Cocoa Powder

Benefits of Cocoa Powder

What is Cocoa Powder?

Dry cocoa solids are the components of cocoa beans remaining after cocoa butter, the fat component, is extracted from chocolate liquor, roasted cocoa beans that have been ground into a liquid state. Cocoa butter is 50% to 57% of the weight of cocoa beans and gives chocolate its characteristic melting properties. Cocoa powder is the powdered form of the solids sold as an end product. It is available in various kinds and has numerous benefits. We will talk about the benefits of cocoa powder in the coming next sections of the article. 

Nutritional Importance Of Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder is a rich source of antioxidants and has a number of health benefits. It is made from ground cocoa beans, which are the seeds of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao). Cocoa beans are native to the tropical regions of South and Central America, and have been used for centuries as a source of food, medicine, and currency.

One of the key nutritional benefits of cocoa powder is its high content of flavonoids, which are a type of plant-based compound that has been shown to have a number of health benefits. Cocoa powder is particularly rich in a type of flavonoid called flavanol, which is thought to have heart-protective effects. Some studies have found that flavanol-rich cocoa can help to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the heart, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Cocoa powder is also a good source of other nutrients, including:

  • Fiber: Cocoa powder is a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion and preventing constipation.
  • Iron: Cocoa powder is a good source of iron, which is essential for carrying oxygen to the body’s cells.
  • Magnesium: Cocoa powder is a good source of magnesium, which is important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, as well as supporting muscle and nerve function.
  • Copper: Cocoa powder is a good source of copper, which is important for maintaining healthy blood vessels, bones, and connective tissues.
  • Zinc: Cocoa powder is a good source of zinc, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and supporting wound healing.

In addition to these nutrients, cocoa powder is also a good source of protein, potassium, and other minerals.

It’s important to note that cocoa powder is often used in combination with other ingredients, such as sugar, milk, and cream, which can significantly increase the calorie and fat content of the final product. However, when used in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet, cocoa powder can be a nutritious and delicious addition to your meals and snacks.

Glycemic Index Of Cocoa Powder

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a particular food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI are absorbed quickly and cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, while those with a low GI are absorbed more slowly and cause a slower, more gradual increase.

Cocoa powder, which is made from ground cocoa beans, is a rich source of antioxidants and has a number of health benefits. It is also relatively low on the glycemic index, with a GI of around 25. This means that it has a moderate impact on blood sugar levels, and is unlikely to cause a rapid spike in blood sugar like some other high-GI foods.

However, it’s important to note that the glycemic index of cocoa powder can vary depending on the specific product and how it is prepared. For example, cocoa powder that is mixed with sugar and other ingredients to make chocolate may have a higher GI than plain cocoa powder. Additionally, the way that cocoa powder is prepared can affect its GI. For example, cocoa powder that is mixed with milk and other ingredients to make hot chocolate may have a higher GI than cocoa powder that is mixed with water to make a chocolate drink.

Overall, cocoa powder is a good choice for people looking to manage their blood sugar levels, as it is relatively low on the glycemic index and has a number of other health benefits. However, it’s important to pay attention to the specific product and how it is prepared, as this can affect the GI of the final product.

Physical Properties of Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder contains flavanol antioxidants, amounts of which are reduced if the cocoa is subjected to acid-reducing alkalization.

Natural cocoa powder has a light-brown color and an extractable pH of 5.3 to 5.8. The processed (alkalized) cocoa powder is darker in color, ranging from brownish red to nearly black, with a pH of 6.8 to 8.1. The alkalization process reduces bitterness and improves solubility, which is important for beverage product applications. All of these pH values are considered safe for food use. 

 

 Cocoa powder, and unsweetened chocolate product, adds deep chocolate flavor to desserts and beverages. Cocoa powder occurs when the fat, called cocoa butter, gets removed from the cacao beans during processing. The leftover dried solids get ground into the product sold as cocoa powder. The two basic types of cocoa powder are Dutch-process and natural.

 

What Does It Taste Like?

The cocoa powder tastes like chocolate, but without the creamy mouthfeel, cocoa butter adds to the bar of chocolate. Dutch-process cocoa tends to taste milder, while natural cocoa powder can have a sharper flavor. For candy making, the types of cocoa powder can usually be used interchangeably; use whichever cocoa you think tastes best.

Nutrition in Cocoa Powder 

Cocoa powder contains several minerals, including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. All these minerals are found in greater quantities in cocoa powder than in cocoa butter or chocolate liquor. Cocoa powder also contains 230 mg of caffeine and 2057 mg of theobromine per 100g, which are mostly absent from the other components of the cocoa bean. Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, a subset of polyphenols. 

