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Benefits of Drinking Hot Chocolate
Why you don’t have to feel guilty about pouring that second cup
I love drinking hot chocolate on a cold night, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket. I knew that cocoa powder was a great source of antioxidants, but I wanted to know just how healthy this hot chocolate really was. There are plenty of benefits of drinking hot chocolate to keep you pouring a cup all winter long.
I drink my hot chocolate sweetened with stevia, so it is sugar free. This also helps keep it guilt free too.
Drink for Health
Cocoa powder is a great source of flavanoids which are high in antioxidants.
Newswise shares that antioxidants “are natural compounds found in some foods that help neutralize free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are substances that occur naturally in our bodies but attack the fats, protein and the DNA in our cells, which can cause different types of diseases and accelerate the aging process.”
Another study showed that antioxidants in cocoa are higher in than red wine. So drinking hot chocolate can help you stay healthy, slow down the aging process, and help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. (Let me go pour me a cup now while you keep reading)
Dr.Weil shares that “researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed 21 studies that involved more than 2,500 participants and found that drinking chocolate is associated with reduced blood pressure, improved blood vessel health and lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and elevating HDL (“good”) cholesterol.”
FSGate list the minerals in cocoa powder: “Just 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3 to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.”
Some people who are deficient in magnesium will show increased cravings of chocolate because their body knows that it is a source of this mineral. For other ways to increase magnesium click here.
Research also shows that the more chocolate you eat, the less body fat you have.
Drink for Thinking
One study showed that drinking hot cocoa may increase your brain’s thinking ability. Cocoa is high in theobromine. This is a phytochemical that improves circulation of your blood. Along with lowering blood pressure, this helps blood also increase flow to your brain which helps increase your thinking ability. Flavanoids in the cocoa also increase blood supply to the brain and has been used for helping patients with dementia. Maybe you should think about drinking a cup of hot chocolate before your next big test to test this theory out.
Drink to make you happy
Cocoa also contains neurotransmitters that act like antidepressants. I know I’m always happier after I eat chocolate. Cocoa may also boost endophins and seratonin
How to make an easy homemade hot chocolate:
I mix one tablespoon of unsweetened dark cocoa powder in about 1.5 cups of boiling water with a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and stevia extract to taste. I put mine in my blender and it gets all frothy on top… yummm. It is perfect for a cold night.
How do you like to drink your hot chocolate?
This post is linked up to Weekend Wellness and Healing with Food and
Adventures in Mindful Living read more