Calorific value, medicinal properties.

The history of cocoa

Long before Columbus first set foot on the shores of the New world, the cacao tree was worshipped by the Aztecs and

Mayans. They considered him a source of divine ambrosia had been granted by the God Quetzalcoatl. The consumption of beverages from cocoa was the privilege of the nobility and priests. Cocoa Indians had little in common with modern drink. The Aztecs loved the drink is salty, not sweet and knew different ways of preparing it for fun, for medicinal or ceremonial purposes.

The Aztecs believed a simple beverage made from cocoa is a powerful aphrodisiac and tonic

The Spanish conquerors did not initially tasted of cocoa, but when they learned to cook it it is not salty, and sweet, fully appreciated the amazing “Golden beans”. When Cortez returned to Spain, the bag filled with cocoa beans, and recipe of cooking was among the many wonderful things he had brought from the New world. New spicy and sweet drink was a resounding success, and was in Vogue among the nobility throughout Europe. The Spaniards almost a century was able to keep his secret, but as soon as it opened, the colonialists tried to grow cocoa beans in colonies with a suitable climate. So cocoa appeared in Indonesia and the Philippines, West Africa and South America.

In the nineteenth century, cocoa was considered a panacea for a dozen diseases, to the middle of the twentieth century, it had become harmful product, contributing to obesity, in the beginning of the XXI century, scientists have proven that cocoa has almost magical healing powers.

Nutrients in cocoa

Cocoa powder obtained from the seeds, wrongly called beans contained in the fruit of the tree. Fermented seeds are dried, roasted and ground into a paste, from which the cocoa butter used in the manufacture of chocolate and cocoa powder. One tablespoon natural cocoa powder contains 12 calories, 1 gram of protein and only 0.1 grams of sugar. It also contains about 2 grams of good fiber, and many vitamins such as B1 (thiamine); – B2 (Riboflavin); – B3 (Niacin): – a (retinol); – C (ascorbic acid); vitamins D and E.

Contained in cocoa powder iron helps carry oxygen, helps in production of red blood cells and is important for the immune system. Manganese in the cocoa involved in the “construction” of bones and cartilage, helps the body absorb nutrients and helps to relieve premenstrual tension. Magnesium plays an important role in regulating levels of progesterone, which in turn is responsible for mood swings associated with PMS. Magnesium deficiency is associated with heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and joint problems. Zinc, present in cocoa powder, is vital for the production and development of new cells, including cells of the immune system. Without enough zinc, the number of “protective” cells dramatically decreases and you become more susceptible to disease.

Cocoa contains flavonoids – plant compounds that greatly benefit health. There are many different types of flavonoids, but cocoa is a good source of two of them: catechin and epicatechin. The first acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from harmful radicals, the second relaxes the muscles of blood vessels, which improves circulation and helps reduce blood pressure.

In cocoa often add cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, chili pepper and other spices, making this drink is not only tasty, but also useful

The healing properties of cocoa

Photo: Shutterstock

The healing properties of cocoa

Regular consumption of cocoa may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, can lead to positive changes in blood pressure, and improve the functionality of the platelets and the endothelium (layer of cells lining blood vessels). A Cup of cocoa can quickly and effectively overcome diarrhea because it contains flavonoids that suppress the secretion of fluid in the intestine.

Cocoa is a great product for your skin. It contains a high dose of powder to facilitate the removal of unwanted pigmentation, increasing truger skin, making it supple, smooth and radiant. The researchers also found that cocoa may be beneficial in preventing skin cancer.

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