A 100 g of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3 g of water, –

  • Calories- 228
  •  19.6 g protein 
  • 13.7 g fat 
  • 57.9 g carbohydrate 
  • 37 g fiber 
  • 1.75 g sugar 
  • 128 mg calcium 
  • 13.86 mg iron 
  • 21 mg sodium 
  • 0.118 mg vitamin B6 
  •  0.1 mg vitamin E 
  • 2.5 mcg vitamin K

 

Quick ideas to use Cocoa Powder in your daily life – 
  • You can mix it with hot milk and sugar to make hot chocolate. 
  •  Also, you can combine it with cocoa butter and sugar to make a chocolate bar.
  • Using, Cocoa powder you can make brownies, smoothies, cakes, and pastries using cocoa powder at home.
  • You can sprinkle it over strawberries.
  • Also, You can make homemade puddings using raw cocoa powder and chia seeds.

                                                                                        

Benefits of Cocoa Powder-

Benefits of Cocoa Powder

  • Lowers your depression, Improves your mood-  The very first benefit of cocoa powder- cocoa has been known to fight stress and improve mood. Cocoa powder contains flavanols, which can elevate mood and eliminate symptoms of depression. Cocoa powder further boosts serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that acts as an antidepressant.
  • Protects your skin- The supportive properties found in cocoa powder are not just abundant internally, they also provide many of the same effects externally. Just as the antioxidants help stop the premature breakdown of cells in plants, it does the same for your skin. The use of raw cocoa on the skin helps to protect the skin from free radicals and helps signs of aging. Raw cocoa powder can be used to maintain skin health due to flavanols. Flavanols decrease the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin while enhancing elasticity and hydration. Inside or out, cocoa is good for the skin. These properties help to soften, clear, and detoxify your skin. Raw cocoa powder can also increase the elasticity of your skin, which helps with fine lines, and wrinkles and reduces the appearance of scars. It truly is the food of the gods!
  • Protects your heart–  flavanol content in cocoa has been found to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol which further lowers the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and other heart diseases. Flavanol relaxes and dilates the blood vessels, which improves blood flow to the heart.
  • Keeps your brain sharper-    Cocoa has been found to improve your cognitive function and memory. Cocoa has been found to increase blood flow to the brain. Cocoa could prevent age‐related cognitive impairment and forgetfulness. Certain studies have said that cocoa could prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases. Just a little bit more cocoa can help keep your brain at its best for longer and keep your memory at its best.
  • Protects your teeth-

    The anti-enzymatic, antibacterial, and immune-stimulating properties of cocoa can contribute to oral health. Cocoa powder promotes healthy teeth by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum diseases.

  • Aids in weight loss – The polyphenols in cocoa have been found to help boost your metabolism and this will encourage you to lose weight faster. Cocoa improves your body’s ability to metabolize the dietary fat that you consume from becoming fatty tissue in your body. Since cocoa helps your digestive health, this also keeps you from gaining weight. The least processed cocoa extracts seemed to have the largest impact on your metabolism.
  • Helps to decrease insulin resistance –

    The cocoa flavanols found in dark chocolate may be able to help people with type 2 diabetes- Lower inflammation, Improve blood sugar control, Significantly improve insulin sensitivity, and Lower fasting insulin That’s because cocoa polyphenols can help to slow the digestion and absorption of carbs and sugar. These compounds can also help break down glucose, promoting balanced blood sugar levels, and improving insulin resistance.

  • Also, Cocoa lowers your blood pressure, lowers the risk of diabetes, lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, and protects against cancer due to its nutritious properties.

 

How Much Cocoa Powder To Consume A Day? 

As recommended by the European Food Safety Authority, 2.5 g of unsweetened cocoa powder or 10 g of dark chocolate which contains at least 200 mg of flavanols is required to be consumed per day to reap most of the health benefits.

 

How to use cocoa powder for weight loss-

Cocoa powder is said to improve fat metabolism and increase energy, and hence, can be consumed for quicker weight loss. If you wish to use cocoa powder to burn fat, then make sure you buy a good quality, organic brand, which has no sugar in it. You can add the cocoa powder in small amounts to your warm glass of milk or your bowl of oats in the morning. Adding cocoa powder to your breakfast smoothies may give them an extra kick of taste and nutrition. As mentioned earlier, adding cocoa powder to your protein shake, before working out may also help you burn fat faster. However, it’s advisable to contact your nutritionist or a certified dietitian, to know exactly how much cocoa powder you should be consuming every day.

Cocoa Powder on Keto Diet

The best news for keto-dieters is that raw cocoa is completely sugar-free, so there’s no limit to the amount you can use in your recipes. Let’s take a look at the numerous health benefits of introducing cocoa powder into your diet as well as some of the ways that you can incorporate it other than to make sweets.

Due to its low-calorie and low-carb content, introducing cocoa to your keto diet is extremely simple, and can be done in a variety of delicious ways. Bear in mind that you need to be choosing less-processed and low-sugar cocoa or chocolate to truly reap the health benefits of cocoa powder.

