Cocoa is a fruit that grows in a pod on the cacao tree. The fruit is about the size of a small papaya and is covered by a thick rind. Inside the fruit are 20 to 60 seeds, also known as cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are the source of all chocolate and cocoa products. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted, and processed to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and chocolate. The cocoa bean is native to South and Central America and has been used by the Mayan and Aztec cultures to make a beverage for centuries.
1. Rich in antioxidants: Cocoa fruits contain a high concentration of antioxidants, which help to protect the body from free radicals, reduce inflammation, and protect cells from damage.
2. Good source of vitamins and minerals: Cocoa fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
3. Great source of dietary fiber: Cocoa fruits are high in dietary fiber, which helps to keep you full and aids in digestion.
4. Contains flavanols: Cocoa fruits contain flavanols, which help to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
5. Sweet and delicious flavor: Cocoa fruits have a sweet and delicious flavor that is sure to please any sweet tooth.