What are the health benefits of cocoa?


Quick Answer

Cocoa consumption is associated with improved cholesterol levels and blood vessel health, and it may decrease blood pressure, according to WebMD. Cocoa contains polyphenolic flavonoids, which are antioxidants commonly found in tea, wine, coffee, fruits and vegetables. Those flavonoids may help to prevent heart disease.

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Full Answer

Research shows that consuming cocoa decreases bad LDL cholesterol levels and increases good LDL cholesterol levels in people under the age of 50, according to WebMD. Consuming cocoa may also reduce the chance of getting diabetes and increase resistance to the hormone insulin. This helps to keep blood sugar levels regulated. Eating cocoa has not been proven to cause obesity or increase triglyceride levels. High levels of triglyceride are associated with coronary artery disease. Cocoa may also help to reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Research on the health benefits of cocoa is still ongoing. Appropriate healthy dosages are not yet determined, as of 2011. Commercial chocolate products do not usually have the same health benefits as cocoa. Most chocolate products also contain added fats and sugars, so eating chocolate as a health supplement is not recommended. For this reason, cocoa products should not be eaten by a person with diabetes unless a health care professional approves it.

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