Nestle Cocoa Powder, a natural, unsweetened cocoa powder, comes from the cocoa beans of the Theobroma cacao plant. Cocoa solids removed from the cocoa butter portion of the beans are processed into a fine unsweetened, bitter-tasting powder. This powder contains very little fat, a small amount of vitamins and minerals, a few chemical stimulants, antioxidants and an intense chocolate flavor well-suited to make brownies, cookies and cakes.
Although whole cocoa beans contain about 50 percent fat, about 75 percent of these fats are removed in the process of making cocoa powder. One tablespoon of Nestle Cocoa Powder only contains about 0.5 g of fat. The main types of fat in cocoa beans are the saturated fatty acids, palmitic and stearic acids, and to a lesser degree, the monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid.
Cocoa beans contain carbohydrates. Some of these carbohydrates are in the form of dietary fiber and some are simple sugars. Dietary fiber helps prevent or relieve constipation and can also play a role in lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Nestle Cocoa Powder contains 3 g of total carbohydrates, 1 g of which is dietary fiber. This is equal to about 6 percent of your total recommended daily intake of fiber, and only about 1 percent of your total recommended daily intake of carbohydrates.
Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent the oxidation of other compounds. Oxidation produces "free radical" molecules that can initiate chemical reactions which cause DNA and cellular damage. Although oxidation occurs naturally, smoking, poor diet, exposure to sun or other UV radiation can increase both the amount of oxidation and resulting damage that occurs. Antioxidant-rich foods help alleviate oxidation damage. Cocoa powder, such as Nestle's cocoa powder contain significant levels of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. The polyphenols in cocoa powder are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins, and procyandins. Flavonoids are specifically found in the nonfat portions of the cocoa bean from which Nestle Cocoa Powder is derived. Flavonoids have been shown to reduce the blood's ability to clot, decreasing the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Nestle Cocoa Powder contains three chemical stimulants: phenylethylamine, theobromine and caffeine. Phenylethylamine is also a slight antidepressant, increasing the levels of serotonin, low levels of which are found in people with depression. Theobromine and caffeine increase alertness and have a mild diuretic effect. All of these chemicals can trigger migraines as they alter blood flow in the brain. However, the amount of caffeine in cocoa is much less than found in coffee, tea, and cola drinks.
Vitamins and Minerals
Nestle Cocoa Powder contains a small amount of various vitamins and minerals. More vitamins and minerals are contained in the cocoa beans, but during the process of making powder, much of these vitamins and minerals are removed. One tablespoon of Nestle cocoa powder contains about 7 mg calcium, 27 mg magnesium, 40 mg phosphorus and about 82 mg potassium. It also contains a small amount of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6, as well as 2 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron.