There are a lot of ingredients in our kitchen that have been used for centuries to cure ailments, prevent diseases and used for beauty purposes. Cocoa powder is one of these ingredients that possesses many benefits that is often overlooked.
Before we dive into its benefits. Let’s get to know this superfood!
Cocoa was first developed as a crop in many ancient South American cultures, dating back several thousand years among the indigenous populations of the Aztecs and Mayans and was later introduced to Europe by the Spanish Conquistadors and then later cultivated on the African continent.
It is estimated that over 4.5 million tons of cocoa are consumed around the world every year.
What is cocoa powder
Cocoa powder is made by grinding and pressing fermented cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao seeds) to remove the natural cocoa butter. It has a dry and unsweetened light brown powder, extracted from cocoa beans. It is very nutritious and has a strong, bitter taste. Since the taste is so bitter, cocoa powder is generally combined with other ingredients to make products such as chocolate and chocolate beverages.
For example, it is usually mixed with hot milk and sugar to make a hot beverage that is enjoyed by all. During the winter months, a cup of hot chocolate is guaranteed to keep you warm and cozy.
Cocoa powder is rich in calorie (49 g), carbohydrate (12), fiber (7) and protein (4) per a quarter cup (32 g) of cocoa powder
It is is packed with nutrients, including minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium, and magnesium which contribute to boost the immune system, promote cell growth, repair tissue and improve the absorption of nutrients.
Health benefits of cocoa powder
To enjoy the benefits of cocoa powder, you need to use it in its pure form without any sweetener. Cocoa powder contributes to a health diet because of its minerals and vitamins content.
It improves cardiovascular health
Consuming cocoa powder lowers the risk of heart disease due to the presence of antioxidants as well as its high content of magnesium, polyphenols and fibers.
It has mood boosting properties
Drinking a cup of warm cocoa powder contribute to elevate your mood and feeling of positivity.
Benefits of cocoa powder for skin
Cocoa Powder is a great skin cleanser and a powerful antioxidant and it protects and removes free radicals that can cause damage to skin layers. Used in a face mask along with our Green Clay Powder, Cocoa Powder is an excellent moisturizer and has a smooth cleaning action that lasts.
In a previous blog article I showed how I used cocoa powder for a smooth, clean and glowing skin. You can watch it here.
The flavonoids content in Cocoa powder contributes to lightens skin complexion, rejuvenate skin cells and energize them. It also helps remove blemishes, fade scars/ dark spots.
Applying cocoa powder topically increases hydration, calms, and soothes the skin. Since it contains Vitamins A, B12, B-complex, D and E, it increases circulation and blood flow.
Cocoa powder can be used in natural makeup products such as bronzers, foundations and face powders which i good for those seeking natural alternatives to cosmetic products containing synthetic ingredients.
Want to create your own DIY products using cocoa powder? You can purchase natural and organic cocoa powder produced in Ghana from Akoma.
Benefits of cocoa powder for hair
Cocoa powder can be added to dry shampoo to hide root growth and to darken hair. It is suitable for people who have darker hair.
Cocoa powder boosts hair volume and keeps your curls hydrated and nourished.
Want to try cocoa powder on your hair now? Try this DIY hair mask treatment for luscious and moisturized hair.
Do you like cocoa powder? How do you use it? Comment below and share your tips with us.