Chocolate is probably one of the most popular foods in the world. Don’t take our word for it, stats show that almost 1 billion people around the world consume chocolate in one form or another. Hot chocolate and Hot cocoa are two of the most common drinking forms of Chocolate.
Chocolate is such a stimulant that since its initial discovery its been morphed into every shape for every holiday, every where on the globe. Generally, it is a therapy to elevate you, along with all of your taste buds.
Let’s grasp and digest the facts and figures about hot chocolate, before getting into its benefits;
Hot Chocolate; a History
The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica. Where hot chocolate was derived from the Incan Culture. When European invaders came into the South American culture they discovered the mysterious drink and took it to Europe.
Chocolate and Cocoa has the main medical properties. From reducing inflammation, better blood flow and lowering blood pressure, to improving cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Flavanols are a plant compound that contributes to many physical benefits including mental health benefits. It further helps improving mood and mental cognition. According to a 2011 study published in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling.
The beverage was first introduced in Spain in the early 1600s and its popularity grew very quickly.
Soon it became popular all over Europe and became the favorite drink of many for its ambrosial qualities and as a mood enhancer .
Hot Cocoa vs Hot Chocolate
Often people mix up hot chocolate with hot cocoa. They are two entirely different drinks.
Hot cocoa is often flavored and contains sugar and milk to make it even more delectable.
However, actual chocolate is richer in flavor and this is what makes Hot Chocolate.
Hot chocolate gets its deep, chocolatey flavor from the base of thick, melted chocolate.
Warm liquids like water, milk, or cream are added to make the drink liquid.
Hot cocoa, however, is made from a powdered base of cocoa, sugar, and wrapped up in added flavorings.
It is a thick beverage made of melted, solid chocolate blended with milk, cream, or water.
Hot cocoa is much thinner than melted chocolate.
3. Added Sugar:
Hot cocoa often requires you to add sugar to it to adequately sweeten it.
Additionally, pre-made hot cocoa mix often contains artificial sweeteners or other ingredients.
On the other hand, only needs the naturally occurring sugar in the chocolate, which means hot cocoa tends to be much sweeter than regular.
4. The Taste:
Depending on the style, a cup of hot chocolate essentially tastes like a melted chocolate bar mixed with liquid, while hot cocoa tastes more like sugar than chocolate.
Health Benefits of Hot Chocolate
Many of you will be surprised to hear it but chocolate has many different benefits for the drinker’s health…
It’s a well-known fact that chocolate, when consumed in small quantities, has different health benefits. And dark chocolate is one of the healthiest snacks out there.
Cocoa is one of the richest sources of polyphenols. It’s especially abundant in flavanols, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
So obviously, anything that is made from chocolate has the same amount of health benefits.
1. Fights Cancer Cells
Believe it or not, drinking this chocolaty drink fights cancer cells in your body but remember the chocolate used should be of really great cocoa beans.
Green tea is said to be beneficial in the same scenario but chocolate is 3 times as more effective.
Cocoa has the highest concentration of flavanols out of all foods per weight and can significantly contribute to their amount in your diet
2. Improves Blood Flow
Drinking hot chocolate can help improve the flow of blood in your body.
Cocoa provides nitric oxide to your body which is responsible for lessening the risk of blood clots.
It does so by ensuring that your blood platelets don’t glue themselves together.
3. Lowers the risk of Heart Disease
Hot chocolate contains flavonoids.
Why are these weirdly named little guys so important?
They are responsible for reducing inflammation in the body and protects you from elements that become the cause of heart disease.
4. Improved Brain Function
Want to have a quick thought process and improved brain power?
Drink chocolate in a cup.
The flavonoids, these amazing nutrients again, can improve the flow of blood to your brain.
It is responsible for improving your brain processes.
There is also research being done on the benefits of hot chocolate in dementia patients, as dementia is caused by restricted blood flow to the brain.
5. Prevents different Diseases
Gallic Acid Equivalents or GAE ever heard of them?
They are used to treat different diseases in the human body. Like hemorrhages, kidney disease, and diabetes.
Guess which drink has a lot of them? Yes, you guessed right.
With the flavonoids and GAE working together, you will be getting protection from 3 different diseases.
Add this amazing and delicious hot chocolate to your weekly diet. A fair warning to those who are trying to lose weight; you should probably not add the drink to your meal plan. Especially those who are trying to lose a large amount of weight.
Everyone else, even athletes training for boxing and sprints, can benefit from the blood flow improving advantage that hot chocolate has to offer.
And that’s just the beginning of it, you will know the true advantage of it when you start drinking.