Cocoa - Eat Or Not To Eat As Part Of An Anti-Cancer Diet?
Having had many of my patients go through radiation and/or chemotherapy, they are often left with a strict boring diet hoping they can eat something that is healthy and enjoyable at the same time. Read on to learn more about Cocoa and the Anti-Cancer Diet.
What anti-cancer diet should I eat for cancer prevention?
That is where cocoa comes in. believe it or not, cocoa plays a large part and has a huge impact in cancer prevention, reducing inflammation and free radical damage.
As you probably know, Cocoa, is more commonly referred to as chocolate and isn’t so commonly known as being used as part of an anti-cancer diet for cancer prevention. Also, traditional chocolate products that most of us are used to has many other added ingredients in it. It is merely the cocoa itself that gives chocolate its true chocolate taste.
Did You Know?
However, Not sure if you know this or not, but Cocoa by itself with no added ingredients in it is extremely bitter and nearly impossible to eat. Therefore, it is always best to be eaten by being added to something else to reduce some of that bitterness.
Cocoa - Anti-Cancer Benefits
Right now I want to talk about some of the numerous benefits to eating cocoa. As you can see, it has been found to be extremely healing, supportive and preventative in many aspects of our health and especially with inflammation and cancer. Some of the commonly found overall health benefits I have found from eating cocoa are that it helps with:
- Stops cancer cells
- Chemopreventive effects
- Reducing Inflammation
- Inhibits the growth and spread of cancer cells
- Lower Cholesterol
- Reduced LDL Oxidation
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Better Circulation
- Thinner Blood
- Increased Nitric Oxide Levels
- More Flexible and Resilient Arteries
- Lowers CRP Levels
- Overall Lowers Heart Disease Risk and Reduces Recurrence of Heart Attack
- Lower Risk of Stroke
- Better Brain Function
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity
- Protects Skin from UV Rays
- Softer Skin
- Lowered Risk of Preeclampsia
- Better Cardiovascular Endurance
Quality Makes A Difference
The quality and purity of the cocoa that you take in is of great importance. The above mentioned health benefits are achieved by eating cocoa, not necessarily chocolate. Chocolate can be altered too much with too many other additives, fillers and sugars. Therefore, it must be a clean organic form of a chocolate product with at least 74% cocoa in it. This way there are less added ingredients such as sugar and dairy.
Sorry to you sweet tooth chocolate lovers, but a healthy chocolate or cocoa does not fall into the milk or white chocolate categories. So no milk chocolate or white chocolate is allowed, in fact, those are the opposite of cancer preventing.
Prevention And Reversing Certain Cancers
Besides cocoa being so tasty and providing so many health benefits, it also plays a huge part in preventing and reversing different forms of cancers. The reason for that is because cocoa has high levels of an alkaloid called Theobromine, which has been found to block adenosine receptors. By blocking these receptors we have found that this can inhibit angiogenesis, helping keep the body from developing new blood vessels to tumors. As mentioned above, it has also been found to reduce inflammation like crp markers and provide antitumor potential as well.
Cocoa is also very high in polyphenols which have been reported to interfere at the initiation, promotion and progression of cancer. Cocoa flavonoids have a high ability for free radical scavenging through the regulation of signal transduction pathways to stimulate apoptosis and to inhibit inflammation, cellular proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastasis.
Is Cocoa Enough In My Anti-Cancer Diet?
Polyphenols are abundant in many healthy foods, such as cocoa and recipes below. However sometimes we just need an extra amount to play catch up if we have been through something traumatic that causes excessive free radical damage like radiation or chemotherapy. Therefore I have developed a complete kit with extra ordinary high amounts of polyphenols to help play catch up called Cell Revive .
Kind of like a dried out sponge… when it is dry, it takes much more water to make it soft and moist again. And once it is soft and moist, it takes very little water to maintain… just like our Cell Revive product. It gives you a large amount now, but once you're caught up, it will take very little to maintain, and can often times sufficiently come from a clean, nutrient rich, organic diet.
How Can I Add Cocoa To My Anti-Cancer Diet?
Cocoa can be added to your anti-cancer diet in many ways. It can be added in through drinks, smoothies, recipes and even as a casual snack in the form of a chocolate bar.
Just how much dark chocolate should you eat? That question varies from person to person due to overall health, size, weight and more. Therefore, I would suggest that if someone is wanting to gain health benefits from eating cocoa, it would be wise to consume on average 5 to 10g of dark chocolate per day. Some research has shown a direct J-shaped relationship between just how much dark chocolate you ate to how much you lowered your CRP levels. So eat up!
Another Benefit to Cocoa
The nice part about cocoa is that you can incorporate it into other recipe mixes for other delicious foods. It doesn’t have to be just chocolate bars. This gives you ample opportunity to have an enjoyable exposure without being bored of having the same thing. Two of my favorite treats with cocoa in it are Chocolate Pudding and Zucchini Chocolate Brownies. You can find both of my favorite Cocoa Anti-Cancer Diet Recipes by clicking Here!
But before you get those yummy recipes, I want to conclude with that we now know that only health chocolate has a 74% or higher cocoa level in it. And that not all cocoa is the same. In fact, cocoa beans are grown all over the world. Some areas with little to no regulations, in areas like Mexico, Central and South America. For cost savings and higher profits, many brands can have poor quality and be loaded with large amounts of toxins like pesticides and herbicides. Which are definitely not good if you are trying to keep cancer away! Because of the difference in quality during harvesting it is always best to find your Cocoa sources to be Organic Fair-Trade Cocoa and Chocolate.
Potential for preventive effects of cocoa and cocoa polyphenols in cancer. Martin MA1, Goya L, Ramos S. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jun;56:336-51.
Cocoa polyphenols prevent inflammation in the colon of azoxymethane-treated rats and in TNF-α-stimulated Caco-2 cells. Rodríguez-Ramiro I1, Ramos S, López-Oliva E, Agis-Torres A, Bravo L, Goya L, Martín MA. Br J Nutr. 2013 Jul 28;110(2):206-15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23186731
Potential for preventive effects of cocoa and cocoa polyphenols in cancer Maria Angeles, Martin Luis, Goya Sonia Ramos. Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC), José Antonio Novais 10, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain February 2013. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691513001294
Researchers Find That Chocolate Compound Stops Cancer Cell Cycle In Lab Experiments Georgetown University Medical Center, April 18, 005 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050417213604.htm
Cocoa Polyphenols and Their Potential Benefits for Human Health Andújar, M. C. Recio, R. M. Giner, and J. L. Ríos. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi Volume 2012 |Article ID 906252 | 23 pages | https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/906252
Cocoa Extract, National Cancer Institute, NCI Drug Dictionary