Hot chocolate is a hot beverage that commonly consists ofchocolate, heated milk, cocoa powder and sugar. It is made from chocolate pasteor shavings and is different than the powder that gets dissolved in water. Itdates back to Mayan people some 2,000 years ago and it has been introduced tothe New World and Europe from Mexico. In the past, it has been used to treatvarious stomach problems.
Hot chocolate has very powerful antioxidant properties andreduces the risk of various heart diseases. It contains much more antioxidantsthan green tea or red wine. The amount of antioxidants gets increased when thebeverage is heated. Since cocoa is abundant in flavonoids, it is verybeneficial for arterial health, improved blood flow and the functioning ofendothelial cells found in the blood vessels.
Some other benefits thatflavonoids provide include improved dilation of blood vessels, prevention ofplatelets clustering and the damage caused by the free radicals. Flavonoids arealso beneficial in balancing the levels of eicosanoids and keeping the overall cardiovascularhealth in good shape.
The most benefits of cacao can be found in its raw form, andone should avoid its highly processed forms. Its contents of antioxidants ismultiple times more than that of green tea and red wine. In its raw form, cocoais also very rich in sulphur and magnesium.
That makes it very important in maintainingliver and pancreas health and strengthening the nails and bones. Bitter darkcocoa powder is the best possible option and in can be purchased in variousshops. It should be consumed moderately since overconsumption may cause thehuman body to not hold onto calcium well and increase the chance of thedevelopment of osteoporosis. Phenylethylamine, which is commonly found in thecocoa, enhances the mood and makes one feel relaxed due to the influence cocoahas on theta brain waves. Throughout the history cocoa has been used for thetreatment of bronchitis and insect bites.
Hot chocolate may also have some negative effects but mostof them can be associated with higher content of sugar and fat that may bepresent in the beverage. Due to these ingredients one may have certain healthrisks and dental problems. Processed cocoa powder is abundant in additionalsweeteners which may be harmful, and sometimes it may also contain certainhydrogenated fats and oils. Small amounts of caffeine found in the hotchocolate can also be the cause of certain health concerns.