Dark Cocoa Powder
Latin name: Theobroma Cacao
Health Benefits of Dark Cocoa Powder
Dark cocoa powder is formed when three quarters of the of the cocoa butter is removed from the cocoa liqueur, leaving a powdery substance. Dark cocoa powder is not only valued as a delicious ingredient in desserts, but it also offers many health benefits which include:
- The antioxidant flavanol, which has a positive affect on cardiovascular health by keeping blood vessels relaxed.
- Raises the level of sarotonin and stimulates the secretion of endorphins - this acts as a natural antidepressent and helps create a sense of well being in the brain. This will also help PMS symptoms.
- Other chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, found in cocoa that are mood elevators are dopamine, phenylethylamine and anandamide. These also help increase focus and alertness, and aid in relaxation.
- Cocoa powder is very high in magnesium. Many ailments can be traced to magnesium deficiency, such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems.
- High in the beauty mineral sulfur, cocoa powder helps build strong hair and nails, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas function.
- Contains oleic acid, a healthy fat also found in olive oil.
- Cocoa powder may help reduce appetite.
Nutritional Benefits of Dark Cocoa Powder
- Contains calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfer, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and proteins.
- Also contains beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic acid, lipase, lysine, and fiber.
How to Use Dark Cocoa Powder
- The most common way to use cocoa powder is in baking. You can also of course make a delicious hot cocoa or add some to your morning smoothie!