that are rich in flavonoids such as coffee.

Properties of cocoa: fatty acids

When it comes to its nutritional composition, it’s clear that cocoa is extremely rich in fatty acids. It contains mono and polyunsaturated lipids which help to fight inflammation as stated in this study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Powder cacoa properties
 

It doesn’t have as much omega-3 fatty acid as other foods such as bluefish. However, it does contain enough of this healthy lipid to complete your daily requirements.

Keep in mind that an appropriate intake of omega-3 fatty acids is important when it comes to the fight against cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 has also been proven to reduce the oxidation rate of LDL lipoprotein which is beneficial for preventing the formation of atheroma plaques.

As you can see, cocoa is cardio-protective food. Add it to your diet along with fish, vegetable oil, and nuts. This will help you to take advantage of all of the benefits that omega-3 and omega-6 provide when it comes to regulating systemic inflammation.

Cocoa has organoleptic properties

Another benefit of cocoa is that it’s incredibly versatile. Its strong aroma and flavor allow it to be used as a condiment in savory dishes or as the star in sweet desserts.

You can mix cocoa into other spices such as curry in order to enjoy a complex aroma. This combination can also intensity the final product’s antioxidant ability.

When buying cocoa, keep in mind that it’s best to select pure cocoa which doesn’t contain any added sugars. Over-processed cocoa can end up being quite unhealthy.

Properties of cocoa: an essential food

Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, cocoa should always be part of a healthy diet. As we previously mentioned, it can help to reduce cardiovascular risk and it can also help to fight aging by blocking the formation of free radicals.

 
Cacoa

Since ancient times cocoa has been used as a component of creams and masks in order to improve the appearance and health of the skin.

However, it’s important to clarify that cocoa is different from the chocolate that we usually find in stores. Regular chocolate contains large amounts of sugars, additives, and trans fats.

All of these components can be harmful in the medium to long term. In addition, regular chocolate is usually poor in cocoa content. They mainly use cocoa just for color and aroma.

How to choose good cocoa

When selecting cocoa, it’s important to choose the pure version. Since it’s so versatile it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Remember, you can combine cocoa with other spices or food that are rich in flavonoids in order to increase the food’s antioxidant capabilities. Finally, it’s best to select organic varieties to get the most benefits from its organoleptic properties.

 
  • Bernatoniene J., Kopustinskiene DM., The role of catechins in cellular responses to oxidative stress. Molecules, 2018.
  • Davinelli S., Corbi G., Righetti S., Sears B., Olarte HH., et al., Cardioprotection by cocoa polyphenols and w-3 fatty acids: a disease prevention perspective on aging associated cardiovascular risk. J Med Food, 2018. 21 (10): 1060-1069.