(NaturalNews) Need another reason to love the cacao bean? As it turns out, cocoa butter has its own set of health enhancing properties apart from cocoa. External use of the butter clears everything from psoriasis to dermatitis to eczema, while conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease and cancer respond well to internal use. Cocoa butter is also nutrient dense -- supplying antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and beneficial fats. Frequently used in skin care products, this heavenly butter is also great for cooking, smoothies and raw food creations.
Food of the gods
Chocolate is considered a food of the gods for good reason. Nothing else quite compares to the texture, taste and complexity of this flavorful delight. While most of us are familiar with the rich, dark element of cacao beans, many are unaware of the health perks contained within its light-colored counterpart. Cocoa butter is what gives chocolate its smooth, melt-in-your mouth, satisfying quality. It is also an incredible source of vitamins, flavonoids, antioxidants and minerals. In fact, cocoa butter contains generous amounts of cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP) which has been shown to thwart cancer, prevent cardiovascular disease and ease arthritis. These same compounds also help to regulate excessive T-cell activity -- the root cause of immune system dysfunctions like psoriasis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Researchers believe that the oleic acid content in cocoa butter may lower the risk of heart failure as well. Oleic acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat which is also found in olive oil. For ultimate nutrition and flavor, source organic cocoa butter that is processed under low temperatures.
Seal, protect, nourish and heal
Not only nutritious, cocoa butter is famous for its topical applications. This exquisitely scented butter seals the skin, creating a barrier against environmental pollutants and the aging effects of weather. Cocoa mass polyphenol also inhibits the production of immunoglobulin IgE -- helping to calm eczema and dermatitis. Bursting with vitamins B1, B2, B3, C and E, cocoa butter is ideal for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. It also neutralizes free radicals on the skin. This deep penetrating oil improves skin tone, heals scars and reduces wrinkles as well. As we head into winter, keeping the skin protected, moisturized and nourished is an important consideration.
Now is a good time to enjoy this irresistible oil inside and out. With cocoa butter, encouraging velvety skin and a healthy body has never been more delicious.
Sources for this article include:
"Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: Implications for cardiovascular health" Steinberg FM, Bearden MM, Keen CL, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis. February 2003; 103(2):215-23. Retrieved on October 23, 2012 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12589329
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.