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Hot chocolate is a delicious drink that many people enjoy, especially during the cold season. But did you know that hot chocolate can also have positive effects on your health and mood? Here are some of the benefits of drinking hot chocolate that you may not be aware of.
It Improves Your Brain Function
According to a study by Harvard Medical School, drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day can enhance blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive performance. Hot chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can protect the brain cells from damage and inflammation. Flavonoids can also stimulate the formation of new neurons and improve the communication between them. This can help you with learning, memory, and problem-solving skills. For example, drinking hot chocolate before a test or a presentation can boost your brain power and help you ace it.
It Lowers Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Another benefit of flavonoids in hot chocolate is that they can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Flavonoids can relax the blood vessels and improve their function, which can reduce the pressure and resistance in the arteries. Flavonoids can also inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is the bad type of cholesterol that can clog the arteries. This can prevent plaque formation and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. For example, drinking hot chocolate after a stressful day can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
It Boosts Your Mood and Reduces Stress
Drinking hot chocolate can also make you feel happier and more relaxed. Hot chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is a chemical that can stimulate the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain. Endorphins and dopamine are neurotransmitters that can enhance your mood and reduce stress. Hot chocolate can also increase the levels of serotonin, which is another neurotransmitter that can regulate your emotions and sleep. This can help you cope with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. For example, drinking hot chocolate before bed can improve your mood and help you sleep better.
It Supports Your Immune System and Fights Infections
Hot chocolate can also help you stay healthy and fight off infections. Hot chocolate contains zinc, which is a mineral that can support your immune system and help it fight against bacteria and viruses. Hot chocolate also contains theobromine, which is a compound that can suppress cough and soothe the throat. Theobromine can also have antibacterial and antiviral effects, which can prevent infections and inflammation. For example, drinking hot chocolate when you have a cold or a sore throat can ease your symptoms and speed up your recovery.
It Provides You With Essential Nutrients
Hot chocolate is not only a source of antioxidants, but also a source of many other nutrients, such as fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin K, among other proteins, vitamins, minerals, and sugars. These nutrients are essential for proper bodily function and can help you meet your daily requirements. Some organic hot chocolate drinks, like Bona Vita’s, come with great ingredients that make this drink even more nutritious. For example, it contains chlorella, which is a type of algae that can boost digestion and reduce inflammation, and guyabano, which is a fruit that is rich in vitamin C and B vitamins.
Track Your Hot Chocolate Intake
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If you are looking for a smart way to track your food intake and nutrition, you may want to consider the RENPHO Calibra 1 Smart Nutrition Scale and the Smart Food Scale 2. These are two innovative devices that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and provide you with detailed information about the calories and nutrients of your food. You can use them to weigh your food portions, scan barcodes of packaged foods, and search for foods in the app’s database. The app will then calculate and display the nutritional values of your food, such as protein, fat, carbs, sugar, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more. You can also set your daily goals and track your progress over time.
One of the benefits of using these smart scales is that you can see the benefits of drinking hot chocolate for your health and mood. As we have seen in the previous article, hot chocolate can improve your brain function, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, boost your mood and reduce stress, support your immune system and fight infections, and provide you with essential nutrients. By using the smart scales, you can measure how much hot chocolate you are drinking and how it affects your daily intake of calories and nutrients. You can also compare different types of hot chocolate, such as organic, sugar-free, or with added ingredients, and see how they differ in their nutritional profiles. This way, you can enjoy your hot chocolate while being mindful of your health and wellness goals.
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