The story of cocoa is a widely unknown and misunderstood one. Before the current perception of chocolate in its bar form as a result of being shunned into the public conscious by brands and major supermarkets, the ingredient held an incredible importance to its native founders, and for good reason!
The cocoa bean was initially grown and nurtured in the Americas. It was widely consumed by Mayans and Aztecs in its raw, unsweetened form thousands of years ago. The tree from which the cocoa or ‘cacoa’ was produced was referred to as ‘theobroma cacoa’ in Latin, which translates to ‘food of the gods’. So as you can tell they were pretty enamoured with it, and there’s plenty of reasons why - take a look at these amazing benefits:
It Can Improve Your Mood
Cocoa is full of cocoa flavanols, these are plant nutrients which harness a whole load of benefits including the ability to improve cognitive functions and alleviate your mood; the presence of phenylethylamine, a neurochemical, also influences this.
It has been suggested by nutritionists and experts that cocoa plays an excellent role in brain health due to the presence of flavanols. Consumption of cocoa has been directly correlated with an improvement of blood flow to the brain, which in turn assists many of its functions including promoting and enhancing memory and learning capacity.
Cocoa Contains Antioxidants
Cocoa also provides the body with antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body’s cells and membranes from molecules called ‘free radicals’ which, when not stabilised by antioxidants, could cause immense damage to cell structures throughout the body. Get to know the full definition of these substances in our post answering what are antioxidants?
It Helps Cholesterol and Heart Health
The presence of antioxidants called polyphenols in cocoa attaches this particular benefit to cocoa. It influences the lowering of LDL cholesterol, otherwise known as ‘bad cholesterol’, which is a major cause of coronary and cardiovascular diseases. Polyphenols works to thin the blood which directly helps the flow of blood pressure in the body, which also helps to lower the chances of blood clots or artery blockages.
Remember, cocoa can provide the above benefits but should only be consumed in moderation! Get to know some of our cocoa products with our Nakd Chocolovers Mixed Case, or if you fancy a bit of fancy indulgence then check out our Nakd Posh Bits.