The hottest drink of the season
What sounds better than some warm hot cocoa? Not much. Too bad it doesn’t come without a nice little guilt trip. But what if we told you that hot chocolate can actually be pretty good for you? You heard us; chocolate isn’t necessarily bad for you.
Realistically, it’s not like we needed another reason to drown ourselves in the stuff.. But it’s still great to know that there are some cool health benefits when it comes to this mouth watering holiday season favorite!
I’m in love with the coco
The reason why hot chocolate can have some amazing benefits for your overall health lies in the powers of the mystical cocoa bean. It was found that raw cocoa is so rich in antioxidants like polyphenols that it can help lower blood sugar and pressure, lower cholesterol, facilitate better blood flow, and even reduce inflammation (hello great skin!).
The heart wants what it wants
Coming at you with more good news: cocoa may actually help out your heart health. More specifically, cocoa contains flavonols, which are known to have lots of health benefits, like the ones listed below:
- reduce levels of cholesterol
- lower blood pressure
- lower blood sugar
- reduce inflammation
- lower risk of heart attacks
- lower risk of strokes
However, there is a catch — it was discovered that ingesting a specific, small quantity of cocoa helped lower these risks, yet once the quantity exceeded a certain amount, these positive results were no longer observed. Basically what they’re saying is: a little bit goes a long way, but if you have too much then it can cancel out the beneficial aspects of the bean.
Before you go loco for cocoa
*Image By David Dewitt
Not so fast, chocolate lovers! Before you go curling up on the sofa with copious amounts of hot chocolate (and pressing play on your favorite winter holiday movies), remember that due to processing, heating and including additives, processed cocoa loses a lot of these great properties. If you want to go the “healthy” way with your hot chocolate, you should be sure to check out some natural cocoa products that aren’t overly processed, and that ideally have better nutritional value.
If you’re looking for some go to picks for your cup of hot chocolate, you should definitely check out this extensive list of hot chocolate mixes by Eat This, Not That! Soon enough you’ll be an expert in which cocoa to go for, and which ingredients to look out for when reading the labels.
Basically, as with everything, cocoa is good in moderation. So keep that in mind next time you’re sipping on a mug of hot chocolate. And remember, if you buy consciously, you could very well increase the health benefits of this sweet winter beverage. Let us know how you like your hot chocolate in the comment section below!