Cocoa powder, made from the beans of the cacao tree, is a popular ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes. But beyond its rich flavor and versatility in the kitchen, it’s also packed with nutrients that can benefit your health. Here’s a closer look at the nutritional value of cocoa powder per 100 grams, and whether or not it’s a healthy choice for you.
First, let’s take a look at the macronutrients found in 100 grams of cocoa powder. This serving size contains around 11 grams of protein, 52 grams of carbohydrates, and 42 grams of fat. The majority of the fat in cocoa powder is made up of saturated fat, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease when consumed in large amounts. However, cocoa powder also contains a significant amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to have a beneficial effect on heart health.
In terms of micronutrients, cocoa powder is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals are essential for maintaining healthy blood cells, immune function, and energy metabolism. Cocoa powder is also a good source of copper, manganese, and potassium.
But perhaps the most notable nutrient found in cocoa powder is its high content of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that has been shown to have numerous health benefits. The flavonoids in cocoa powder, specifically epicatechin and catechin, have been shown to improve cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, and lowering blood pressure. They may also improve cognitive function and lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
While cocoa powder is a nutrient-dense food, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s also high in calories and sugar. A 100-gram serving of cocoa powder contains around 350 calories, and about 25 grams of sugar. So it is important to consume in moderation.
Overall, cocoa powder is a nutritious and delicious ingredient that can be a healthy addition to your diet. However, it’s important to keep portion sizes in mind and to choose unsweetened cocoa powder whenever possible to avoid added sugar. When consumed in moderation, cocoa powder can be a delicious and nutritious way to add flavor and nutrients to your meals and snacks.