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Cocoa Beans

Cocoa Beans Benefits

Cocoa beans are known to have more than 300 healthful compounds. Some of these include, phenylethylamine, theobromine, and many polyphenols, like flavonoids. Cocoa beans also contain many vitamins and minerals as well as healthy doses of potassium and copper, which support cardiovascular health, and iron, which transports oxygen through the body. Calcium and magnesium is also found in cocoa beans, which are necessary in order for all the major organs to function properly.

Cacao beans, better known as cocoa beans, first appeared in the Amazon basin, and grow only in moist, warm and shady climates. Cocoa beans are primarily grown in Africa, Asia and, Central and South America. Cacao beans are produced by the plant Theobroma cacao, which translated, means "food of the Gods". That is a good name for them, given the numerous health benefits provided by them. Listed below are the many health benefits of cocoa beans:

Antidepressant

Cocoa beans are considered to be nature's anti-depressant. These beans contain dopamine, phenylethylamine (PEA) and serotonin, all of which are used to promote positive mental health and moods. In addition to this, these beans also contain monoamine oxidase inhibitors and amino acid tryptophan. Monoamine oxidase (MOA) inhibitors work to keep dopamine and serotonin in the bloodstream longer, which could ease depression and promote feelings of well being. Tryptophan is important in the body's production of serotonin.

Antioxidant

Research reveals that cocoa beans are perhaps the best source of antioxidants, containing up to ten percent antioxidant concentration levels. That is three times more antioxidants than green tea and twice the amount in red wine. Blueberries are often said to be a great source of antioxidants, however, while domestic blueberries have 32 antioxidants, and wild blueberries have 61, cocoa beans have 621!

Antioxidants have several health benefits. Tthey protect against cell damage and reduce the risks of several kinds of cancer. Antioxidants also help regulate cholesterol levels.

Cardiovascular Health

Cocoa beans are also good for the cardiovascular system as they contain polyphenols, which has been proven to be quite beneficial for good heart health. Research indicates that polyphenols, as found in cocoa beans, might reduce blood pressure.

Cocoa beans contain magnesium. This is another nutrient that promotes good heart health. Magnesium increases heart strength and improves its condition. This helps to ensure that the heart will continue to effectively pump blood. Magnesium also decreases the risk of blood clots. This in turn, reduces the risks of strokes and heart attacks.

Epicatechin

Cocoa beans also contain a subscance known as: epicatechin . This is a compound so rich in health benefits that a Harvard Professor thinks it should be considered a vitamin! It is suspected that the effects of epicatechin are comparable to that of anesthesia and penicillin. Epicatechin is also suspected to reduce the risks of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and strokes. Due to its bitter flavor, epicatechin is often removed from common cocoa products, therefor to reap the benefits of this compound it is necessary to purchase whole cocoa beans.

Energy Booster

Cocoa beans reduce anxiety while simultaneously promoting alertness. A cup of cocoa can provide the same energy as a cup of coffee. However, due to the fewer stimulants in cocoa, there is no strong crash afterward, as there is with a cup of coffee.

Weight Loss

A good number of the health benefits that are known to be contributed to cocoa beans indicate a possibility that they could be a weight loss aid. Research shows that the polyphenols in cocoa beans might improve sensitivity to insulin. Scientists are currently studying the connection between obesity and a condition known as Insulin Resistance Syndrome. Increased insulin sensitivity, from coco beans or dark chocolate for example, may support weight loss efforts. Further more, the natural anti-depressants found in cocoa beans might make it easier for individuals to stay on track with their diets.

Incorporating Cocoa Beans Into Your Diet

Cocoa beans, in their raw form, may be purchased at health stores. It is possible to purchase and consume them in that manner however many people find it difficult to deal with the harsh, bitter taste. Luckily there is a more pleasant tasting option, dark chocolate. There are specific characteristics that dark chocolate, selected for health, should contain: Healthy dark chocolate needs to have no less than 70% cacao. No milk or any other dairy products should be present in the chocolate as they inhibit the body's ability to absorb antioxidants. The chocolate should be made from cacao butter and not coconut or palm oil.

Chocolate is a tasty food source that we can enjoy all the more knowing that is has health benefits as well!




Has Cocoa Beans worked for you?

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SealMorning  's avatar  SealMorning  19/10/2013 14:30

I watched a BBC tv programme about people with very odd diets (who seemed to be, remarkably, alright). One person was a 46 yr old woman who successfully 'ran' a house, husband and children i.e. fed them properly, but who, due to emotional problems in childhood, had stopped eating anything except chocolate (since an early age). Doctors expected her to be ill, overweight, diabetic etc, but she was fine. It wasn't even special dark, healthy chocolate she ate, just Mars bars and things...
I accidentally found out that good cocoa to drink (without sugar or milk) is delicious, and I prefer it now. But I do think it slightly raises my heart rate, and can cause diarrhoea (which is hard to spell).
I could seriously live on it!

Dieudonné NAKELI 's avatar  Dieudonné NAKELI 21/09/2013 13:28

I'm impressed with the health facts cocoa beans poses. It's definitely the "food of God". I have a question: About how much quantity of cocoa beans should an adult consume daily to have the benefits of this magical food? Thank you in advance.

Karen 's avatar  Karen 30/05/2013 15:03

I consume Xocai Healthy Chocolate at least 3 times daily for my health. Xocai has very high ORAC values. I am 60 and working full time but I have lots of energy, sleep well, my skin glows and my Periodontist is very pleased with the improvement in my gum tissue.

inka cocoeater 's avatar  inka cocoeater 17/05/2013 20:46

Yes, it really did. I started eating cocoa beans everyday around 10am, along green tea. I found out these two are a great compliment. Now, I don't have any crazy cravings for sweets or junk food. I don't know why. Before, I used to drink three cups of coffee with a lot of sugar, and I always felt that I need one more....but now by having coco beans from Perú, males me more relax, and my craving have been reduced in 70%. Yes, it has a bitter tastes, but you get use to the flavor. Now, I Live it.

Martinezbookkeeping 's avatar  Martinezbookkeeping 21/05/2012 00:04

yes, for my depression!
every time I eat a chocolate, my depression is gone.

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