Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How Cocoa can Treat Your Heart, Brain, and Overall Health

Cocoa, like coffee, green tea, and raw milk, is one of those much-hyped natural “super foods” that has gotten a lot of attention lately. That’s not just because of clickbait or clever marketing, though – the flavanols in cocoa beans have in fact been proven to impart a variety of benefits to the human body, from improved circulatory health to brain function and more. . Of course, this doesn’t give you a license to gorge on sugary chocolate candy and expect to receive notable advantages from it. You need quality cocoa supplements from quality sources, and CocoaVia has them.

The most notable and important way that cocoa treats your health is through your cardiovascular system. Your heart and blood vessels comprise a 60,000-mile-long “highway system” of sorts for your body, transporting all-important oxygen from the air you breath as well as nutrients from the food you eat and delivering these bodily necessities to your organs, muscles, skin, hair, and wherever else they need to go. Just as importantly, your blood carries away waste materials and other toxins to be safely expelled from the body, aiding your natural detoxification mechanisms.

Your circulatory system moves the equivalent of around 2,000 gallons’ worth of blood through you each day, but what does cocoa in particular have to do with this? Simply put, the flavanols in cocoa up-regulate the levels of nitric oxide in your body. This increase in nitric oxide helps to relax the walls of your veins and arteries, making the vessels themselves more pliable and thereby enhancing the flow of blood – and more specifically, the oxygen and nutrients that blood cells carry – to your vital organs.

When your blood flow is better, everything is better, from basic organ functions and cardiovascular efficiency (such as during exercise) to the overall health and appearance of your hair, skin, and nails. Your brain is also an organ – by far the most complex organ in the human body, in fact – and thus also greatly benefits from the improved circulation that cocoa flavanols can offer, enhancing your cognition, your mood, your sleep, and more.

CocoaVia’s products are sourced from high-quality cocoa and made using a proprietary processing method that retains as many of the health-boosting flavanols as possible (many, if not most, cocoa products are made using processes that destroy these delicate flavanols). You can opt for CocoaVia capsules if you just want to add cocoa to your supplement rotation, or you can enjoy CocoaVia’s powdered drink packets . If you want something to much on, though, then the GoodnessKnows snack bars can scratch that itch. CocoaVia’s entire product line is on sale right now, too, for 30% off, making now the time to add this super food to your diet and experience its benefits for yourself.

Editors' Recommendations

Lucas Coll
Lucas Coll is a freelance commerce and affiliate writer for The Manual and our tech-focused brother site, Digital Trends…
Is Honey Good For You? Health Benefits and More
Honey dipper and honeycomb on a table

Sometimes said to be a healthier or more natural sweetener than cane sugar, honey is steadily becoming more popular. But is it really any better for you than other forms of sugar? Honey is found in many cooking recipes; you might drizzle it on your oatmeal breakfast or you might cook with it for your honey garlic salmon. Maybe you're using honey as a sweetener in your morning tea or your bee's knees cocktail.  Either way it's important to learn more about this versatile food substance.

We dive into the sweet sticky food that is honey, its health benefits or risks and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this thick golden liquid and how to balance it in your diet.

Read more
How to Drink Less: A Guide for the Sober-Curious
man making smoothie in kitchen

Real wellness often revolves around moderation or occasional pauses, not simply the latest trending products. (That hard kombucha still has booze in it, just so we’re clear.)
Life in what’s easy to call a golden era for drinks culture makes it harder to watch your intake. And, amid a fluid climate revolving around a pandemic and countless unknowns, restraint is all the harder. This we know. But that doesn’t mean you have to be all excess, all the time. In fact, your body begs for more discipline. Fortunately, there are some inventive and highly approachable ways to keep your whistle-wetting in check, even if you’re stuck at home for a while.

Set a Deadline
One of the simplest and most effective ways to curtail boozing is with a deadline. That might mean nothing after 8 p.m. on weeknights. Or, perhaps you have kids and you like to toast the small window of free time you get once they’ve gone to bed. Create a small block of evening time in which it’s acceptable to have a drink or two and don’t deviate it from it. And this doesn’t mean upping the rate of consumption within the allowed time frame. In fact, do something engaging while you sip — like reading, watching Jeopardy!, or doing that touch-up paint project you’ve been sitting on for ages — to slow down and better manage the entire process.

Read more
This Is Your Brain on Sugar, From Craving to Crash
sugar spoon

Few things are guaranteed to spark a fiery debate like the human diet. What exactly constitutes “eating well?” Vegans, Nordic dieters, flexitarians, and sun-eaters fundamentally disagree on almost everything nutrition-related. One thing they all agree on, however, is that too much sugar is a bad thing. Processed foods full of refined sugars and carbohydrates are slowly killing most Western societies. What’s worse is that our brains are hard-wired to not only enjoy these foods but to crave them. Understanding why that happens can be the key to breaking the cycle. From craving to crash, this is your brain on sugar.
First Comes the Rush
Our primitive, hairy ancestors survived by scavenging for the most nutrient-dense foods they could find. Sugar -- glucose, in particular -- provides the most reliable, digestible source of energy, so our brains evolved to reward us when such foods are consumed. Every time we consume sugar, our mesolimbic dopamine system -- the part of the brain responsible for doling out chemical “rewards” -- sends a signal to reinforce that behavior positively. Over time, we’re conditioned to seek out more rewards in the form of more sugary foods. It’s the same reason why illicit drugs make us feel like we’re on top of the world.
Then Comes the Cravings
Thousands of years ago, when the pinnacle of “binge-eating” might have been a handful of figs, an increased desire for sugar was fine. Humans might’ve had to travel dozens of miles to find their next sugar fix. They were eating far less glucose and exercising a lot more in the process. But, the ubiquity of today’s manufactured, high-sugar foods combined with a more sedentary lifestyle is forcing many in the Western world into a vicious cycle of addiction.

Unlike hard drugs, our bodies need sugar to survive. It's not as though we can simply "quit" sugar. We must consume at least some to fuel the cells in our body.

Read more