I have heard a million of times, all that’s good for health are never delicious and all that’s delicious often harms health. Well, finally, I have come across something that’s not only super yummy but also is very beneficial for health. Brace your sweet tooth as I break the good news. Yes, it is good enough for satiating you sweet tooth. It’s hot chocolate, Yes, your sweet companion of cold winter mornings and afternoons and nights, for every time you need some warmth to snuggle. This not only satisfies your taste buds but is also packed up of health benefits.
Author Farzaneh A. Sorond said “As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.” A study shows that hot cocoa improves blood circulation in brain and has an important positive effect on repairing the memory and speeding up memory performance, especially in elderly.
Cocoa powder is full of antioxidants called flavonoid. These help in neutralizing free radicals in our bodies that attack the fats, proteins and the DNA in our cells causing different types of diseases and accelerate the aging process. It also helps prevent platelets in your blood from mingling together and forming clots. Studies show that cocoa has twice the antioxidants than red wine, three times stronger than green tea and four times than black tea. Studies also show that drinking unsweetened cocoa reduces blood pressure, improves blood vessel health, lowers bad cholesterol and improves good cholesterol. One teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa contains daily dose of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc. In addition to everything, cocoa contains phenethylamine, a substance that acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant. Antioxidants found in cocoa have regulatory effect on the immune cells.
The antioxidant found in cocoa called Gallic acid is used to treat internal haemorrhages, albuminuria and diabetes. Cocoa generally has much less fat than a regular chocolate bar. It can modulate cell signalling and gene expression. Remember the darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants it contains, the higher cocoa content, the more antioxidants it contains and the less sugar, the better it is for your overall health.
Let’s have a recipe of your favourite hot chocolate:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 cups milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix cocoa, sugar, water and salt over medium heat. Keep stirring continuously until cocoa boils and then keep stirring for another one minute. Stir in the milk and heat, do not boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla; blend well and serve immediately.
Stay away from the commercial hot cocoa because they can be harmful for you instead of being beneficial. Well, above all these benefits, cocoa can also help you lose some of your weight. If made correctly, it satisfies your cravings with fewer calories that your sugar filled food items. So, you see there is a lot to learn from and about this bitter sweet natural substance.
So, don’t hesitate to send your loved ones the pleasure of chocolates by post to bring a smile on their face.