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Benefits of Cocoa on Your Body, Your Brain and Your Skin

Like most humans on this planet, chocolate is a weakness of mine. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s delicious, sweet, and lovely, and it won’t leave you, taking the expensive rug that really “tied the room together” and hawking it to feed a different kind of weakness, but I digress. There are benefits of Cocoa that I didn’t know about.

I enjoy my fair share of kale and quinoa, but my diet mainly includes whatever I can muster up from the dwindling contents of my fridge, though I always seem to have some dark chocolate. Now I assumed, like many, that it was a guilty pleasure of mine to keep on the down low. Not anymore! Chocolate is now suitable for you! *Cue balloons and marching band* Not good, great, excellent even. The caveat is it has to be honest, plant-based dark chocolate that has been minimally processed. So, don’t start downing Mr. Goodbars and other “mock-o-late” readily available at the checkout counter of your local grocery store.

According to many recent studies

Raw Cocoa is an incredibly beneficial ingredient for skin health and beauty. Rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols, cocoa helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals caused by UV exposure, smoking, and pollution. The unique combination of these antioxidants also helps to reduce inflammation and can even improve blood flow to the areas of the skin where it is directly applied. This improved circulation can help to provide a more youthful look to the skin as it helps promote collagen and elastin production.

Cocoa is also known for its high omega-6 fatty acids, which can help keep skin soft and supple by helping retain moisture while maintaining excess oils. Cocoa butter has long been used as a natural moisturizer due to its ability to form a protective barrier over the skin’s surface – this barrier locks in hydration while preventing environmental toxins from entering.

The abundant nutrients found in cocoa may also play a role in treating certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, by reducing inflammation, calming irritation, and improving overall skin texture. Finally, studies have suggested that cocoa can help protect against sunburns by increasing epidermal thickness and melanin content – both acting as natural sun blockers when applied topically or eaten internally.

skillet with dark raw cocoa and blueberries next to small container with bath salts on dark background

Benefits of Cocoa on your Body

If you are curious, plants use antioxidants to stop their cells from “premature destruction” caused by heat, air, moisture, and light exposure. [1] These antioxidants do the same for your body as well! They protect the body from premature aging and help reduce some illnesses’ likeliness.

Cocoa helps prevent heart disease; it may lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and may help improve the overall health of your circulatory system. [2] These compounds also help to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure. [3] Dark chocolate could be incredibly beneficial for the heart for these reasons and more. I always knew it did my heart well to eat chocolate.

Cocoa Benefits on the Brain

Not only does Cocoa have many positive effects on the body, but raw Cocoa also contains many compounds that are good for the mind. The mood elevator compounds in the chocolate release the main feel-good chemicals, serotonin, and dopamine, in your brain. The mood-lifting effect is also partly due to Cocoa being a stimulant and its propensity to release endorphins. Cocoa has a significant effect on the chemistry of your brain, also reducing stress hormones.

Haute Cocoa Mask being applied with a makeup brush

Benefits of Cocoa for the Skin

The supportive properties found in cocoa powder are not just abundant internally; they also provide many of the same effects externally. Just as the antioxidants help stop the premature breakdown of cells in plants, it does the same for your skin. Using raw Cocoa on the skin, like in our Haute Cocoa Mask, helps protect the skin from free radicals and helps prevent signs of aging.

Inside or out, Cocoa is good for the skin.

Raw cocoa powder maintains skin health due to flavanols. Flavanols decrease the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin while enhancing elasticity and hydration. These properties help to soften, clear, and detoxify your skin. Raw cocoa powder can also increase the elasticity of your skin, which helps with fine lines and wrinkles and reduces the appearance of scars. It truly is the food of the gods!

Cocoa powder must also be minimally processed, as close to the tree as possible. Organic cocoa offers the best results. Much of what is commercially available has gone through a method called “Dutch processing,” which strips the Cocoa of the properties that make it great.

Here we only use organic raw Cocoa* in our Haute Cocoa Scrub and our Haute Cocoa Mask that has been minimally processed, so it retains what makes Cocoa so great for your skin!

We hope you’ll consider using cocoa in your skincare routine, whether with one of our products or other brands! So when you feel that chocolate craving, give in to it and smear some cocoa powder based on your face. Mix it with some raw honey, maybe yogurt or carrot juice first! ’Make sure the cocoa powder is minimally processed and organic for the best results. Have you used cocoa on your skin before? What were your thoughts?

*Fair Trade Certified-Ethically sourced Cocoa

Sources
[1] http://www.medicinehunter.com/cocoa-health-miracle
[2] http://www.medicinehunter.com/cocoa-health-miracle
[3] http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400995/Is-Cocoa-as-Healthy-as-Dark-Chocolate.html

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