(Natural News) Cocoa butter is most commonly used for making chocolate. It is the fat extracted from cocoa beans. This means that it is vegan and dairy-free, making it much healthier than regular butter. Cocoa butter offers a myriad of health benefits.
Cocoa butter is good for the heart. Research has shown that plant-derived saturated fats are effective in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Cocoa contains polyphenolic compounds that have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, reducing inflammatory markers that contribute to the hardening of the arteries – a disease known as atherosclerosis. In addition, cocoa has been shown to aid in fat metabolism and is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack. Moreover, research has shown that eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate is good for the heart.
Cocoa butter is good for the skin. Cocoa butter is a great remedy for inflammatory skin problems because it is loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants. It can be topically applied to help relieve and treat psoriasis, eczema, rashes, or other types of skin inflammation. Cocoa butter is also good for the skin because of its moisturizing effect, making it a great remedy for dry, itchy skin. In addition, the antioxidants in cocoa butter fight free radicals in the skin, which in turn, help reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles and dark patches.
Cocoa butter boosts immunity and energy. Many studies have reported that polyphenols in cocoa butter have powerful antioxidant effects that benefit the immune system. These polyphenols also prevent DNA damage and cellular mutations — which are believed to cause diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome. In one study, researchers compared the effects of consuming polyphenol-rich chocolate to consuming simulated iso-calorific chocolate on fatigue and residual function in people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. The researchers observed the participants for eight weeks.
The results showed that those who ate polyphenol-rich chocolate reported improved symptoms, and when they ate iso-calorific chocolate – which are low in polyphenols – for eight more weeks, their symptoms worsened. From these results, the researchers concluded that polyphenol-rich cocoa butter may help enhance the neurotransmitter hormone imbalance that has been associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. At the same time, cocoa butter boosts the immune system.
Cocoa butter relieves mouth sores. Cocoa butter is an effective natural remedy for mouth sores. This vegan butter has a moisturizing effect that can be used to treat painful sores inside the mouth and lips that have developed recurring blisters.
Aside from these health benefits, you can get vitamins E and K and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from cocoa butter. (Related: Cocoa butter is not just for chocolate anymore – Discover the healthy secrets behind this sensuous food.)
Uses of cocoa butter
Cocoa butter can also be used for other purposes other than for making chocolates. It can be used as a:
- Coffee creamer: Adding it to decaffeinated coffee will give it a creamy taste.
- Pastry topping: Cocoa butter, which has a tinge of chocolate flavor, can be used as topping for toasts, pancakes, and waffles.
- Baking ingredient: Cocoa butter can be used as a substitute for regular butter or oil in dessert dishes or baked goods. You can also add it to your oatmeal, grits, or rice pudding.
- Skincare ingredient: Cocoa butter is an ideal ingredient for skin care products, such as lotions, lip balm, and some makeup, because it is nontoxic, rich in antioxidants, and melts at body temperature.
Read more news stories and studies on the health benefits of cocoa butter by going to FoodIsMedicine.com.