Think that sugar is the only way to sweeten your day? It’s not. We’ve discussed the differences in artificial sweeteners, but I haven’t talked to you about this ingredient that will add the flavor without the calories of sugar.
Cocoa powder has quickly become one of my favorite flavors to add to my protein shakes in the mornings. I learned about the benefits of cocoa powder through a nutritionist I spoke with a the fitness center I go to.
We were up at the smoothie bar together and I asked her why she adds cocoa powder to her shakes. She informed me of all the health benefits, so I decided to try it out myself.
Cocoa powder only has about 20 calories per serving, sometimes even less. And with only 5mg of carbs, you really can’t go wrong. Doctors even encourage people with diabetes and those who are over weight to use cocoa powder as apposed to sweeteners because it is so much healthier.
Helps Blood Flow
According to the American Dietetic Association, cocoa powder can help your blood flow. When your blood runs correctly and smoothly through your body, there are numerous improvements you’ll see. For instance, your muscles grow when blood pumps to them and they get enough oxygen. You’ll also notice your hair, nails and skin will improve.
A chemical called flavoniods is found in cocoa powder, which, according to American Dietetic Association, helps prevent heart disease, strokes and even certain cancers. The more antioxidants you put into your body, the less free radicals you will have, resulting in lowered blood pressure and cholesterol. In case you’ve missed my free radicals schpeal, free radicals lead to illness and aging of the body.
Just think of it this way- The less free radicals you have, the younger you will look and healthier you will be.
High in Vitamins and Minerals
Cocoa powder offers various vitamins and minerals. Although they may be in small amounts, cocoa powder has zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Cocoa powder also carries 10 percent of your necessary intake of copper and manganese, which is another reason why you should be adding cocoa powder to you foods.
Some of you may be asking how you’re supposed to get something as unique tasting as cocoa powder into your daily meals. Well, you don’t need a lot of it in order to get the benefits of it. For example, you don’t need to sprinkle it on everything you eat such as chicken and veggies- that would just be yucky.
But you can add it to snacks like yogurt, oatmeal, and like I said earlier, your protein shakes. I like to bake with it as well. If a recipe calls for sugar or cinnamon sugar, I only use ground cinnamon and cocoa powder. That saves me the calories and helps my body!