Cocoa is thought to have first been used by the Maya civilization of Central America.
It was introduced to Europe by Spanish conquerors in the 16th century and quickly became popular as a health-promoting medicine.
Cocoa powder is made by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter.
Today, cocoa is most famous for its role in chocolate production. However, modern research has revealed that it does indeed contain important compounds that can benefit your health.
Cocoa powder provides tons of benefits, especially if your powder is at least 72% cocoa. Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of cocoa powder:
Improved Cognitive Health
Research suggests that adding more cocoa powder to your diet helps to improve your attention, working memory, and general cognition. It may also restore cognitive performance in people with sleep loss.
Stronger Immune System
Cocoa powder contains iron, zinc, and selenium. These minerals help your body function and give your immune system a boost.
Lessened Side Effects of Radiation Therapy
Consuming cocoa powder can be helpful if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and undergo radiation therapy. The selenium in cocoa power has been shown to limit the negative side effects of radiotherapy in people with cancer.