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    Categories: Food & DrinksHealth

Impressive benefits of cocoa (2)

VIVIAN ONYEBUKWA

•Contd from last edition

Antioxidant capacity

A comparative research study has made it evident that cocoa exhibits higher antioxidant activity than black tea, green tea, and red wine. Antioxidants help neutralize the oxygen-based free radicals that are present in the body. In addition to this, it is abundant in phenolic phyto-chemicals and possesses a high amount of flavonoids as well.

Improves brain health 

Scientists have suggested that flavanolrich cocoa powder may aid in maintaining a healthy brain. These neuroprotective benefits could also have favourable effects on learning and memory functions. The findings have advocated that the consumption of cocoa-based products enhances the flow of blood to the brain and they have provided evidence of the therapeutic potential for curing vascular disorders.

Balances cholesterol levels

A study shows that cocoa has hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effects on both glucose and cholesterol levels, respectively. It helps reduce triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body and gives a noteworthy rise to HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the body.

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Treats diabetes

The consumption of cocoa powder has been shown to be effective in improving insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. This, in turn, aids in regulating sugar levels in the body. The proanthocyanidins derived from it helps in inhibiting the cataract formation occasionally induced by diabetes. The intake of this flavanolrich bean also has therapeutic potential in improving the vascular function of diabetics on various medications.

An investigative study has confirmed that it exerts protective antioxidant activity in the treatment of long-term diabetic complications such as diabetic nephrotoxicity. Nephrotoxicity plays a key role in diabetes mellitus and it is the major cause of severe renal diseases. Free radicals aggravate these diabetic complications by promoting oxidative stress, leading to cell and tissue damage. The free radical scavenging activity of cacao powder has shown therapeutic effects in treating and preventing this sort of cellular injury.

Relieves bronchial asthma

Cacao beans contain xanthine and theophylline, which aids in relaxing bronchial spasms and opening constricted bronchial tubes. This facilitates an easy flow of air and is valuable in curing various allergies, including asthma and shortness of breath. Its consumption, therefore, helps in providing relief from bronchial asthma.

 

to be continued…

Ajiri Daniels :

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