Cocoa: A Natural Mood Enhancer
Cocoa has been around for centuries a popular food, is already the Mayans and Aztecs have enjoyed the fine taste of cocoa. However, while they brewed from cocoa beans have a bitter, spicy drink, the cocoa in Europe only by mixing with sugar to a popular luxury drink. Today, there are a variety of ways to use cocoa powder. But whether it is a Cup of hot chocolate, a piece of cocoa cake or a bar of chocolate: The sweet powder does our soul a world of good.
Cocoa has a high fat content
This is due to certain compounds in cocoa that have a mood-lifting effect on us humans. The consumption of cocoa-containing products, you should note, however, that industrially produced cocoa mixes are often healthy, because they are highly enriched with sugar and therefore a lot of calories.
The high sugar content, however, refers only to industrially produced cocoa powder for natural cocoa contains only about one percent sugar. The ingredients of cocoa, the high fat content of 54 percent. In addition, cocoa consists of the following:
- 11.5 Percent Protein
- 9 Percent Cellulose
- 5 Percent Water
- 2.6 Percent Minerals
To include in the cocoa-existing minerals, including potassium and Magnesium. In addition, cocoa also contains important dietary fiber as well as Vitamin E.
According to estimates, in the cocoa, a total of about 300 different ingredients are available. Among these ingredients also Serotonin and dopamine, which can cause an improvement of mood and increase a sense of wellbeing. They help with depression, but can provide, for example, in the case of Heartbreak first aid.
Cocoa is rich in calories
In comparison to other foods, cocoa has a relatively high number of calories (kcal), 100 grams of cocoa powder to bring it to about 350 calories. The calorie content of commercially available cocoa powder is even higher, since the powder is usually strongly enriched with sugar. These products usually contain very little real cocoa powder, it is often more than 25 percent.
With regard to the calorie content of the cocoa powder, however, large differences, depending on how strong the powder or sweetened has been de-oiled. Thus, highly de-oiled ungezuckerter cocoa has only about 250 calories. 100 grams of dark chocolate bring it on average to about 500 calories.
Cocoa powder, self-mixing
Who wants to know exactly what’s inside of it in his hot chocolate and how many calories are in these mixes its chocolate by the best according to their own recipe. The mixing ratio between natural cocoa powder and sugar, however, is purely a matter of taste and must be tried. For starters, a ratio of sugar and cocoa powder in a 3:2 is recommended.
For tasty variations you can Refine the cocoa with spices such as cinnamon, vanilla or Cayenne pepper powder.
From the cocoa bean to the chocolate
Cocoa is the main raw material for the production of chocolate. The cocoa beans contained in the fruit of the cacao tree, do not have, however, still above the typical sweet taste, we know of cocoa-containing foods. This means, of course, that the fruits still have a relatively high content of bitter.
From the cocoa bean to the finished cocoa powder, it’s a long way: The harvested cocoa fruits are opened, to ferment and the flesh begins. Due to the resulting alcohol, the germination of the seed is stopped and they lose a part of their bitter substances. Overall, this process takes about ten days.
Then, the cocoa beans are shipped dried and chocolate-producing countries. Here the beans are processed into cocoa mass, and later to cocoa butter and cocoa powder. The cocoa butter is from the cocoa mass abgepresstes fat. It is included along with the cocoa powder in most chocolate varieties. Milk chocolate also contains milk or cream powder, white chocolate, only cocoa butter and sugar.
Healthy effect: cocoa lowers blood pressure
Chocolate with a cocoa content of over 70 percent is said that you have a blood pressure lowering effect. This is because cocoa contains a lot of flavanols, the blood vessels a positive effect on the elasticity of the blood and thus the blood pressure impact. So cocoa can also help to reduce the risk of stroke.
The cocoa contained substances, theobromine and theophylline, also have a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system and the Central nervous system. Dark chocolate also contain many antioxidants, which serve in the body as a free radical scavenger.
Despite these positive effects of cocoa should always be borne in mind that the health effects of cocoa is not yet finally clarified.
Chocolate only in small amounts
The positive effects of cocoa on our health, some animate, perhaps, to an increased chocolate consumption. However, in large quantities of chocolate is not healthy, but makes you fat. Who, for example, a daily bar of chocolate plastering, negating all the positive effects of chocolate on his body. One or two pieces of chocolate per day are allowed, however, especially recommended varieties, which have a high percentage of cocoa.
In the case of such a bitter chocolate, you should not overdo it, load it with the consumption, however, a more fundamental reason: Because depending on how high the cadmium content in the soil on which the cocoa trees are grown, can also be the cocoa powder, cadmium-loaded. Cadmium is a chemical Element that can cause in the human body, damage to kidneys and bones. Due to the high Cocoa content in dark chocolate can be in these varieties, the Cadmium content is particularly high.
For several years, it is demanded by the Federal Institute for risk assessment, the introduction of a limit value in chocolate, yet this requirement has not been implemented yet.
Cocoa: For a healthy skin
Cocoa is not only internally to our health and mental well-being, but also our skin is happy about the brewing mass. For cosmetic treatments, the cocoa butter is particularly attractive, you pins in lip care and body care products.
Because cocoa butter melts at body temperature and a soft feeling on the skin leaves, it is good for skin care. It is also intended to lead to a slower ageing of the skin and the skin with ample moisture supply. It is especially suitable for use in dry and cracked skin, and therefore serves as an additive in many lotions, creams and Soaps. During pregnancy, a daily Rubbing of the abdomen with cocoa butter-containing products should prevent the emergence of the unpopular stretch marks.
Also for face masks, cocoa is used, with the following recipe you can cocoa easy even a mask spells: each one teaspoon of curd, avocado oil and cocoa powder mix, and then apply to the face. A quarter of an hour soak, and then rinse with lukewarm water. The cocoa mask stimulates blood flow to the skin and gives extra moisture.