The benefits and healing properties of cocoa.
That chocolate appeared in the ancient culture of the Aztecs, who lived on the territory of modern Mexico, today known to all. The Aztecs cultivated the cacao trees, and
from their fruits, cooked amazing powder: drink made from this powder, gave them strength, vigor and energy. Especially enjoyed drinking this drink men, and from its name “chocolatl” is derived the modern word “chocolate”.
In the XVI century in Central America the Spanish conquerors came, and chocolate too much. They brought the fruits of cocoa in Europe, and has taught other Europeans prepare them not only tasty and fragrant drink, but also chocolate, reminiscent of the modern: from cocoa powder with sugar and vanilla.
In Europe, this product quickly became popular, the Europeans learned how to produce chocolate. Particularly successful in this, the French, the Swiss and the British – the quality of their chocolate is known in the world today, however, Russians from them then did not lag behind, and at the beginning of the last century, our chocolate was considered one of the best on the market.
Earlier in our country’s cocoa was cooking more often, adding milk and cream, and today more popular drinks have become coffee and tea.
Meanwhile, cocoa is much more useful and patelnie them: it has less caffeine than coffee, but there are other tonic substances. Theophylline stimulates the activity of the Central nervous system, has a vasodilator effect; theobromine improves performance, but it acts milder caffeine; phenylethylamine elevates mood and prevents depression, so cocoa is recommended to drink even students and pupils to reduce anxiety during the exams.
Composition and caloric content of cocoa
The composition of cocoa butter is very rich and diverse. There are a lot of vegetable protein and fat, eat carbs, dietary fiber, organic acids, starch, sugars, saturated fatty acids; vitamins a, E, PP, group b, beta-carotene; minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, fluoride, molybdenum.
Cocoa powder enough calories in 100 g of the product contains up to 289 calories, and very nutritious, so women who are watching their weight, you can replace them with a meal – for example, afternoon tea, just sugar you need to add less.
Some important health elements in cocoa more than other products. For example, the cocoa powder is rich in iron and zinc. Iron is necessary for the normalization of hematopoiesis, and zinc is very important for the human body: it participates in the formation of enzymes, protein synthesis, creating the structure of RNA and DNA nucleic acids; supports normal cells.
Puberty and the development is unable to move properly without zinc; the process of hematopoiesis, he, too, supports, helping faster healing of wounds. To fully supply your body with zinc, it is enough to drink a couple of cups of cocoa a week, and eat 2-3 slices of chocolate every day, and chocolate bitter preferable.
In the cocoa powder contains the melanin can protect the skin from different types of radiation: ultraviolet and infrared. In the first case, melanin protects our skin from sunburn, and the second helps to avoid overheating and sunstroke. So, if you are going hot in the summer to sunbathe, drink in the morning, cocoa, and before going to the beach, eat a few cloves of natural chocolate.
Buying chocolate, do not be lazy to carefully read the composition. Unfortunately, many manufacturers wanting to reduce the cost of the product, instead of cocoa butter is added to chocolate other less valuable vegetable oils, nutritional value which is much lower. On the package of chocolate should be written, how much cocoa powder and cocoa butter is included with the product – as a percentage. Other vegetable oils in the composition should not be, and cocoa paste should be at least 60-70% (and preferably more).
The benefits and healing properties of cocoa
Cocoa is useful to drink to people who are recovering from colds or infectious diseases, as a rich composition of the drink helps the body to restore energy. Patients with heart failure cocoa brings relief – due to the high content of potassium.
And not so long ago, the researchers concluded that this drink promotes longevity, as it contains many beneficial antioxidants.
Thanks to these substances, the use of cocoa prevents many diseases and helps to push aging.
Regular consumption of cocoa contributes to the efficient operation of the brain. The antioxidant flavanols contained in cocoa beans, improves cerebral blood circulation and normalizes blood pressure, and therefore, drink cocoa, and chocolate, helpful people in the blood vessels of the brain weak blood flow.
Some scientists even believe that in cocoa much more antioxidants than red wine and green tea – recognized fighters of free radicals. Natural polyphenols contained in fruits cocoa, don’t allow free radicals to accumulate in the body, and thereby prevent the occurrence of cancer.
Of course, before it was known that cocoa is full of antioxidants, but a detailed comparative analysis was conducted recently, and now we know which drink is healthier.
By the way, fashionable energy drinks that are unsafe, it is better to replace a Cup of cocoa when you can get energy, strength, to give the nutrition to the cells, and not to bring the body no harm.
Contraindications for the use of cocoa
Since cocoa is purine bases, its use is not recommended in certain diseases – for example, gout and kidney problems. Of course, to limit the amount of cocoa in the diet in these cases should be, but is unlikely to abandon it altogether.
Purines are part of nucleic acids responsible for the operation of the mechanism of heredity, storing and transmitting genetic information. Nucleic acids linked to the process of protein biosynthesis and metabolism, purines therefore must be present in the human diet in certain quantities.
But the excess of purines causes the accumulation in the body of uric acid and salt deposits in the joints, and diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract. But more dangerous are the purines, which are found in animal products, and cocoa powder is not one of them.
Of course, with exacerbations of diseases, such as gout, cocoa drink should not be, but to give it up forever, and to deprive the body of many nutrients would be unwise.
By the way, in large quantities to drink cocoa is bad for everyone, but the same can be said about the abuse of other foods.
Young children under 3 years cocoa is not given, because the substances contained in the beverage may too exciting to act on their nervous system.
If constipation is to drink cocoa undesirable, as containing in it the tannins will make the problem worse; with caution and gradually should consume cocoa in diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis.
Given the energy properties of cocoa, it is best to drink for Breakfast or afternoon tea, with dried fruit and honey.
Children and adolescents can drink cocoa with milk, cream, sugar, but adults better to add them at least – so too rich and high in calories. If you want to drink cocoa with milk, you can use soy. Drink hot cocoa at night is not recommended.