Craving for something sweet before going to bed? Try a cup of hot chocolate! Many of you might be worried about gaining weights, but aside from that, hot chocolate does provide benefits for your health when it consumed before going to bed. If you have learned about the health benefits of herbal chamomile tea, you would find that one of them is it helps you sleep better.
It means that chamomile tea is excellent to drink before bed and now you have another amazing option, hot chocolate. So what actually this beverage carries that you should drink it before sleeping?
Hot Chocolate Nutrition Value
Before listing the benefits of hot chocolate for health, firstly check what comes in every 35 grams of hot chocolate according to USDA below.
- 8 kj calories
- 1 g sugars
- 2 g dietary fiber
- 3 IU vitamin A
- 3 mcg folate
- 6 mg choline
- 2 mg calcium
- 1 mg iron
- 1 mg magnesium
- 7 mg phosphorus
- 9 mg potassium
- 0 mg sodium
- 1 mg zinc
- 2 mcg selenium
- 0 mcg fluoride
Considering that there are numerous brands of chocolate at the market today, this table can’t be used for all types of hot chocolate you might consume. The nutrition info above is for cocoa mix in powder form and already mixed with water, not pure cocoa. The calories from the mixed cocoa formed by the fat, carbohydrate and protein. If you are doing a strict diet you might have to leave this beverage since it has calories.
Health Benefits of Hot Chocolate before Bed
Drinking a cup of hot chocolate before laying your back on your bed could be one of the best things of the day. It is unbelievable how you could gain benefits for your health from something nice and sweet like hot chocolate. So, what are those magical benefits that you can actually gain? Here are the health benefits of hot chocolate before bed:
- Reducing Tiredness
Tired is what you might feel every day every night before going to bed. The fact that you can actually get some real rest is great, but the extreme tiredness after the long day might still distract your mind. Get a cup of hot chocolate can reduce your tiredness because it has substance that works like amphetamine to make your body feel better.
- Stimulating Sexual Desire
More than just reducing your tiredness, the substance listed above is also useful in heightening sexual desire, making you and your spouse could have good bed time together. With your tiredness is cutting back, having sex is surely not a bad idea. You may also read about Health Benefits of Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
- Giving A Natural High
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is the cause of natural high. Whenever you need it before sleeping at night, drinking a cup of hot chocolate can help.
- Boosting Energy
Why do you need energy when you are going to bed? Some people need it for different reasons, not to sleep, but to make love with their spouses. Chocolate not only has phenylethylamine, but it also contains sugar, no matter what brand of chocolate you buy, that can boost energy as well. This could be a great night-energy-booster for those who need. You may also read about Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate and Red Wine
- Fighting Stress
When you are free of stress and depression, sleeping would be more comfortable. Chocolate is anti-depressant because it contains the happiness-producing-hormone, endorphin. That is why chocolate is usually related with stress fighter.
Also, the antioxidant in chocolate helps regulating the stress hormone and the best thing is that hot chocolate has more antioxidants because it releases more when the chocolate is heated. Moreover, chocolate has more antioxidants than green tea and black tea. So if you already know the benefits of green tea, the hot cocoa is even better in term of serving antioxidants. This beverage should be in the list of your diet especially before going to bed.
- Improving Blood Flow
Healthy blood flow is the key for a healthy heart. One of the most interesting ways to get your heart healthy with proper blood flow is by drinking hot chocolate due to its flavonoids. Nitric oxide processed by flavonoids is able preventing blood clotting. With the proper blood flow some dangerous diseases such as stroke can be prevented.
- Keeping You Up All Night
But, wait! People go to bed to sleep, so why do they need to stay awake? Some people need it; the example has been listed above, such as doing sex with their spouses. So if you are one of them who go to bed to stay awake, then take a cup of hot chocolate first.
Like coffee, chocolate is also high in caffeine that can make you awake. However, this effect might vary from one person to another. Some people even might not be affected at all and keep sleeping tight all night while some others can get the effect rapidly and some more need some hours to see the result. So if you are failed to get what you want by drinking this beverage, don’t blame the chocolate.
- Inducing Sleep
There are some proven health benefits of hot chocolate before bed. When combined with milk, hot chocolate can help your body to relax for a better sleep, thanks to the tryptophan in milk. So if you want to have a proper night sleep with hot chocolate, mix it with milk. However, again, since this beverage still has caffeine inside, you might not be affected by the milk if you are a kind of person who can be easily paralyzed by caffeine.
- Preventing Diabetes
According to a study done to mice, drinking hot cocoa can prevent diabetes as the flavonoids in dark chocolate can widen the blood vessels, thus helping proper blood flow. The amount of triglycerides, a type of harmful fats in the liver, is also reduced too.
Considering that the study was done to mice, the effect happen to human must be researched too to see the effectiveness. However, the benefits of flavonoids in cocoa powder are known since the ancient times, so ensure that you drink the cocoa powder, not chocolate.
- Maintaining Healthy Brain
Dementia is one of the most common brain disorders and one of the causes is the lacking of blood flow to the brain. Since drinking hot cocoa helps proper blood flow, then your brain can get enough blood to function preventing you from some diseases. Learn the ways to prevent Alzheimer and dementia to help you prevent even more and recognize whether or not you have the symptoms by checking the symptoms of dementia.
Cautions and Considerations
If you are a chocolate enthusiast and is very happy about the list of benefits above because finally you can stay healthy by consuming something delicious, please hold on and take some minutes to read more. Some cautions should be put into account before starting your habit drinking hot cocoa before bed.
1. It Should be Real Cocoa
What does it mean by real cocoa? It is the type of cocoa that doesn’t mix with too much ingredients, sugar especially. You can find hundreds of cocoa mix brands in the market so easily, but many of them especially the instant products are made of artificial monstrosity. This is surely bad because the real benefits of the cocoa would be cut. The best way is actually to make your own hot cocoa at home with less sugar and cream.
2. Choose Cocoa, Not Chocolate
Many people think they are the same kind, but they are different. When it is formed in chocolate, this is full of fat and sugar. This is really indulging and sweet, but it is not really healthy. When it is still cocoa, it is low in fat and sugar, so you better purchase the pure cocoa powder and make the beverage yourself to add any other healthy ingredients, like milk, that you want.
3. Make Sure the Cocoa is On Top
If you prefer buying the hot cocoa mix rather than making yourself at home, that is okay too as long as you can wisely choose the brand. Remember that you are not considering the price of the product, but the list of ingredients. Many expensive and popular brands of hot chocolate mixes don’t even have cocoa listed in the ingredients, which is very bad.
You will not get any health benefits if you keep checking the price. So whatever brand you are choosing, please read the ingredients first to ensure that the cocoa is on the top list. If not, then leave it.
If you love drinking hot chocolate, you can try drinking Milo too! Since there are some surprising benefits of drinking Milo that you might not know. Aside chocolate, try herbal tea before bed because there are also some benefits of herbal tea that you can get by sipping it before sleeping. Now you have a list of delicious, yet healthy beverages to add in your diet.