Hot chocolate is a winter special that keeps us warm and cosy and also also spreads the joy the holiday season! Here are few benefits of this beverage that is just like a cherry on top.
Picture this, a cold winter morning, cool breeze, a little warm sun and a pipping cup of hot chocolate! Did you just feel like making one for yourself? This is the time to make it! Winter season calls for snuggling in blankets putting up a nice feel-good movie and drinking a warm beverage.
Like the season of joy, it is also the season of hot chocolate and marshmellows. Hot chocolate is a comforting and delicious beverage enjoyed by many, especially during the colder months. While it can be a treat, hot chocolate made from real cocoa powder or dark chocolate may offer some potential benefits.
5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF HOT CHOCOLATE
- Antioxidant Content: Cocoa powder and dark chocolate used in hot chocolate are rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant compounds that have been associated with various health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and protecting against oxidative stress.
- Heart Health: Some studies suggest that the flavonoids in cocoa may have positive effects on cardiovascular health. Research indicates that consuming cocoa or dark chocolate may help reduce blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, and have a positive impact on cholesterol levels.
- Mood Enhancement: Hot chocolate can be a mood booster. It contains small amounts of compounds like phenylethylamine (PEA) and tryptophan, which can have mood-enhancing effects. Additionally, the warmth and comforting nature of hot chocolate can promote relaxation and a sense of well-being.
- Mineral Content: Hot chocolate made with cocoa powder or dark chocolate can provide essential minerals. Cocoa powder is a good source of minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals play important roles in various bodily functions, including energy production, immune function, and maintaining healthy bones.
- Keeps You Hydrated: While hot chocolate shouldn’t replace plain water as the primary source of hydration, it can contribute to daily fluid intake. Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and well-being.
It’s important to note that the potential benefits of hot chocolate are more pronounced when made with high-quality cocoa powder or dark chocolate with higher cocoa content. However, hot chocolate can also be high in added sugars and unhealthy fats if made with sweetened mixes or excessive amounts of whipped cream and marshmallows. Therefore, moderation and mindful ingredient choices are key to enjoying the potential benefits of hot chocolate while managing overall sugar and calorie intake.
If you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.