Who can deny a cup of hot chocolate on a cold rainy day? Yes, everyone would love it. Besides, in a summery day, a cup of ice blended chocolate will also always be an idol. It is quite reasonable if we say that everyone everywhere at any time would love chocolate drink.
However, what makes chocolate be this sort of special? The taste? The benefits? or Is it just a matter of lifestyle? Whatever the reason is, the fact that chocolate drink is beneficial for health is proven. It is shown by the nutritional value contained in the chocolate drink that made of the cocoa powder.
Nutritional value of chocolate drink
A data about chocolate drink nutritional value provided by United Stated Department of Agriculture SR-21 reveals that in amount per cup or 86 grams of cocoa powder contains:
- Calories 196
- Total fat 11.8 g
- Cholesterol 8 mg
- Sodium 24 mg
- Potassium 1131 mg
- Total carbohydrate 49.6 g
- Protein 16.9 g
- Caffeine 43 mg
The other substances contained in the cocoa powder are Vitamin A, calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, iron, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, flavonoid, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and more. Thus, here are health benefits of chocolate drink.
- Regulates blood sugar
The healthy fat is contained in a cup of chocolate drink. This healthy fat enables your body to absorb the blood sugar slowly and prevent the raising insulin. Thus, it is good for the diabetics to drink a recommended amount of chocolate drink. Of course, the low sugar chocolate drink is highly recommended.
- Controls weight
The ability of chocolate to prevents the insulin spikes also enable to burn fat stronger. Therefore, consuming chocolate including the chocolate drink will actively burn fats and beneficial for your weight loss program. However, we have to pay attention to the mixture of our chocolate drink.
Sugar, milk, and creamer may be the perfect companion for our chocolate drink, but it will waste your diet program. So, make sure you add the low calories and low fat mixture to your chocolate drink.
- Improves blood circulation
One of the components in chocolate drink which is found to be beneficial for health is flavonoid. It is able to regulate the blood circulation well by making the platelets in your blood to bell sticky and preventing the blood clots. The well circulated blood will also reduce the risk of having stroke.
- Reduces the risk of heart diseases
As mentioned before, the flavonoid in chocolate drink is able to prevents blood clots, ensure the good blood circulation, lower the blood pressure, and even maintains a healthy heart. In addition to the flavonoid, the antioxidant from chocolate is very good to fights free radical that is also the cause of heart disease.
The hot chocolate drink is more recommended, since the heated chocolate will release more antioxidant. Therefore, it can be said that consuming chocolate drink will reduces the risk of heart diseases such as coronary heart disease.
- Boosts brain power
Besides helping the blood circulation, the flavonoid will also help the oxygen flow to the brain. The enough oxygen intakes for your brain will be able to make you to be more focused. It is also known that the main cause of dementia is the less oxygen flow to the brain.
Therefore, drinking chocolate drink while studying or doing something which requires you to be more concentrate is highly recommended.
- Boosts mood
Chocolate drink is known to contain serotonin which is able to release endorphin. Endorphin itself is a hormone secreted by brain and the nerve system which is able to make you feel good. It is the same feeling when you feel hyped after exercise or having sex. In the other words, endorphin in chocolate drink is very good to boosts mood, and even relieves stress.
- Fights cancer
A study revealed that the antioxidant contained in the chocolate, specifically a cup of chocolate drink contains twice antioxidant contained in a glass of red wine which is known to be the cancer-fighting antioxidant.
It is also suggested that we better to drink the hot chocolate in the morning, since its abundant benefits of drinking chocolate in the morning.
- Protects skin
The antioxidant and flavonoid contained in a cup of chocolate drink will help you protect your skin from some diseases including the skin cancer. It is possible since the flavonoid and antioxidant will actively absorb the bad effect of UV light in our skin.
It will also improve our skin hydration that maintains our moisturized skin. besides the chocolate drink, the benefits of chocolate can also be gained from chocolate which is used as face mask as mentioned in Benefits of Chocolate Face Mask
- Produces collagen
Among the mineral substances contained in the cocoa powder, copper is one of the essential mineral for human body. Add two tablespoons of cocoa powder to your drink will give you the benefits of chocolate drink, including the benefit of the copper contained in it. Copper is able to help the process of producing collagen.
