Cocoa beans are the benefits and harms
Cocoa beans has long been called the food of the gods. Modern consumers may wonder about so enthusiastic epithet. Because they are used mainly for the production of chocolate and other sweets with an equally high level of processing. Unfortunately, such products are not even part of the properties of natural, raw cocoa beans.
Studies show that people who are even ready chocolate, live on average a year longer. So you can imagine what benefit gives the consumption of this cocoa in its original form.
Origin cocoa beans – the fruit of a small tree that grows in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Nowadays they can be found in other parts of the world, e.g. in Africa. Cacao is an evergreen tree, and bears fruit all year round, off season.
Cultivate the plant began about 1500 BC, the Maya and Aztecs prized the beans more than gold and was used as money. In Europe cocoa brought by Christopher Columbus. The product quickly gained popularity in the Spanish Royal court, and then – and throughout Europe. The inhabitants of the Old world have appreciated its taste and Wellness quality.
Today, the use of cocoa confirmed by numerous scientific studies.
Cocoa has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system is due to the flavonoid epicatechin. But since this connection is characteristic bitter taste, it is removed from the composition of cocoa products. Milk and sugar even more negate their beneficial effect.
If there is no desire or ability to eat raw cocoa beans, you can eat dark chocolate: it is part of flavonoids remains.
According to scientific studies, the use of epicatechin is as follows:
improve short term memory,
stimulate blood flow to the brain and blood circulation in General,
effectively reduce blood pressure.
A team of Dutch scientists have shown that those who consume cocoa beans and products based on them regularly, the risk of dying from heart disease decreases.
A treasure trove of useful items
The product is a generous source of many nutrients.
The antioxidants in high concentrations, which protect our body from free radicals. The harm of these molecules is reduced to the damaging effects on DNA, causing various diseases and is the cause of early aging.
Another component, a rich source of which are the cocoa beans are magnesium, an effective weapon against stress. It protects the heart, improves blood flow, provides oxygenation (oxygen supply) cells, improves performance, relaxes muscles, increases flexibility and helps in strengthening bones.
In 16-42% of the world population there is a shortage of magnesium, so pay attention to the content of magnesium in food is definitely worth it.
In cocoa is such a quantity of iron which covers the daily requirement for this element. Iron is part of hemoglobin and is necessary for transport of oxygen throughout the body. It is also an effective weapon against anemia.
Cocoa beans contain a sufficient level of chromium to make up for its deficiency in the body. This important mineral helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.
There are other trace elements:
manganese together with iron participates in the formation of hemoglobin;
zinc — is a member of many enzymes in the body, has a positive effect on the immune system;
copper is necessary for building red blood cells.
In raw cacao are fatty acids omega-6, vitamin C and phenylethylamine (PEA). It is produced in our body during love, and also helps to improve concentration and speed of reaction of the nervous system to external stimuli.
Cocoa is a strong stimulant?
Contrary to popular belief, cocoa beans do not contain an excess of caffeine, about the dangers which we have heard. It is known that in the product there is theobromine, a substance related to caffeine. Theobromine is not as strongly stimulates the nervous system, but acts as a support for the heart and blood vessels.
Scientific studies have shown that cocoa does not increase the concentration of sugar in the blood, as do other products with caffeine. In the use of raw cacao level rises by only 6-10 %. For comparison: the food that contain various stimulants that can increase the sugar by more than 30 %.
But these wonderful beans increases the level of serotonin, the so-called “happiness hormone” in the brain. This is one of the main neurotransmitters synthesized by the human body. It helps in combating stress and depression.
The use of cocoa is that it is the only vegetable source of anandamide – responsible for mood endorphin, which is naturally produced in our body after athletic training.
Possible harm of cocoa beans
For most people the consumption of cocoa products in reasonable amounts is safe, but the content related to caffeine, chemicals causes a number of harmful properties, especially in uncontrolled eating.
Alarm. Medical practitioners have concerns that large quantities of cocoa may worsen the condition of patients suffering from anxiety disorders.
Harm cocoa for people with bleeding disorders is to slow the clotting and increased risk of blood loss.
In some cases, can cause tachycardia in the cores.
For those who suffer from diarrhea, harm the cocoa beans comes down to the aggravation of the condition.
In patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) the product prevents the proper operation of the valve in the feed tube that is supposed to keep stomach contents from coming back up into the esophagus or airway. This can exacerbate the symptoms of GERD.
People with glaucoma raw cacao is contraindicated because it increases intraocular pressure.
High blood pressure this is without doubt an interesting product will do more harm than good.
When irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea, the use is contraindicated.
Can cause migraines and headaches, particularly in sensitive people.
Related to caffeine compounds in the composition of cocoa beans increase elimination from the organism with urine calcium. Therefore, in most cases for people with osteoporosis harmful product.
Stop drinking cocoa at least 2 weeks before scheduled surgery.
Fast, irregular heartbeat (tachyarrhythmia). Contains theobromine foods can aggravate the condition of patients. This is another harmful property of cocoa beans and their derivatives.
In cocoa there is oxalic acid. Although the content is small compared, for example, with spinach and some other greens. Also, be aware that the damage of oxalic acid fully manifested only after heat treatment, when it binds calcium and is deposited in the kidneys. Here’s another argument in favor of raw cacao.
Try to find in stores natural beans or raw powder from them – this is the real “living” food.