I recently went to the store to pickup some unsweetened cocoa powder. There were two choices, one that had one ingredient – cocoa powder, and the other that had two -cocoa powder and alkali. I researched why alkali was used in the processing in some cocoa powders and not others. But first, I checked out the benefits of natural cocoa powder.
Raw organic cocoa powder is packed full of antioxidant-rich phytonutrients. Antioxidants helps the body to fight off free radicals that are associated with certain diseases. Phytonutrients (also called flavonoids) give raw cocoa powder its high antioxidant value. Cocoa has more flavonoids than any other food. Cocoa also contains copper and magnesium. Copper helps oxygenate red blood cells. Magnesium is crucial for cardiovascular health, optimal blood pressure and protein synthesis.
Cocoa includes chemicals that cause euphoria, such as phenyethlamine (PEA) and serotonin. PEA boosts levels of dopamine and releases endorphins, a sense of well-being.
Getting back to buying cocoa powder that has been processed with alkali (Dutch processing) or not…
Alkali is used in cocoa to reduce the acidity and bitter taste, but it also reduces the amount of flavonoids (antioxidants). Unless a recipe requires the cocoa powder with alkali, I chose to stick with the healthier choice – organic cocoa powder. That one ingredient will do.
Here’s to your Health!
Kim Lowrey, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist
Colon Hydrotherapy Center, Fayetteville, AR