Hot Chocolate is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It is loved by people of all ages. Because we can drink it at any time with any kinds of food. But not many people know that drinking hot chocolate in the morning brings so many health benefits. It can be a great substitute for tea and coffee, especially for those of you who don’t like coffee.
Drinking chocolate has been a tradition from the Mayans era. The mayans were the first to discover that chocolate can be processed as a beverage. Even though back then, the chocolate beverage tasted spicy because they didn’t add any sweetener. They served a cold spicy chocolate drink. It wasn’t until the 16th century that the Spanish discovered that chocolate can be sweetened to tone down the bitter and spicy taste.
Around 17th century in French, chocolate beverage was used to treat ailments and maladies. It was promoted as a comfort food that can lighten up one’s mood. The chocolate beverage was sweetened and served hot. It was also valued as a medicine. Also read Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate.
Many people doubt the nutrition value of hot chocolate, being afraid that the nutrition of chocolate could be gone after being through a long process to be drinkable. Since there are a lot of health benefits of cocoa. But actually, hot chocolate contains as many nutrition as the cocoa fruit has. Below is the nutrition value of hot chocolate. Especially when being drunk in the morning, hot chocolate does bring many health benefits to help you start the day.
Nutrition Value of Hot Chocolate
Serving: 1 cup (250 g)
- Calories: 194
- Saturated fat: 3.6 g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 g
- Monounsaturated fat: 1.7 g
- Trans fat: 0.2 g
- Cholesterol: 20 mg
- Sodium: 110 mg
- Potassium 492.5 mg
- Dietary fiber: 2.5 g
- Protein: 9 g
- Caffeine: 5 mg
- Vitamin A: 8%
- Calcium: 28%
- Vitamin D: 28%
- Vitamin B-12: 20%
- Iron: 6%
- Vitamin B-6: 5%
- Magnesium: 14%
The nutrition value above hinted that hot chocolate does contain as many nutrition as the cocoa fruit does. Below is the list of the many health benefits of drinking chocolate in the morning as milk replacement:
- Set the mood straight for the rest of the day
You sure don’t want to start your day by having a bad mood. So, drinking hot chocolate in the morning is the best option for you. Hot chocolate contains serotonin, an antibdepressant agent that can boost the production of endorphin. Endorphin is the hormone that needed to maintain happiness.
By having a strong kick of endorphin, your mood will be lightened up and you can start your day with the right set of mind. Hot chocolate also contains high anti-oxidants. The anti-oxidants is produced when chocolate is melted into a drink, as heat is proven to boost the production of antioxidants.
- Improves blood vessels function
Based on a scientific research, cocoa flavanols can improves blood vessels function. Thus, making it easier for the blood to flow throughout the body. Cocoa flavanols is vital to the processing of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is used to prevent blood clots. It makes platelets less sticky, so the blood can flow freely.
As a result, the blood pressure will be lower. It is essential to make sure that our blood flow works great in the morning, because you will want to start your day in the best condition.
- Improves brain function
According to a study conducted by researchers, the consumption of hot chocolate can increase cognitive function. Hot chocolate contains nutrient that could help boosting the activity in the dentate gyrus part of the brain.
The improvement of activity in that part of the brain brings a huge impact in cognitive function. You will need it in the morning, so that you can say productive for the rest of the day. So, you can get health benefits of drinking chocolate in the morning.
- Enhances memory
The important factor in enhancing memory is to maintain a proper blood flow to parts of the brain. the intensity of blood flow that needed for the brain to do its job is different, depends to its function. Some regions of the brain may need more energy to do its job. Cocoa flavanols in hot chocolate does boost the blood flow to the brain. Thus, it improves to work of part of the brain which function is to enhance memory.
So, by drinking hot chocolate in the morning, you also enhances your memory. It is a great perk to have because you sure do want the best version of your memory so you can finish your work for the rest of the day.
- Helps to think better
Cocoa Flavonoids have other benefits too. Based on a research conducted by American Association for the Advancement of Science, cocoa flavonoids help you to think better. Because as stated above, cocoa flavonoids improves blood flow to the brain.
This would boost the function of the brain, it will helps you to think better. It will be super useful for you, since you will need to think better in order to finish the works you are assigned with for the rest of the day.
- Relaxes Muscles after excercise
For those of you who likes to work out in the morning, drinking hot chocolate could help relaxing your muscle post-work out. It is proven that there are many benefits of chocolate milk after workout. A study conducted by Penn State researchers found that the protein in chocolate could relaxes muscles and reduces soreness post-workout.
Another study found that athletes who drinks chocolate had less muscle damage that athletes who don’t drink chocolate. This is best for you who still have to go to work or to school after working out. It will prevent you to suffer from soreness at work.
- Helps boosting immune system
Hot Chocolate contains abundant of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that aid in boosting the immune system. A strong immune system is important to stay productive. If your body’s immune system have it right in the morning, We guarantee that the you will stay healthy, energetic, and productive for the rest of the day. So, drink hot chocolate in the morning and feel the difference.
- Lower the risk of heart disease
Cocoa flavonoids in hot chocolate could help improving the blood flow throughout the body. A proper blood flow is the key to a healthy heart. Thus, it results in the low risk of heart disease because the supply of blood to the heart is in the right amount.
A healthy heart is the the key to a healthy life. Because heart is two of the most important organs of our body because it regulates the flow of the blood throughout the body. You might want to check out health benefits of white chocolate.
- Helps strengthening teeth
In cocoa, you can find a part called tannins. Tannins contain oxalic acid which function is to lower the production of acid and weaken the growth of plaque. Hot chocolate also contains theobromine which function is to harden enamel and prevents discoloration. So, it helps to maintain teeth health. A healthy teeth is essential for you to fight for the rest of the day, so you won’t be having a problem with the way you eat your favorite foods and drinks.
Above is the list of health benefits of drinking hot chocolate in the morning. So, by reading it, you know now that hot chocolate is not only a fancy and versatile beverage that’s best consumed at night. Drinking hot chocolate in the morning also brings a lot of healthy benefits that could help you to stay productive for the rest of the day.
How to make a healthy hot chocolate drink
It is important to take not that, you have to choose the best kind of cocoa powder for the best effect. The key to a healthy hot chocolate drink is in its cocoa powder. Because there are many health benefits of unsweetened cocoa powder. Naturally processed cocoa powder is the most rich of nutrients kind. So, pick the naturally processed cocoa powder so you can make use of its healthy benefits. Below is the steps to make a healthy hot chocolate drink.
- 4 table spoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tea spoon of granulated sugar
- 150 ml hot water
- 100 ml milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- A sprinkle of salt
- Put the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt into a cup
- Heat up the water until it’s almost boiled
- Pour over the mixture into the cup
- Pour the milk into the water
- Mix it until it’s fully incorporated.
Well, there are many health benefits of drinking chocolate in the morning for your breakfast, as the replacement for milk to boost your day!