Cocoa beans have been gaining popularity worldwide, and not simply because they are used to make chocolate! Recent medical studies have proven that consuming cocoa beans can be extremely beneficial to your health. Cocoa beans are now considered one of the “superfoods” by American medical experts, associating cocoa with spirulina, goji berries, and acai berries.
A very popular study confirmed that red wine contains antioxidants, and suggested that drinking red wine on a regular basis can help prolong your life. However, recent research has discovered that cocoa beans have 200% of the antioxidant content of red wine! Cocoa beans have also been proven to have three times the antioxidants of green tea. This an amazing breakthrough, since cocoa has historically been categorized as an unhealthy food.
The high antioxidant content of cocoa beans is extremely effective at eliminating free radicals in the body. Cocoa beans contain the powerful antioxidant Epicatechin, which has been proven to help reduce the effects of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Cocoa also contains Pentameric Proccyanidin, which is a natural compound that may prevent cancer cells from dividing.
Aside from being a wonderful source of antioxidants, cocoa beans have many other health benefits. Consuming cocoa beans has been proven to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Ingestion of cocoa beans has also been associated with higher levels of endorphins, which causes reduced stress and an overall feeling of well-being.
Cocoa also contains an extremely high level of flavonoids, which may have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. It’s been suggested that cocoa beans can reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as certain cancers. This is due to the fact that consuming cocoa beans improves the overall blood flow throughout the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. Improved blood flow also suggests that cocoa beans may have positive effects on certain brain functions, such as learning and memory.
To get the maximum amount of antioxidants from cocoa beans, it is best to only consume chocolate products with a 60% or higher cocoa content. Also, milk chocolate products are not recommended, due to their high saturated fat content (which can offset the potential heart benefits of cocoa). If you wish to get the highest possible concentration of antioxidants, pure cocoa beans, or cocoa supplements can be purchased for an affordable price.
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