Cocoa is thought to have first been used by the Maya civilization of Central America.

It was introduced to Europe by Spanish conquerors in the 16th century and quickly became popular as a health-promoting medicine.

Cocoa powder is made by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter.

Today, cocoa is most famous for its role in chocolate production. However, modern research has revealed that it does indeed contain important compounds that can benefit your health.

(selfhacked.com)

Cocoa comes from beans produced by the Theobroma Cacao tree and contains many beneficial components [2, 3, 4]:

  • Polyphenols – plant-derived compounds that protect against bacteria and UV rays. The most abundant polyphenols in cocoa are flavonoids, catechins, and epicatechins.
  • Theobromine – plant-derived compound that has many important functions in heart, respiratory, and mouth health.
  • Minerals – the most abundant minerals are magnesium, copper, and iron, all of which are important in overall health and body function.

(rxlist.com)

You’ve probably heard the buzz about the possible heart health benefits of chocolate, especially dark chocolate. In fact, the candy company Mars, Inc., plans to seek a health claim for chocolate from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the next few years based on research they sponsored regarding the potential role of cocoa flavonoids in cardiovascular health. Flavonoids are chemicals that might lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains more flavonoids than milk chocolate or white chocolate. Mars, Inc. is also sponsoring research to see if cocoa flavonoids can help reduce age-related memory decline.