Learn about the extraordinary benefits of cocoa

Food of the Gods!

It is recommended to consume it 2 to 3 times per week

It receives the scientific name of Theobroma cacao, and has its origin in the basin of the Amazon. In Peru, it is grown in 16 departments, highlighting San Martin, Junín, Ucayali, Cusco, Huánuco, Amazonas and Cajamarca, where 91% of production is concentrated. In addition, our country is, according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the third producer and exporter of cocoa in Latin America, after Brazil and Ecuador, respectively.
Coming from the cocoa tree, this product falls in love with palates around the world. Basic component for chocolate, contains many beneficial properties for our body, from improving our mood to prevent cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Among its main benefits are:

Stimulates the central nervous system. Cocoa contains theobromine, which produces positive effects on our memory and concentration; as well as in the reduction of stress levels.

Improves mood

It is recommended for patients suffering from some type of depression, thanks to its components such as tryptophan, which stimulates the production of serotonin (happiness hormone) and anandamide that helps improve mood.

It prevents illnesses

Some studies have shown that, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, it prevents liver, prostate, gastric and colon cancer and diabetes, as well as cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases. It also reduces the risk of tumor formation. A US study showed that, in a cup of soluble cocoa, there is the highest concentration of antioxidants.

It provides minerals

Cocoa has a high content of magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and minerals vital for the proper development of bones and muscles.

Regulates the digestive system

Due to its high fiber content, it stimulates our digestive system, preventing constipation.

Reduces cholesterol levels

Lowers the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides; and it increases the good cholesterol (HDL), this thanks to its antioxidant properties.

Moisturizes hair and skin

In terms of beauty and skin care, cocoa is a very sought after product, that’s thanks to the hydration it provides to the hair and its flavonoid content that protects the skin from the cell damage produced by free radicals. Its use is also recommended to reduce cellulite.

Cocoa in gastronomy

Although cocoa beans are used to make chocolate, other components of this fruit, such as the skin and pulp adhered to the seed, are also possessing nutrients and are now commercialized as pulp for use in Peruvian gastronomy.
Our chef and researcher Mercedes Mendoza, who has been studying cocoa for many years, indicates that this pulp is very rich in vitamins, zinc, magnesium and pectin. Regarding its use in the kitchen, Mendoza notes that the pulp is neutral in flavor and is used as a natural thickener in foods such as chili pepper, huancaína potato and consommés, without altering its original flavor.

Did you know?

A good chocolate must have at least 40% cocoa, that way it will have less fat, milk and sugar. It is recommended to consume cocoa 2 to 3 times per week, 1 to 2 ounces, either in powder or dark chocolate. Our Amazon hosts six of the ten varieties of cocoa that exist. Peru has three sub-varieties of native cacao unique in the world: the white cacao of Piura, the Chuncho of Cusco and the Fortunato of Cajamarca. Theobroma cacao in Greek means “the food of the gods”.

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