Cocoa butter, the fat portion of the cocoa bean, is a completely vegetarian fat source and is directly responsible for the melt-in-your-mouth quality of chocolate, which is essentially cocoa butter that has been recombined with cocoa powder.
The best kind to eat is raw organic cocoa butter, which has its own set of health enhancing properties apart from cocoa. Not only does it taste and smell like chocolate, conditions such as fibromyalgia, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and asthma respond positively to internal use. It can be used for cooking, smoothies and raw food creations.
Researchers believe that the oleic acid content in cocoa butter may lower the risk of heart failure. Oleic acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat which is also found in olive oil. Preliminary research indicates that cocoa butter actually helps suppress excessive T-cell activity in the immune system, which could help treat conditions associated with overactive immune systems, such as psoriasis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Cocoa butter contains cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP), a substance that inhibits the production of the immuno globulin IgE, which is known to aggravate symptoms of both dermatitis and asthma. CMP is also believed to prevent the formation of cancerous cells.
External use of cocoa butter is reported to clear psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. This deep penetrating oil improves the skin tone, heals scars, and reduces wrinkles as well. Cocoa butter contains a number of different antioxidants that can kill off a wide range of different free radicals that destroy your skin cells and lead to premature aging. It also contains phytochemicals (plant chemicals) such as flavanoids that are also strong antioxidants. It has been reported that cocoa butter contains a much higher antioxidant concentration then even blueberries.
Cocoa butter does not contain cholesterol because cholesterol is only found in foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy products. Since cocoa butter comes from a plant, it does not contain cholesterol.
Cocoa butter does not raise blood cholesterol levels. It has been found to have an overall neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels. While researchers are still investigating this effect, it is believed that this is due to cocoa butter’s naturally occurring fats called stearic acid, a unique saturated fat that does not raise blood cholesterol levels, and it's oleic acid content.
Cocoa butter does not contain partially hydrogenated oil, a trans fat. Partially hydrogenated oils, the most prominent source of trans fats in the diet, are man-made and have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Cocoa butter is a naturally occurring fat that is not hydrogenated and contains no trans fat.
You can purchase raw organic cocoa butter in health food stores or on line. Here is a good source of cocoa butter that you can order from Amazon.com. Look for "Organic Raw Cacao Butter Chips" (Natural Delicious Chocolate Aroma) by GreenPlanet-Organics. You can also get the same raw cocao butter chips from https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenPlanetOrganics.