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Cocoa butter has been used for centuries because of its many health and beauty benefits. This article provides a comprehensive overview of cocoa butter, the best sources to buy it from, how much is needed daily, and more.
Cocoa butter is a natural, vegetable-based fat that has many benefits that can be used on the skin and hair to moisturize and protect from UV rays, also having health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol levels. In addition, cocoa butter contains antioxidants that help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
You’ve undoubtedly eaten cocoa butter and rubbed it on your skin many times throughout your life, whether you recognize it or not. The fat source in chocolate gives it that enticing, melt-in-your-mouth, smooth texture. It’s in almost every variety of chocolate, including dark, milk, and white.
What other uses does cocoa butter have? Like other skin-loving fats like raw shea butter and coconut oil, Cocoa butter is excellent for repairing dry, sensitive skin organically. In terms of food, cocoa butter advantages include delivering good fatty acids that assist the immune system, cardiovascular system, cognitive function, and appetite management, as detailed more below.
What Is Cocoa Butter and What Does It Do?
Cocoa butter (also known as theobroma oil) is a natural, liquefied oil derived from the cocoa bean. Cocoa beans are the seeds of the Theobroma cacao L. plant, which belongs to the Sterculiaceae family of plants.
Chocolate, “one of the most essential and pervasive functional foods in human history,” is made from these beans. Cocoa beans have been produced for more than 3,000 years, according to historians, and were cherished by ancient people such as the Mayan and Aztec civilizations.
Is it possible to ingest cocoa butter? Yes! Real cocoa butter is perfectly edible and has a faintly chocolate-like flavor and aroma. Because they contain a substantial quantity of polyphenol and flavonoid antioxidants, the beans from the theobroma cacao L. plant are a high-antioxidant diet. Cocoa beans have been demonstrated to be one of the most important sources of polyphenols in the human diet.
Cocoa beans are native to areas of Central and South America and have been gathered for generations in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to manufacture natural skin moisturizers. Cocoa products are prevalent ingredients in all kinds of commercial beauty products, including skin lotions, lip glosses, chapsticks, hair conditioners, and other beauty ointments. They have a mild fragrance and a smooth texture (due to their “emollient” properties) and are ultra-hydrating.
Is there a difference between cacao butter and cocoa butter? The quality of cocoa butter depends on how the beans are processed and heated. The term “cacao” typically refers to unroasted (or “raw”) cacao beans.
Cocoa butter, like coconut oil, is heavy in fat, predominantly saturated fat. Depending on the kind, the percentage of saturated fat (as opposed to unsaturated fat) in it ranges from 57 percent to 64 percent of the total fat content. Fatty acids come in a variety of forms, including:
- Stearic acid is a kind of fatty acid (about 24 percent to 37 percent of total fat content)
- Palmitic acid is a kind of fatty acid (24 percent to 30 percent)
- Myristic acid is a kind of myristic acid (0 percent to 4 percent)
- Arachidic acid is a kind of fatty acid (around 1 percent)
- Lauric acid is a kind of fatty acid (only about 0 percent to 1 percent)
Here’s how the various varieties stack up:
- Cocoa beans are fermented and then roasted to generate cocoa butter. The cocoa “butter” (which isn’t truly butter created from any form of milk) may now be separated from the remainder of the beans, leaving behind solids that can be utilized for other things like cocoa powder production.
- While cocoa butter contains some polyphenols and other antioxidants, it lacks the potency of dried cocoa powder.
- Many manufacturers deodorize and decolorize cocoa butter, resulting in a yellow-beige color and a neutral scent that isn’t particularly reminiscent of cocoa liquor or chocolate.
- To manufacture chocolate, cocoa butter is squeezed further to extract “chocolate liquor,” which contains the majority of the chocolate flavor and aroma.
- Raw cocoa butter, also known as “pure cocoa butter,” isn’t cooked to high temperatures during the production process, so it keeps more of the beneficial lipids and other chemicals present in cocoa beans. On the other hand, raw cacao powder is created by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. Temperatures must not surpass 115 degrees Fahrenheit to be deemed raw.
1. Prevents dryness and peeling of the skin
What are the benefits of cocoa butter for your skin? It’s an excellent skin moisturizer that does more than just hydrate the skin; it also aids in the healing of the skin from the inside out. In addition, it’s high in natural antioxidants found in cocoa beans and fatty acids that are easily absorbed and last for hours on the skin.
Natural moisturizing products also irritate the skin less than those containing chemicals, aromas, colors, and dyes.
Mix it with other therapeutic products like essential oils of argan, castor, or jojoba oil to cure or prevent dryness and peeling on your skin. If you have very dry skin (such as eczema), always use pure cocoa butter and do a patch test beforehand to ensure that you don’t have a sensitivity and develop any unwanted responses.
If your cocoa butter is solid due to being stored in a cool location in your home, try melting it with a bit of hot water. To make the cocoa butter more spreadable, boil some water on the stove and then pour it over a handful of it. Some people believe that black cocoa butter is the softest and spreads the finest without being heated, but that commercial, deodorized cocoa butter is brittle and hard.
2. Soothes Chapped Lips
Cocoa butter is commonly used to treat chapped lips, particularly in homemade lip balms. It may be used with grapefruit, vanilla, orange, or peppermint oil to create tasty lip palms that are also nourishing.
Cocoa butter is an emollient, which means it offers a protective layer of moisture to your lips, which may help protect them from the drying effects of extreme cold, sun damage, or interior heat.
3. Fights Aging Signs
Cocoa butter includes substances known as cocoa mass polyphenols, which have been shown in tests to help reduce indications of age and soothe sensitive skin with dermatitis or rashes.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that can be consumed or applied topically to the skin to improve overall health. Polyphenols in cocoa have been discovered to battle various chronic ailments, skin degradation, allergies, and even cell mutations.
Its polyphenols have been shown to have various favorable skin health indicators, including reduced photoaging, enhanced skin elasticity and tone, better collagen retention/production, and greater hydration, according to research.
Studies have shown that both cocoa butter and commercially available products may provide favorable outcomes, but only cocoa butter is devoid of potentially dangerous or irritating chemicals.
4. Provides relief from burns, rashes, and infections
To help repair burned skin, dab a tiny quantity of pure cocoa butter onto it. Just make sure it’s pure and doesn’t include any alcohol, fragrances/perfumes, or other ingredients that might irritate and irritate your skin.
It’s even gentle enough to be used as natural eczema, dermatitis, and skin rash treatment. Tea tree essential oil or aloe vera gel are two excellent additives for treating burned or injured skin.
5. Aids in the treatment of mouth ulcers
If you have painful sores on the inside of your mouth or reoccurring blisters on your lips, consider applying a little amount of cocoa butter to keep them moisturized. One approach to help prevent sores and blisters from occurring is to avoid excessive dryness on the inside of the lips and mouth.
6. It’s a Fantastic Shaving Cream
You can shave and moisturize your skin at the same time by putting cocoa butter in your tub. It dissolves quickly in hot water and will not block your drain.
To avoid nicks and to keep freshly shaved skin feeling smooth, use a tiny amount before shaving. It’s also a good idea to apply it after a shower because heat opens up pores and allows products to absorb better.
7. It has the potential to improve heart health
While saturated fats were formerly shunned and blamed for contributing to heart disease, many studies now think that plant-derived saturated fats may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cocoa butter contains polyphenolic compounds demonstrated in studies to help decrease inflammatory indicators linked to atherosclerosis (artery hardening), which is why cocoa is now regarded as an anti-inflammatory food.
Cocoa also seems to aid lipid (fat) metabolism and has been related to a lower incidence of vascular events like heart attacks.
8. Antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation
Even when it’s separated from the beans’ contents, some antioxidants remain in cocoa butter, suggesting that it might help to reduce inflammation.
Plant polyphenols have been demonstrated in several studies to have antioxidant properties inside the immune system, combating inflammation, DNA damage, and cellular mutations, which are the root causes of illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.
9. It contains fatty acids that are beneficial to the brain’s health
Dietary fats, particularly cholesterol and saturated fat, are essential for brain function, maintaining a pleasant mood, and aiding hormone synthesis and hunger regulation. Fats are necessary for producing sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, which regulate a variety of body functions.
Is Cocoa Butter Good for Stretch Marks?
One of the most common applications for cocoa butter, particularly during pregnancy, is preventing or curing stretch marks. But is this strategy genuinely effective? Overall, research findings on its effectiveness in removing stretch marks have been inconsistent.
Although many individuals report seeing a reduction in visible stretch marks after using it, studies have indicated that women do not exhibit substantially more significant improvement when using cocoa butter lotion when compared to placebo treatments. Therefore, it’s not harmful to try it for stretch mark prevention, but it doesn’t seem to reverse those already developed.
Other Moisturizers vs. Cocoa Butter
Because they have similar applications and advantages for the skin, the decision to apply shea butter or cocoa butter on your skin may come down to personal choice. Both are moisturizing, time-tested remedies for chapped lips and dryness. In addition, if you have eczema or psoriasis, you can combine the two to increase their effectiveness.
The fragrance of these goods and their utilization are two of the variations between them. Many individuals prefer the tropical scent of cocoa butter over the relatively mild scent of shea butter. On the other hand, Shea butter has a neutral aroma that combines nicely with different essential oil smells. In addition, Shea butter is solely used topically on the skin, while cocoa butter is used for cooking.
Because the advantages of coconut oil for skin are comparable to those of cocoa butter, these two products have similar moisturizing effects. Coconut oil, on the other hand, offers certain additional advantages, such as antimicrobial qualities. This may make it more practical to have at home since it may be used in various ways in the kitchen and bathroom.
Capric acid, lauric acid, and caprylic acid are fatty acids found in coconut oil that keep skin healthy and clean. It has a smooth feel and a pleasant smell/taste when rubbed into the skin or heated. You may apply both together or separately, for example, cocoa butter on your lips and oil on your hair.
How to Make Use of
Cocoa butter is solid at room temperature, but at higher temperatures, such as those found inside the human body, it melts. This allows it to be massaged into the skin and makes it a good cooking and baking fat.
It has a melting point of 93–101 degrees Fahrenheit, turning liquid when consumed or administered topically. When added to chocolate or used in creamy creams, its tendency to melt provides it an appealing “mouth feel.”
What stores sell cocoa butter? Check out health food shops, Asian markets, and the internet for ideas.
Purchase organic, pure cocoa butter if possible. The cost of cocoa butter varies depending on the type of product. The most significant advantages come from pure cocoa butter, but it’s more difficult to come by and more costly than blended products that combine cocoa butter with other fillers or oils.
What are the signs that a cocoa product is of good quality? First, read the labels and look at the color: pure cocoa butter is generally lighter than commercial butter, often darker yellow in color.
Avoid cocoa butter that is offered as a white, smooth lotion in pump bottles or squeezable bottles when shopping for it. These products may include some cocoa butter, but they’re far from pure, and they’re likely to have a slew of additional chemicals, which is how they maintain a consistent texture and color (which genuine cocoa butter doesn’t).
You can easily produce your own cocoa butter sticks at home, ensuring that you receive the greatest benefits while putting the least amount of crap on your skin.
Purchase a slab of real cocoa butter from an online or natural merchant, then break or shave off a little bit and place it into an old chapstick container. You may apply it immediately to your skin and store it in your luggage or other convenient location. You may also create a smooth homemade body butter lotion by mashing the solid butter and adding a few drops of aromatic oils.
It’s expected to endure more than two years since it’s so steady. However, because cocoa butter’s saturated fat is resistant to rancidity and spoiling, many individuals preserve the same jar for two to five years.
One of the best things about cocoa butter is its relatively “stable” lipid, which means it won’t rot or become rancid when heated. Unlike more sensitive fat sources, such as those high in polyunsaturated fat (such as vegetable oils) or monounsaturated fat (such as olive oil), saturated fats keep their nutrients and chemical composition even when produced and utilized in cooking. Many of the advantages of cocoa butter, such as its antioxidants, are preserved as a result.
Is cocoa butter a vegan product? Yes, because it is derived from a plant and does not contain any real butter (a dairy product).
Side Effects and Risks
Because cocoa products are heavy in fat and calories, they should be consumed in modest to moderate quantities.
Focus on dark chocolate made from cocoa powder rather than cocoa butter if you’re seeking the greatest antioxidant bang for your budget. Cocoa powder has been demonstrated to have a greater polyphenol content, particularly if you opt for the dark stuff and make sure it’s a high percentage (study reveals that consuming dark chocolate/dark “baking chocolate” provides the most phenolic content from cocoa).
- What is cocoa butter, and what does it do? It’s a natural, meltable oil made from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao L. plant, which are derived from cocoa beans. It’s the fat that goes into chocolate, and it’s also good for naturally hydrating skin.
- Cocoa butter is used to produce nourishing skin lotions, creams, lip glosses, chapsticks, and other cosmetic ointments and is fully edible.
- It can hydrate skin, repair chapped lips, battle symptoms of aging, soothe burns, rashes, and infections, cure mouth sores, serve as a shaving cream, boost cardiovascular health, and maybe reduce inflammation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you use cocoa butter for?
A: Cocoa butter is a natural moisturizer and emollient used in skincare products. Its also commonly added to foods, including cakes and cookies, because of its ability to add a smooth texture and make them more tender. It can also be added to cosmetics or lip balms for similar reasons.
Is cocoa butter healthy to eat?
A: Cocoa butter is very healthy to eat. It is high in antioxidants, vitamins A & E, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron. The best part of all? Chocolate!
What are the nutritional benefits of cocoa?
A: Cocoa is rich in theobromine, one of its primary components. It has been shown to affect heart function and blood pressure regulation positively. Other health benefits include reducing inflammation, cholesterol levels, and skin damage from UV radiation exposure.
- cocoa butter health benefits
- cocoa butter uses in food
- cocoa butter benefits for skin
- cocoa butter nutritional value per 100g
- cocoa butter benefits for hair
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