Cocoa or, from its scientific name, Theobroma cacao, is a plant native to Central America. It is particularly appreciated by the Mayas and the Aztecs. The therapeutic virtues of this plant are numerous. And for good reason, it has up to 800 molecules in its composition. It is essentially composed of antioxidant substances such as catechins, anthocyanins or flavonoids. Besides that, it is also an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and various trace elements like selenium, zinc, iron and copper.
In which cases is cocoa indicated?
Its nutritional richness makes cocoa a product of excellence in terms of herbal medicine. Doing a cure based on this plant is indicated in order to:
- Fight stress – its richness in magnesium gives this plant anti-stress properties. Indeed, for 100 g of products, you have 500 mg of magnesium. This mineral is essential for muscle relaxation and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Taking it therefore helps you to prevent stress.
- Scavenge free radicals – very rich in flavonoids, cocoa has a powerful ability to fight against the actions of free radicals. This antioxidant action slows down aging, reduces the risk of heart damage, lowers the level of bad cholesterol and prevents certain cancers.
- Stimulate the nervous system – this plant with a thousand virtues also contains theobromine. The latter is a form of alkaloids with an important role in stimulating the central nervous system.
- Promote well-being and fight depression – cocoa is a natural antidepressant. Thanks to its anxiolytic molecules, it helps the body to produce endorphins. The latter is known as the pleasure hormone. For this purpose, the consumption of this plant promotes the feeling of well-being.
- Stimulate intestinal transit – its high fiber content also allows the cocoa to act effectively on intestinal transit. 100 g of this plant actually contains 33 g of fiber.
In what forms can this plant be taken?
Due to its many virtues, cocoa is very popular in herbal medicine. In fact, its use can be done as a treatment or prevention. It can thus be taken in two forms: as a bean or as a powder. In both cases, the cocoa is eaten raw. From cocoa capsules also exist as a dietary supplement.
How to use cocoa to maximize its benefits?
In herbal medicine, it is never advisable to mix cocoa with dairy products or sugar. This prevents the absorption of nutrients by the body. To take full advantage of the powers of this plant, you can consume the raw cocoa powder by mixing it with hot water. As for beans, you can add them to your smoothies for example. Be careful, however, not to exceed 40 g per day.
Are there any contraindications?
There are no contraindications if you respect the recommended dose. However, the theobromine in cocoa can sometimes cause headaches.