FoodCocoa: The ancient 'drink of the gods' now touted as the ultimate coffee alternative

Cocoa: The ancient 'drink of the gods' now touted as the ultimate coffee alternative

Cocoa - why is it worth drinking?
Cocoa - why is it worth drinking?
Images source: © Canva | nina_gili
1:41 PM EDT, April 9, 2024

Here is an alternative to coffee that your body will love. Why is cocoa worth betting on—and not just in the morning? We explain and encourage!

Although today, the term "drink of the gods" is most commonly associated with coffee, the ancient inhabitants of the mysterious civilizations of South America were referring to... cocoa. For the Mayans and Aztecs, powdered cocoa beans were an everyday staple. From there, through Christopher Columbus and other European sailor explorers, cocoa was first introduced to Spain and subsequently to the entirety of Europe.

Although cocoa hasn't been completely eliminated from stores, its popularity has been overshadowed by coffee. But is this justified? You're probably well aware that coffee is an extremely healthy beverage. However, did you know that drinking cocoa can offer equally good—if not better—health benefits? Let's delve deeper into this topic.

Cocoa? Cheers to your health!

Our awareness about cocoa's health benefits has diminished over time because we often link cocoa with not-so-healthy and high-calorie additives (a similar issue exists with coffee)—milk and sugar. Fortunately, we don't have to follow this tradition: for instance, we can sprinkle powdered cocoa on oatmeal, natural yogurt, or a smoothie. What benefits does this offer?

The most significant benefit of consuming cocoa is its high content of antioxidants. These compounds fight free radicals, ensuring the human body is better protected against various lifestyle-related diseases. Additionally, they slow down the skin's aging process and maintain the health of the cardiovascular system.

Most cocoa production occurs in Africa.
Most cocoa production occurs in Africa.© Canva | YeleneYemchuk

Cocoa also boasts a concentrated amount of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, sodium, calcium, iron, vitamins A, E, and B, and oleic and linoleic acid. This means that cocoa can stimulate activity, positively impact serotonin levels, enhance brain function, reduce stress, and, at the same time, lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Remember, however, to always choose products without unnecessary additives and to fully enjoy all these benefits!

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