The Super Powers of Cocoa

You don’t always have to say no to that piece of chocolate! In fact, if you are looking to lower your blood pressure or boost your mood, a bite of dark chocolate or a sip of hot cocoa might be the perfect answer.

The Super Powers of Cocoa

The cocoa found in some of your favorite desserts contains many super powers that can help improve your health, inside and out. Discover some of the reasons why you should add cocoa to your diet.

 


Flavonoids

Cocoa contains flavonoids, a type of chemical found naturally in plants. These phytochemicals are known to help fight a wide array of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. Make sure you’re getting all of the benefits of flavonoids by buying dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. If you aren’t sure, look for bars with “pure,” “dark” or “unprocessed” on the label.

Lowering Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be combated with a daily dose of cocoa. We now know that the flavonols found in cocoa can thin blood and relax blood vessels. If you are worried about high blood pressure, even a small amount, like a sprinkle of cocoa on your oatmeal every day, can help lower your numbers. Learn more about how you can lower your numbers naturally.

 

Skin Softener

Cocoa contains antioxidants that work toward repairing damaged skin. This will make your skin softer, especially when paired with honey or yogurt. Next time you are giving yourself a manicure, use a homemade cocoa lotion. Get the instructions here.

 

Mood Booster

When you’re feeling down, sometimes there’s nothing better than eating chocolate. And as it turns out, there is a scientific reason why cocoa is so often the perfect answer for a case of the blues: it contains hundreds of compounds that boost endorphins and serotonin, two of the best-known chemicals that are responsible for making us feel happy. Next time you need a quick mood boost, try making yourself a cup of hot cocoa, and your day is sure to turn out more delicious.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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