Friday, July 13, 2012

Benefits of Cocoa

by Kris Pitcher

Cocoa isn't just for steaming hot mugs of yumminess on winter days. Cocoa has many benefits and contains the much sought after compounds, flavanols.

Flavonols are antioxidants. Antioxidants are important to fighting free radicals which damage cells by causing oxidative stress. Flavonols interrupt the free radicals. Nice.

Cocoa comes from a bean. It's not the stuff with marshmallows in the Swiss Miss packets. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and has cardiovascular benefits including decreasing blood pressure. The antioxidants in cocoa helps us increase our HDL cholesterol (the good kind).

HDL helps the body metabolize fats in the bloodstream, lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and preventing heart attack and stroke. So, what can you do with this powder?

Eating it in powder form is your best bet. You don't need the sugar and fat found in dark chocolate (with a high cocoa content). Add a tablespoon of dry cocoa to your morning cup of coffee or throw it in the blender with your shake. You'll be adding 12 calories, 1gm fat, 2 gm dietary fiber, 1 gm protein.

Raw cocoa is bitter, but if you add it to your yogurt or coffee it's actually a great taste. It tastes rich and...chocolatey. Redirecting your taste buds to this natural flavor will give you the benefits without the sugar and fat. Enjoy! 


  1. Good stuff! Yes, I add organic cacao to my morning coffee on the way to work. Somehow I feel guilty but I know the antioxidants are kickin good for me!

  2. Can you purchase Raw Cocoa at the grocery store?

    1. You sure can Heidilynn - Hershey's cocoa powder in your baking aisle.