This month I’ve included a recipe of my version of a healthy hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is truly magical for the senses. For me I’m transported to my childhood where I’m reminded of sipping on a cup of cocoa before bedtime with my mother beside me, the aroma of cocoa beans uplifts me with its richness and the warmth between my hands comforts me especially on a cold day. Besides the wonderful effects on our senses, cocoa can have health benefits too. However it is important to keep in mind that one should choose organic cocoa powder as its packed with more natural flavor and contains no harmful synthesized ingredients.
Lift your mood
If you struggle with mood swings or you just need a mood boost cocoa can help. Researches have described cocoa as an anti depressant that can raise your happiness levels. Cocoa contains mood boosting chemicals anandmide.
Cocoa powder’s is an aphrodisiac! Cocoa’s rich and deep flavor can have a seductive effect.
Cocoa contains a healthy amount of caffeine. This helps to boost energy and fight fatigue. Not only it contain caffeine but it contains magnesium too. Two tablespoons of cocoa powder has about 14% of your daily value of magnesium. Magnesium has been found to help in controlling blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
Protect the your heart
Cocoa is full of anti – inflammatory antioxidants flavanols. These antioxidants have been found to help you heart and your entire cardicascular system.
Polphemols found in cocoa can help protect your cells from premature oxidation; this will help keep your skin from looking aged or becoming wrinkled. It can improve your skins texture and give it a glowing look.
Cocoa has been found to improve your cognitive function and memory. Coca has been found to increase blood flow to the brain. Certain studies have shown that could possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease other age related neurological diseases.
Help your gut
The flavanols in cocoa have been found to become a prebiotic when they are digested. Prebiotics help promote digestive health. They balance the bacteria in your guy and ensure that the good bacteria in your gut flourish.
Now that your aware of the healthy effects of cocoa, you must find simple ways of adding it to your diet. One way of doing this is by adding cocoa to oats or porridge for breakfast. Some scientific studies have shown that eating cocoa with dairy milk can make the antioxidants present less effective. Also by eating or drinking cocoa with processed sugar will negate any of the benefits of cocoa. Try some new recipes that use this ingredient and let me know what works for you!