Here are some health benefits of drinking cocoa every day. Readers may be aware that I occasionally discuss health and diet matters. If it is okay with you, I would like to do that a bit more. I have previously detailed my problems with weight and how with a low-carb, high-fat diet, I have lost significant weight. Cocoa is now part of daily diet and in fact my morning breakfast and evening “snack” these days. Its health benefits may urge you to consider it as well.
Previous Posts on health and dieting:
How to consume cocoa?
Cocoa is not low-carb. According to the USDA nutrition database, it has 57.90% Carbs. So diabetics (no such thing as pre-diabetic) trying to regulate their metabolism should not consume it every day. On what dietdoctor.com calls a “liberal” low-carb, Cocoa works fine.
However, even here, milk should be avoided (esp by diabetic). I love milk, so use it daily for my hot chocolate. Dietdoctor has a mouthwatering recipe with cocoa + hot water + butter +vanilla essence. This is a fine breakfast replacement.
NO sugar!! Buy unsweetened natural cocoa (brand named below) and add no sugar to it. It will take some getting used to, so start slow.
Why you should consider drinking cocoa every day
1: It has enormous amounts of dietary fibre. So daily stools will not be a problem. Those with constipation, fissure and piles issues will defecate smoothly. This high fibre content helps process the high carb content (see videos linked in the posts above)
2: Great source of plant protein! Vegetarians can get 19.66 of protein per 100g. Protein, as you may know, is essential for muscle maintenance, bone, cartilage and tissue. It will help regulate hormones and help in hair growth. Remember: Low carb diet implies a high protein and high-fat diet. Typically most of us consume about 60-75% carbs each day. Instead try 30-40% carbs, 20-30% proteins and rest fat. You will lose weight, less hungry and your body will thank you later.
3: It is a good source of Iron: 13.86 mg per 100 gm. If you have low Haemoglobin, you can try cocoa. Iron is essential for healthy red blood cells. Since I am on immunosuppressants for my Myasthenia Gravis (an auto-immune condition), cocoa helps regulate my iron levels.
4: Source of Magnesium: 499 mg per 100 gm.
More than 300 biochemical reactions in your body use magnesium (livestrong)
It regulates carbohydrate metabolism, bone density and muscle movement. The beauty about natural products is, if there is something harmful (carbs), the antidote is also packaged in – high fibre and magnesium. In processed products, we discard the antidote – the reason for weight gain.
5: Source of Potassium: 1524 mg per 100 gm. Regulates blood sugar, blood pressure, stress, muscle movement and more!
6: Low source of sodium: 21 mg per 100 gm. We get it from other sources So low is good here!
7: Low in natural sugar: Only 1.75 gm per 100 gm. Sugar is toxic. So again less is good.
8 High in manganese: 3.827 mg per 100 gm. Multiple benefits include bone health, anti-inflammatory, calcium absorption etc.
9 High in copper: 3.788 mg per 100 gm. Again multiple benefits: brain simulation, cell growth, anti-arthritis etc.
10 High in Theobromine: 2057 mg per 100 gm (and only 230 mg of caffeine). Theobromine will make you feel a bit happy and relaxed (caffeine makes you alert) and is good for blood pressure.
Cocoa also has many flavanoids – a type of antioxidants. Their health benefits are under debate though.
Is Cocoa habit forming?
After almost a year of regular use, I would say no. Coffee is more habit-forming than cocoa. In fact, at times I have chosen coffee over cocoa out of a sense of longing.
Which brand cocoa should I buy?
I would recommend Looms and Weaves natural cocoa. This is from Kerala and we can support local farmers this way. I have also tried Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa, but once you get used to the Looms and Weaves taste, there is no going back.
We have now introduced this cocoa to our 8-year old (with a little sugar though).
You can get it from Amazon.
Do check out the Previous Posts on health and dieting:
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