With the word cocoa, you get tempting images of brownie or fudge cake in your mind, which are not so healthy. But drinking hot cocoa is actually healthy and tasty at the same time. Warm milk flavored with cinnamon, cocoa, and nutmeg is absolutely delicious.
Small pieces of marshmallows melt smoothly in such hot drinks. The smells of sweets are combined into a single whole and fill the entire room, immersing you in a world where there is no place for sorrow and anxiety.
It is simply impossible not to love cocoa – even doctors agree with this. Let’s figure out the health benefits of drinking hot cocoa.
Health Benefits Of Drinking Hot Cocoa
The hot cocoa drink is also healthy like cocoa powder as both have high antioxidant properties. Other than that, it offers the following benefits.
1. Increases Blood Flow And Improves Performance
Just one mug of hot chocolate helps you improve the thinking abilities. Experts from the University of Birmingham and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign published a study on November 24, 2020, in which they found that cocoa improves cognitive skills.
The fact is that hot cocoa drink contains flavanols, which affect the level of oxygen in the blood. When a person takes a portion of a product rich in them, his blood flow increases, and useful elements quickly enter the brain, speeding up its work. Note that by consuming cocoa frequently, you can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
By the way, according to a study by Columbia University published in 2012, cities where people often consumed chocolate products (cocoa also refers to them) turned out to be the most Nobel laureates. Perhaps this is just a coincidence, but now you have an extra reason not to limit yourself to your favorite drink.
2. Protects Against Diseases Of The Cardiovascular System
The flavanols in cocoa help prevent blockages, reduce blood clotting, and lower blood pressure. All this will have a good effect on the state of the body. A 2011 Harvard School of Public Health meta-study found that a cup or two of cocoa per week reduced the risk of heart disease. It also decreased insulin resistance: paradoxically, the sweetness can cure diabetes!
Keep in mind that you need to know when to stop in everything. Don’t overdo your chocolates and cocoa, as your risk of diabetes will only increase.
3. Improves Skin Condition
A mug of cocoa will save your skin from premature aging and improve its elasticity. Besides, it increases collagen secretion, making wrinkles less noticeable or even erases them. All thanks to the trace elements contained in the hot cocoa drink.
Cocoa is especially useful for active smokers. Specialists from Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf found that it helps to regenerate the skin. As regenerating skin is more slowly due to nicotine’s constant intake, this drink will fasten the process. Also, the flavanols contained in the drink reduce the risk of sunburn.
4. Helps You Give Up Unhealthy Drinks
Many people drink alcohol or coffee more often in winters and use cold weather as an excuse. Remember that such drinks are unhealthy and also addictive. So if anyone from your family has a similar habit, then help them to replace such drinks with a hot cocoa drink. It is not only healthy but also keeps you warm in cold weather.
Besides, it helps to keep a person in a good mood, while alcohol does the opposite. If it is becoming difficult for you to keep your family member away from alcohol due to their increased dependence, call for help. There are many substance abuse helplines available for facilitating those suffering from addiction. Timely contact these helplines before things get out of hand.
5. Relieve Fatigue And Save You From Blues
Do you feel tired to such an extent that you don’t even have any strength? How about flavored cocoa? It, according to the specialists of the Department of Psychology at the University of Würzburg, is able to cope even with an extremely bad mood, which signals an emotional decline.
This happens not only because of the enchanting taste but also because of all the same flavanols. It has theobromine, an alkaloid with properties similar to those of caffeine. Together, these elements can reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue. It helps a person cope with emotional burnout and provides peace of mind that we all sometimes lack so much.
6. Helps You Breathe Evenly
A portion of cocoa is unlikely to save you from coronavirus, but in case of a cold or an asthmatic attack, it will put you on your feet. The alkaloids theobromine and theophylline, which are part of the product, reduce the frequency of nerve impulses that affect the desire of people with chronic diseases to cough up.
Often, the same suffocation in people with asthma is associated precisely with muscle spasm and the substances that make up cocoa affects the relaxation of the body. This helps to gradually reduce the attacks to nothing.
These alkaloids also widen the airways and allow deeper breathing, which is important for colds. If you hear wheezing in your chest – take a portion of a drink or rub a little cocoa butter into your chest. These are the methods that best help in case of an ailment. And don’t forget to see a doctor.
7. Allows You To Restore The Balance Of Copper In The Body
Lack of copper is an extremely rare situation. It often occurs in those who have suffered from serious kidney and liver disease or have gone through a long period of enteral nutrition. With a deficiency, a person may be faced with brittle bones, deterioration in gait, and a sharp graying of hair.
Researchers at the International Hospital of St. Luke in Tokyo note that cocoa powder is rich in copper. So taking the product carefully will help to cope with the problems caused by the lack of this substance.
You need to be sure of the quality of cocoa powder before using it for making the hot cocoa drink; if it is expired or contains chemicals, it will become as harmful as any alcoholic drink!