Things you can make on the keto diet using cocoa powder-

You can make hot cocoa easily by using raw cocoa and low-carb, unsweetened milk of your choice, or even add it to a healthy keto smoothie. Keto desserts like brownies, cookies, chocolate mousse, chia pudding recipes, Keto fat bombs

If you’re eating chocolate, you want high-quality dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa, or you can use cocoa powder to make any number of tasty keto desserts. Cocoa Powder can still contain a lot of sugar, so you’ll want to be careful what you eat and monitor your portion sizes. Not only does it taste great, but it’s definitely worth eating for its health benefits!

Try out these amazing keto recipes using cocoa powder-

 

Keto Chocolate Recipes- 

Okay. So, now you know how awesome chocolate is. You can make plenty of items using cocoa powder and chocolate on a keto diet. You can buy a high-quality organic raw cacao powder, or cacao nibs, or buy a high-percentage dark chocolate bar that contains natural ketogenic sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. Although it has a slightly different nutrient makeup and benefits, cacao butter can also be an excellent addition to the diet.

 

  • Keto Chocolate Cakeketo chocolate cake

What’s ice cream without a slice of cake? Yes, you can make a decadent chocolate cake that is healthy and ketogenic. Seriously, you could live off of this cake as it is high in protein, high fat, and loaded with nutrition. A keto cake means happiness!

Using coconut flour as the base, we automatically eliminate the heavy carb load that most cakes have. Next, utilizing stevia as a natural sweetener eliminates the sugar found in most baked goods. Finally, all you need is some raw cacao, coconut milk, and eggs, and you’ve got yourself a cake. Top with a decadent avocado chocolate frosting and you’ve got yourself the perfect cake.

INGREDIENTS-

Dry Ingredients

  • ⅓ Cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup stevia or any keto sweetener
  • ½ cup sugar-free chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup coconut oil or melted butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  • Mix all the ingredients and dry ingredients separately.
  • Slowly start adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients by gently whisking them.
  • Take a baking tin, grease it with coconut oil, and add the batter.
  • Preheat the oven to  180 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes
Chocolate drizzle
  • ⅓ cup sugar-free chocolate chips or 85% dark chocolate.
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Your keto chocolate cake will be ready in one hour.

 

  •  Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream 

This is a simple recipe that fills a gap that many people miss on a ketogenic diet, ice cream. Go to the store and pull almost any ice cream from the freezer and you will see just how much sugar is in that stuff. While demand is growing and there might be a ketogenic-friendly ice cream hitting the shelves relatively soon, this is a great homemade version.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream 

You simply combine coconut milk, raw cacao, and a bit of natural sweetener like chocolate stevia. Pop that in the freezer, remove it, and process it in the blender to make delicious high-fat ice cream. It will be ready in 3 hours. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans of full-fat organic coconut milk
  • 4 tbsps of raw cacao powder
  • 5-15 drops of chocolate stevia
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of pink salt
Instructions:
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper on a deep baking dish. Pour the coconut milk onto the parchment paper and then freeze for several hours, until hard.
  • Once frozen, pull the coconut milk off the parchment paper and break it into chunks.
  • Add coconut and other ingredients to the blender.
  •  Process until smooth, scooping down the sides as necessary.
  •  Process until you have achieved your desired ice cream texture.
  • Serve immediately- keep in the freezer.

 

  •  Coconut Keto Fudge Brownies

Coconut Keto Fudge Brownies

Brownies are one of my favorite foods of all time. We have a great ketogenic version of this classic recipe that supports ketone production and stabilizes blood sugar. These are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K), and healthy fats. Most brownies are full of inflammatory fats and sugars! One serving of brownies has 171 calories.

Ingredients:
  • 6 tbsps of coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup of cacao powder
  • ½ cup of grass-fed butter
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil
  • 6 pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 25 drops of chocolate stevia
  • 1 pinch of pink salt
  • 1/2 cup of organic Chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
Instructions : 
  • Preheat the oven to 300 and grease a glass baking dish
  • Now, Melt the butter.
  • Next, mix all ingredients. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer or high-powered blender.
  • Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Cool for 30 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan.
  •  Finally, Brownies are ready to serve.

Takeaway

To sum up, the benefits of Cocoa Powder are numerous. You can easily incorporate them into your dishes and desserts and enjoy them! You can also have unsweetened cocoa if you’re on a keto diet or low-carb diet and get its benefits. Try amazing recipes using cocoa powder or dark chocolate as the main ingredient.

Get started with your Weight Loss Journey today and take a step towards a healthy lifestyle! Stay tuned for inspiring Weight Loss Journeys, and Delicious Recipes! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the daily dose of Health, and Wellness content! 

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