Four ways that cocoa can supercharge your health

You may not know it, but cocoa makes other so-called superfoods pale in comparison. That’s pretty sweet if you ask me!

Offering your health a titan of benefits, raw cocoa can supercharge your health in many different ways! Here are some top health benefits of cocoa.

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Four health benefits of cocoa

#1: Cocoa can save your skin

Dealing with problem skin? No problem – cocoa can help! Brimming with antioxidants that are fantastic for repairing skin cells and neutralising harmful free radicals, cocoa is suitable for treating just about any skin issue, according to dermatologist Ava Shamban.

#2: Cocoa crushes sugar cravings

Pass up on the sweet treats and take a whiff of cocoa instead. Cocoa powder has a rich, seriously indulgent aroma, so you’ll often be satisfied by simply smelling it, says founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation Alan Hirsch.

#3: Cocoa promotes heart health

Cocoa is fantastic for treating your ticker. The flavonoids in cocoa are linked to a number of cardio perks, from reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol, to lowering blood pressure, according to director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital Suzanne Steinbaum.

#4: Cocoa enhances your mood

Cocoa can make more than just your taste buds happy … it can make you happy, too! Containing more than 300 compounds, many of which enhance your brain chemistry, cocoa powder is the ultimate mood-booster, explains author of Eat Your Way to Happiness Elizabeth Somer. Some of these compounds boost your serotonin and endorphin levels, both of which generate a happy mood.

With all these amazing benefits, I don’t know about you, but I’ll sure be enjoying many mugs of hot cocoa this winter!

Sip this decadent dark chocolate and raspberry smoothie and improve your mood

The key ingredient in this delicious smoothie is dark chocolate. High in magnesium, iron and fibre, dark chocolate has many health benefits when you eat it in moderation. I’m sure you’ll love this recipe as much as I do!

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Dark chocolate and raspberry smoothie recipe

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fat-free milk (you can also use almond milk)
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/8 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 handful ice

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two glasses and drink up!

Blend up a chocolate, banana and goji berry smoothie to enhance your mood

Are you looking for a smoothie equivalent to a cup of coffee? Well, this is it! Loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, this chocolate, banana and goji berry smoothie is just the thing to pick up your mood.

 

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Chocolate, banana and goji berry pick-me-up smoothie recipe

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 small frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup dried goji berries
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 cups filtered water

Method:

Add the water to your blender, followed by the other ingredients. Blend on high-speed for one minute or until creamy. Serve immediately.

The benefits of this chocolate, banana and goji berry smoothie

Each ingredient in the smoothie boasts its own nutritional benefits:

  • Cacao powder: High in magnesium, iron, chromium, anandamide, theobromine, manganese, zinc, copper, omega-6 fatty acid, phosphorus, phenethylamine, tryptophan and antioxidants. In fact, cacao contains more antioxidants than acai berries, blueberries, pomegranates, goji berries and red wine combined!
  • Goji berries: Add a complete spectrum of protein to your smoothie with a spectrum of 18 different amino acids, including all eight essential ones. The berries also contain 21 trace minerals, including zinc, iron, copper, calcium, geranium, selenium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
  • Spinach: Rich in vitamins as well as calcium, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, copper and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Blueberries: Contain manganese, antioxidants and vitamins.

PS: Try this smoothie for breakfast to start your day the right way! It’s also great after a gym session.