Cocoa Extract: Sources, Benefits and More

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

The word cocoa refers to cocoa solids, the low-calorie product that is commonly used to make chocolate. Cocoa extract naturally helps in the transportation of flavanols, which is a class of plant compounds found in some vegetables and fruits. Talking about its sources, it can be obtained from different sources that include;

  • Beans
  • Nibs
  • Cocoa powder
  • Liquor

Composition

Cocoa ExtractImage Source: www.en.extract123.com

Cocoa extract is a derivative of cocoa seeds normally used for supplementation and commercial usage.
Cocoa extract contains polyphenolics ranging from 8 to 484 mg/g making it a better* dietary source in comparison to dark berries and select vegetables. It contains flavanols, which are a natural way to help renew your body. They help maintain healthy circulation.

Detailed composition of cocoa extract is as follows:

  • Catechin
  • Epicatechin
  • Procyanidins
  • Cinnamtannin
  • 3-Methylcatechol, 4-Methylcatechol, and 4-Ethylcatechol
  • Benzoic acid
  • Quercetin (Dark chocolate)
  • Resveratrol
  • Ferulic acid
  • Xanthines (Caffeine and theobromine)

Description

Theobroma cocoa has existed since 4000 BC. It is known for preserving healthy long life. The cocoa pod (fruit of cocoa) is somewhat shaped like a rugby ball with approx. 19 cm in length.

Cocoa tree belongs to the Sterculiaceae family and has its origin in Central America and Brazil, where the warm and humid climate is ideal for its growth. The fruit gets yellow when ripe and the pulp is an aromatic white mass. Many civilizations have benefited from it by using it in different forms. Nowadays, when dried and grounded, the cocoa seeds are used in production of chocolate. Pulp is utilized in different beverages and ice creams. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cocoa make it very beneficial for consumption and use.

Nomenclature

Theobroma cacao also called cocoa tree is a small green tree belonging to the family Malvaceae, the origin of which is tropical regions of central and South America. Cocoa is one of the 22 species of Theobroma. Its generic is derived from the Greek language meaning “food of the gods”. The seeds of this tree are used to make cocoa powder.

Nutritional Facts

Cocoa extracts have many nutrients that offer multiple health benefits. A cocoa bean is full of fat, carbohydrates, proteins, antioxidants, minerals like magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, also including vitamins E, B2, B5, B1, B3 and B9, also small amounts of vitamin C and A are found in raw cocoa. A large amount of nutrients is found in cocoa’s purified form.

Medicinal Use/Benefits

In addition to cocoa being a food treat* to us, it is now being used as a medicine by some people. Cocoa seeds are used to cure* many infectious intestinal diseases and treat* diarrhea, bronchitis, and asthma. Its seed coat is used for illness related to kidney, bladder, and liver.

Theobromine, which is a moderate stimulant found in raw cocoa is non-additive that can treat* depression. A detailed study of cocoa has shown that flavanols in cocoa extract help improve* circulation in your body. Cocoa also contains antioxidants, which support* functioning of heart, and reduce* thickening of arterial walls. It plays another important role in cognitive functioning as it improves* physical and mental activity, relaxes* tensed muscles and boosts* physical energy levels.

There are free radicals that are accumulated as a result of exposure to environmental pollutants involving cigarette smoking and sun, flavonoids can help your body fight these free radicals and reduce* the risk of developing cancers.

Oleic acid is another ingredient of cocoa, which is an essential fatty acid that helps in maintaining a good cholesterol level. It also involves properties of fighting free radicals. This fatty acid also helps to moisturize skin and reduces* the risks of inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

Vitamins that are found in raw cocoa are believed to hold cardiovascular benefits as they have antioxidant advantages that promote longevity and help you feel your best.

How it Promotes* Weight Loss?

Worried about weight loss*? Let’s see if eating cocoa and chocolate can help you!

Fiber content in cocoa plays another role in enhancing* the production of digestive enzymes, which helps in digestion. Consuming fiber content can help a person feel full for a longer span of time, which controls your appetite and helps you to eat less* resulting in better* weight loss*.

Cocoa also contains high amount of caffeine and theobromine, the combination of which controls your appetite and increases* muscular activity that works to burn the stored body fat.

Final Thought

Not all cocoa forms are the same! So don’t think that cocoa extract is cocoa chocolate because cocoa extract is formed when cocoa beans are finely ground, the chemical composition of which helps you reduce* extra fat in your body. Also cocoa beans and nibs have nutritional benefits in purified form. So, don’t think that eating cocoa chocolate bars will help you lose* weight; cocoa in different forms has different effects.

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