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Bitter cocoa: the properties and side effects to keep in mind

cocoa powder and seeds

Bitter cocoa boasts properties that are worth knowing: let's discover them all, together with the side effects to keep in mind.

Like good quality dark chocolate , bitter cocoa boasts important properties. Before including it in the diet, however, it is good to know its nutritional values ​​and, above all, the side effects it could cause. Let's see everything there is to know about brown powder.

Bitter cocoa: the properties

Is cocoa good or bad? This is one of the most popular questions ever, but before answering it, it is good to take a look at its properties . Rich in polyphenols, tannins, lipids, proteins, mineral salts and B vitamins, this brown powder is obtained from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao plant. Thanks to its composition, it is attributed diuretic, vasodilator, bronchodilator, stimulant, tonic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant virtues. Therefore, bitter cocoa is a great ally of the heart and brain and is useful for counteracting the action of free radicals.

Not only that, thanks to the presence of caffeine and theobromine, it is excellent for maintaining or recovering concentration. As if that weren't enough, containing serotonin and tyramine, it is useful for counteracting anxiety disorders and depression. One hundred grams of cocoa has the following nutritional properties :

  • energy value (calories) – 228 kcal
  • protein – 19.6g
  • carbohydrates – 57.9g
  • sugars – 1.75 g
  • fat – 13.7g (saturated – 8.07g, monounsaturated – 4.57g and polyunsaturated – 0.44g)
  • dietary fiber – 33.2g
  • Sodium – 21mg.

Obviously, these nutritional values ​​refer to 100 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder. In fact, to obtain benefits, it is necessary to consume this type of powder or good quality dark chocolate.


Cocoa: side effects and contraindications

While cocoa is packed with B vitamins and many other nutrients, there are some side effects to keep in mind. Its excessive consumption can cause allergic reactions, insomnia, nervousness, headache, increased heart rate and hyperexcitability. In any case, the intake of this powder and its derivatives is not recommended for those suffering from hiatal hernia or hypersensitivity to one or more components and for breastfeeding women.

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