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The Curious Case of Amino Acids, Cocoa,
and Weight-Loss in your life!

The Curious Case of Amino Acids, Cocoa, and Weight-Loss in your life!

What are amino acids?

Amino acids are complex organic compounds made of amino and carboxyl functional groups with a side chain of elements. These elements are specific to each amino acid. As an essential building block of our DNA, they are crucial to the synthesis of proteins and thus help in the growth of muscles and tissues.

Functionalities and benefits: What are amino acids good for?

These complex and naturally occurring organic compounds help our body to build muscles, tendons, and blood cells. They also foster favorable conditions so our bodies can carry our biological and chemical reactions. These building blocks also improve blood flow so the nutrients could be transported to all parts of the body, especially the liver, thus preventing illnesses and infections.

This is also true the other way around. A deficiency of amino acids can decrease your immunity and strength, besides weakening your digestive and nervous system. This is why people with physical and mental ailments are prescribed foods that are rich in this nutrient. Here’s a free resource to help you get better results for your health over time.

  • What do amino acids do for weight loss?

Offered as nutritional supplements to support muscle growth for bodybuilders, these building blocks boost athletic performance and help in weight management for sportspersons. Taking these amino acid supplements is safe for everyone out there too.

There is a direct correlation between amino acids and weight loss but it is the way they are used that’s the key to losing weight. Having a personalized and fitness-centric diet can help you have better results, especially if they are approved by a professional nutritionist. Foods like cocoa and buttermilk can help you see better results over time- and we are discussing that case today.

PS: You can consult a professional nutritionist through an on-demand video conferencing session too, as and when you’d like. All you would need is your smartphone, internet connectivity, and a willingness to change your life for the better.

Types of Amino Acids

There are 22 types of known amino acids known to mankind, out of which nine are essential. These 9 essential amino acids are:

  • Lysine

  • Methionine

  • Histidine

  • Isoleucine

  • Leucine

  • Phenylalanine

  • Threonine

  • Tryptophan

  • Valine

None of these essential amino acids can be produced naturally by the body and thus they must be consumed through diet. Their deficiency leads to disturbances in metabolic processes and muscle mass.

Did you know that Theanine is a unique amino acid that’s only found in tea plants? It is what gives green tea its particular flavor and is beneficial for the digestive and immune systems.

Each amino acid has its specific function within the body. For example, epinephrine sends messages to the brain that helps to reduce the desire to eat, L-Phenylalanine helps the body to recognize hunger and fullness, while L-Carnitine helps to transfer fat for metabolism. If these amino acids are out of balance, they affect your body’s capacity to gain or lose weight.

Case 1: Do amino acids help with metabolism?

By maintaining a balanced level of the nine essential amino acids that are obtained through diet, they can help to stop overeating and boost metabolism and fat loss in the body. However, before starting to take an amino acid supplement, it is important to talk to a specialist such as a dietician or a nutritionist who can help you to create a diet plan that will make supplementation most effective.

For the best weight loss results, the perfect conditions to process the amino acids properly in the body are required. These conditions rest largely on the foods that are consumed with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In case of deficiency of one or more nutrients, their supplements should be combined with an appropriate eating plan.

This can help you kick-start your weight loss efforts effectively. If not taken correctly, the supplements may prove ineffective at best or can cause health problems at worst.

Note: You can go for the more specialized diet plans like Ketogenic or Mediterranean to lose weight faster, after consulting your nutritionist. They might be difficult to start with but they surely come with their list of benefits.

Case 2: Weight loss and Amino Acids

Amino acid supplements work best for weight loss when a high protein diet is consumed. The diet should consist of 30% of the calories being obtained from low-fat protein sources. While it could be tempting to consume high-fat animal proteins, you should note that any excess of it could counteract the positive effects of the amino acids.

It is also possible to obtain enough amino acids naturally through a protein-rich diet. This kind of diet aids the body in suppressing appetite and boosting weight loss. The foods that contain these nine required amino acids are soy, cheese, milk, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, beans, grains, and nuts.

If weight loss is your goal, then you should assimilate them into your diet- it would ensure the effective metabolism of the excess fat through better absorption of nutrients and exclusion of toxins. You should also ensure that your supplement should contain them in an appropriate proportion and you should take it with the right foods to maintain weight loss.

What is Cocoa?

Cocoa is a powder made from roasted and grounded cacao seeds.

It is made from Theobroma cacao, a plant that produces natural chocolate. This natural chocolate is processed as a powdered form to give cocoa. Eating chocolate is a pure-pleasure deal for everyone but can it also help you lose weight? Yes, it can also help you shed some of those extra pounds too if you eat it in controlled amounts.

Cocoa and chocolate are commonly confused as an alternative for each other but they are not. Cocoa is the non-fat component of cocoa liquor that is made by grinding cocoa beans. To make chocolates, one needs cocoa butter, cocoa, sugar, and other flavoring ingredients.

Benefits of Cocoa Powder

Cocoa is a natural delight and can significantly contribute to your weight loss regime. Here’s why you should consider including it in your dietary routine:

1. Helps you lose weight

Cocoa powder is really helpful towards weight loss in multiple ways. It is low in calories and thus stimulates the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating your mood and helping you suppress your appetite as well!

2. Detoxifies the body

Cocoa powder is rich in fiber content, a key nutrient that improves the metabolic system and digestion process by removing toxins from the body. It is also full of antioxidants and flavonoids that play an active role in protecting your body from free radicals and other harmful substances.

3. Improves metabolism

Including raw and organic cocoa powder in your diet can improve your body’s ability to metabolize fat and its conversion into energy. A study was published in 2005, in which rats were fed cocoa as a part of their diet. They exhibited significantly lower rates of fatty tissue than the ones that weren’t.

4. Reduces inflammation

A new study by Louisiana State University shows that cocoa also plays a positive role in cutting down inflammation, helps in reducing bloating, and improves overall body functioning. As one of the richest sources of polyphenols, cocoa powder offers enhanced antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Promotes heart health

Cocoa works wonders to keep your heart in good health as it lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow, wards off bad cholesterol (LDLs), raises good cholesterol levels (HDLs), thins your blood, and fights off plaque formation. Your heart will work better and you might stay away from cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.

6. Boosts your mood

Cocoa contains euphoria-inducing anandamide and phenylethylamine chemicals that act as aphrodisiacs and boost your mood. The happy mood helps you to be active and dedicated towards workouts and diet regimes which indirectly contribute to weight loss. It helps you feel free from depression and various mental ailments too.

7. It’s good for health

According to research at Harvard Medical School, people who ate raw cocoa powder had extremely low rates of cancer, heart disease, and strokes. The flavonoid content of cocoa is responsible for most of its healthful benefits and this includes resistance to carcinogens.

The number of flavonoids present in a cocoa plant depends on the processes involved in their production. They control the levels of cholesterol in the body and they also stop the oxidation of LDL into metabolites, thus reducing the damage to the blood vessels.

How to include cocoa powder in your diet?

Can it be consumed raw?

The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favorite sweet treat to slim down. Having a little bit of dark chocolate reduces the craving for other naughty foods, making it easier for you to stick to a healthy diet and resist emotional eating. You can surely march ahead without working about your indulgence with chocolate or its delicacies.

Though normally people are likely to mix cocoa powder with milk and have it, it is worth noting that it is better to have it with milk substitutes (almond or coconut milk) for better results in comparison to regular animal milk because it affects your body’s ability to absorb the cocoa’s nutrients. It can also be enjoyed with your morning oats, smoothies, sauces, and soups.

Remember, life is just as sweet as chocolate!