For ardent chocolate lovers, the fact that hot chocolate is a sweet source of antioxidants is like music to the ears. People across the globe depend on a hot cup of cocoa to fight the despondency of a cold winter day and bring the cheer back into their lives. However, there is more good associated with a good cup of hot chocolate than simply bringing the smile back. Cocoa, like red wine and green tea, contains a substance called phenols, which are potent antioxidants. In fact, studies have revealed that hot chocolate has more antioxidants in it than a similar serving of red wine or green tea. Antioxidants can be of immense help to our overall wellbeing and health. However, before we delve into their benefits, let us find try to understand why antioxidants are good for us.
How Do Antioxidants Help Us?
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids that are part of the phenols family of chemical compounds. These substances inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which, if absorbed by the body can prove to be harmful. Besides, the preservative qualities of these antioxidants help to keep the chocolate fresh for longer time periods. Moderate consumption of cocoa also increases the level of good cholesterol in our body.
How Antioxidant-Rich is Hot Cocoa?
According to a recent study conducted by the Cornell’s Department of Food Science and Technology, cocoa powder provides more antioxidants than chocolates in any other form. In comparison to red wine and green tea, a cup of hot chocolate contains a high antioxidants count. Although you can drink cocoa cold or hot, it is the hot cup which, according to studies, triggers more antioxidants in the body. The antioxidant concentration in hot chocolate is almost 2 times stronger than red wine and green tea and about 4 to 5 times stronger than black tea.
There are dramatic differences in the level of antioxidants present in a cup of hot chocolate as compared to other chocolate products. Milk chocolate is known for containing the lowest amount of antioxidants, while dark chocolate has better antioxidant concentration. However, even dark chocolate, when consumed in an eating form, can increase the level of fat in the body. Therefore, it is better to consume chocolate in the form of a drink.
Health Benefits of Hot Cocoa
We need antioxidants to fight against free radicals, which are small molecules generated during normal metabolic processes. Excess production of free radicals can cause damage to the cells, result in age-related diseases, and quicken the aging process. The flavonoids of the phenol family of antioxidants mop up free radicals and help to reduce the level of damage they can cause in our body.
There is growing evidence to substantiate the health benefits of cocoa. Hot chocolate is a tasty alternative that helps enrich healthy antioxidants in our body. These antioxidants have been shown to fight cancer, heart disease and aging.