Cocoa

Summary

Plant (medicinal) with a stimulating effect on the nervous system, used to treat depression or mild depression, but also used in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, comes in the form of food (chocolate) as well as capsules.

names

Portuguese name: Cacao
Binomial name: Theobroma cacao L.
French name: Cacao , Cacaoyer
English name: cacoa, cacoa tree
German name: Kakao (Kakaofrüchte)
Italian name:  cacao

Family

Malvaceae

Constituents

Xanthines (eg theobromine), phenylethylamine (responsible for the antidepressant effect), flavonoids, endorphins, polyphenols

parts used

grains

Cocoa butter, especially rich in oleic acid, is mainly used in cosmetics and dermatology.

cocoa effects

Action on the nervous system (mild antidepressant), antioxidant, slimming, diuretic.

Indications

– Consumed in the form of chocolate, it can have an effect against mild depression and a positive action on the cardiovascular system (thanks to the antioxidant effect.

– In capsule form, it can have a positive effect against excess weight and fat. Attention, in the form of chocolate (food) it is completely the opposite of what it seems, especially if you consume more than two bars a day.

– Another British study carried out with 114,000 people, published in August 2011, showed that people who consume two bars of chocolate (preferably dark) a day had a 37% lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases (for example, heart attack). heart), 29% less likely to suffer from stroke and 31% less likely to suffer from diabetes.

– Cocoa flavonoids, found in abundance in dark chocolate, could delay the cognitive decline associated with age, as shown by an American study published in October 2014. This work, published in the scientific journal “Nature Neuroscience”, was conducted by researchers from Columbia University. The gradual decline in memory begins in adulthood, but is not visible until the age of 50 or 60. As this study focused on a small number of people (37 volunteers aged 50 to 69 years), these preliminary results should be confirmed by further studies involving a larger number of participants. Scott Small, the main author of the study, indicates that one should not draw the conclusion that it would be enough to eat more chocolate,

Secundary effects

Migraine, gastrointestinal disorders, weight gain (in case of excessive consumption of chocolate).

Cocoa-based preparations

– In food form: chocolate

– Cocoa infusion

– Cocoa capsule

– In the form of cocoa butter (against lip dryness)

Where does the cocoa tree grow?

The cocoa tree, the cocoa tree, measures about 15 meters in height. It needs abundant rainfall and fertile soil to thrive. The cocoa tree originates from the tropical regions of the Americas. This tree now grows in other tropical regions besides the American continent, such as Africa or Asia.

The Spaniards imported cocoa from Central America to Europe in the early 1500s.

Comments

– Cocoa is at the origin of chocolate, a food widely consumed around the world, especially in the West. The origin of cocoa comes from the Mayans, for whom it was considered the “food of the Gods”. From a medical and nutritional point of view, studies have proven the beneficial effect of cocoa (from semisweet chocolate, preferably) to treat temporary depression or improve the cardiovascular system. The cocoa concentration is higher in semisweet chocolate, so if you want to have the beneficial effects of cocoa, give preference to this type of chocolate.

Around the year 600, the Mayans were the first to cultivate cacao. However, some sources believe that it was actually the Olmecs, who live in the region now called Mexico, who were the first to cultivate cocoa before the Christian era (1500-400 BC).

– Cocoa and chocolate made the fortune in the 19th century, both in Europe and in the United States, of many entrepreneurs such as Hershey, Lindt or Cailler Cadbury. All these brands are still known in the 21st century, some brands like Cailler have been repositioned, in this case by the Swiss multinational Nestlé.
In 1875, a Swiss company introduced the first milk chocolate to the market.

– Consumed in the form of cocoa powder, this food is very bitter and generally not appreciated by the population. For this reason, artisans and chocolate manufacturers added sugar and milk to cocoa to greatly improve its flavor.

Source: NPR (American public radio).

Read also: 10 foods rich in flavonoids

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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