The natural health researchers at Institute for Vibrant Living (IVL) have investigated the natural benefits of cocoa in weight loss programs. Here is their report:
There are good reasons that cocoa has stood the test of time and has been enjoyed as a major beverage for hundreds of years. Cocoa comes from the cacao tree and is found in Central and South America as well as Mexico. While consumed by generations by the people of the New World, it wasn't until the Spaniards arrived that the cocoa began its process of becoming a fixture in the Western world.
Cocoa Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet and a Smart Weight Loss Plan?
Today, we see cocoa used in a variety of forms, ranging from drinks such as hot chocolate to desserts. While much has been made of cocoa's impressive levels of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties, what has not been adequately explored is cocoa's role in a weight loss plan. As it turns out, cocoa isn't just part of a healthy diet, but can also be a key part of a smart weight loss plan.
There is no doubt that cocoa is good for you, as research has shown that cocoa contains more antioxidants than comparable servings of green tea and perhaps even red wine. In fact, cocoa may even improve brain health and overall mental performance. Thus, if even there were no weight loss benefits to consuming cocoa, it would still be a low-calorie food worthy of incorporating into your diet.
Additionally, cocoa is seen as one of the foods that can boost your metabolism. This means that you will be able to burn calories and fat more rapidly. Additionally, eating metabolism-boosting foods like cocoa will allow you to get more results from your workouts.
Cocoa and Chocolate - There is a Difference
There is a substantial difference between consuming cocoa and eating chocolate. While dark chocolate with a high-cocoa content has been shown to be very good for you, it is also very high in calories, which means you should limit your consumption.
Cocoa, on the other hand, is extremely low in calories, especially if you purchase minimally processed cocoa. An important fact to keep in mind is that not all cocoa is equal, nor should you treat it that way when you are considering a healthy diet.
Beware of Sugar and Additives
Sugar is damaging, pure and simple. In fact, many are quite surprised to learn that sugar can actually damage DNA and continue to do so for hours after it is consumed.
Unfortunately, a great many companies add large amounts of sugar, chemicals and artificial flavorings and sweeteners to cocoa and, in the process, negate many of the benefits that cocoa has to offer. Dieters should be particularly concerned as the added sugar in many brands of cocoa can translate into added calories as well.
Cocoa can be a low calorie treat that is full of antioxidants and other benefits, so be on the lookout for brands of cocoa that ruin what is otherwise a very good thing!
Part of Your Weight Loss Plan
Taste is so much of what many dieters miss when on a diet or when they start a new weight loss plan, but it doesn't have to be that way. Adding flavor rich foods like cocoa to your diet can be an easy way to add flavor to your weight loss plan and gain some serious health benefits at the same time.