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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. It turns out 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 lying around.

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 just good, great, excellent even. The caveat is it has to be real, 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, the properties in raw Cocoa*, more specifically the antioxidants, have a flurry of positive effects on the body.

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

Cocoa helps prevent heart disease because 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 proclivity 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. The use of raw Cocoa on the skin, like in our Haute Cocoa Mask, helps protect skin from free radicals and help 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, wrinkles, and reduces the appearance of scars. It truly is the food of the gods!

It is important to note that the cocoa powder used also has to be minimally processed, as close to the tree as possible, and organic for the best effects. 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 at the Honey House, 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!

So when you feel that chocolate craving, give in to it and smear some cocoa powder based on your face, but mix it with some raw honey, maybe a little yogurt or carrot juice first!

*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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