Your favorite cup of hot chocolate not just gives you winter warmth, but more health benefits too! Find out more.
We all love sparing that cosy time in winter, sitting in our favourite sunlit corner, to savour our cup of hot tea or coffee. The warmth that our body gets, and the feeling of having that “me-time” has no parallel. We cherish lazing around and doing things a bit slow in winter. However, as much as you love your cup of hot tea or coffee, there is also a rich feeling in savouring a cup of hot chocolate.
Something sweet, something warm, sipping on hot chocolate feels like a decadence in a mug. Apart from tantalizing your taste buds, there are some added health benefits. Yes, you heard that right! You might be dodging in treating yourself to a cup of hot chocolate thinking that it might do some harm to your health. But, now you can reach out for it, obviously in moderation, knowing that it has some health benefits to it that make it worth a try.
What are the health benefits of drinking hot chocolate?
Indulging in a cup of hot chocolate during the winter months is not just a delightful treat for the taste buds, but it can also provides a range of health benefits.
1. Rich in antioxidants
Beyond the comforting warmth it provides, hot chocolate, specifically when made with quality cocoa and milk, contains a wealth of nutrients and antioxidants. These antioxidants, known as flavonoids, contribute to heart health and might have anti-inflammatory properties. “Cocoa, the major ingredient in hot chocolate, is high in antioxidants like flavonoids. These compounds have been linked with various health benefits, including improved heart health and potential anti-inflammatory effects,” said the expert.
2. Mood-enhancing qualities
The mood-enhancing qualities of hot chocolate, attributed to the release of endorphins, could help lift spirits during the cold and often dreary winter days. Drinking hot chocolate can stimulate the production of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones. This may contribute to an improved mood and a sense of well-being, which is particularly beneficial during the colder, darker winter months.
3. Bone health
Hot chocolate made with milk is a fine source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Proper calcium intake is important for preventing conditions such as osteoporosis, and incorporating hot chocolate into your winter routine can contribute to your overall calcium intake.
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4. Warmth and comfort
Having hot chocolate in winter provides immediate warmth and comfort. The soothing nature of a hot beverage could help alleviate the chill, promoting a sense of warmth relaxation.
As one navigates the winter chill, sipping on a cup of hot chocolate becomes not just a delicious ritual but also a nourishing practice for both body and soul.
5. Boosts energy levels
The presence of a small amount of caffeine in chocolate, along with the natural sugars in the beverage, could provide a mild energy boost,” said the expert. This might be especially helpful during the winter when the cold weather and reduced daylight hours possibly lead to feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
All said and done, please don’t go overboard on drinking hot chocolate because it comes with the added burden of sugar which is not good for your health! If you have a pre-existing condition or you are trying to lose weight, consult with a qualified dietician in case to know if and how much hot chocolate can you indulge in!