We know that collagen is needed for our skin, muscle, and body cell regeneration. Especially for skin, collagen will maintain our skin’s elasticity and prevent wrinkle against aging. Meanwhile, there are many health benefits of chocolate drink.
- Strengthens teeth
One of the benefits of chocolate drink for health is strengthen teeth. It is possible, since cocoa contains oxalic acid which is able to lower acid production in the mouth and also prevents the growth of caries and plaque. The theobromine contained in the hot chocolate drinking is also known to harden the teeth’s enamel and prevents discoloration.
To sum up, consuming chocolate drink, especially the hot one, will helps you to keep your teeth healthy. This action should also be supported by keeping the dental hygiene regularly.
- Prevents anemia
Chocolate drink which is made of dark chocolate is rich of nutritious value such as vitamins and minerals. The vitamin and minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron is very good to enhance the red blood production and. Therefore, besides keeping away heart diseases, it will also protect us from anemia.
- Improves sex life
According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women who regularly consume chocolate either in a form of bar or beverage has a more active sex life that who doesn’t.
It might be caused by the composition of penylethlamine in the chocolate which is able to stimulate the feel of excitement.
- Eases Parkinson
Chocolate is surprisingly has the ability to ease the symptom of Parkinson, such as shaking. It is because any kinds of chocolate including chocolate drink contain penylethlamine which is known to release more dopamine.
Dopamine is needed by brain and body’s nerve system to coordinate the body movement. The loss of dopamine is the main cause of the Parkinson’s symptom such as shaking.
- Helps post workout recover
Did some workout and you have your body painful instead of fresh healthy body? It is frequently experienced by those who do irregular or too hard workout. To prevent the pain or even slightly relief the post workout pain, you can take chocolate drink added with some milk.
According to International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, the combination between chocolate and protein contained in the milk will enable the process of regenerating the muscle tissue rebuilding and refueling energy. the other benefit can be seen through Benefits of Chocolate Milk After Workout
- Reduces cholesterol
The carbohydrate contained in chocolate consists of high level dietary fiber. Thus make the chocolate drink is beneficial for health, since the dietary fiber is very helpful in reducing bad cholesterol.
Cautions of consuming chocolate drink
caffeine is not always good for our body. as mentioned in Health Benefits of Quitting Caffeine and 20 Caffeine Side Effects For Health . it is also happened fro caffeine in chocolate drink. As the high caffeine contained in the chocolate drink, it might be worse for those with digestive problem. It is possible since the dietary fiber in hot chocolate drink will increase the bowel movement, yet the caffeine has the effect of dehydrating.
This kind of condition might worsen constipation. Besides, the caffeine contained in the chocolate might also bad for glaucoma sufferer. Caffeine is able to increase the pressure in the eye, of which will worsen glaucoma. Therefore, the intake of chocolate drink for people with glaucoma should be cautiously watched.
In addition, the ability of cocoa powder and chocolate drink to reduce the blood clotting might not good for those with bleeding disorder. Therefore, when people is about to have surgery, it is suggested to avoid consuming chocolate in any form including chocolate drink to maintain the blood circulation well.
Recommended intake of chocolate drink
The recommended intake of the chocolate drink might differ according to some factors, including the intention of taking the chocolate drink. For example, to maintain healthy heart, a single dose of chocolate drink needs 13.5 – 80 grams of chocolate taken 1 – 3 times daily for every other days in at least 6 months.
On the other hand, for recovery after workout, 330 milliliters of chocolate drink can be taken right after the exercise, or at least two hours after exercise. As conclusion, despite of the precious health benefits of chocolate drink, the intake should still be watched. Of course by considering the body condition and the intention, the chocolate drink will create the good effect for our body. in addition, the other types of chocolate might also have beneficial value for our health, such as Health Benefits of White Chocolate .