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is always a good option for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or for dinner since you can pair this tasty beverage with bread, churros, pan dulce, or any other dish. However, this warm drink is not only delicious, but it is also full of health benefits
. Keep on reading to learn about the amazing benefits of chocolate
and why including it in your diet is a fantastic choice.
It is worth mentioning that cacao
, the main ingredient in the production of chocolate
, originated in Mexico to then arrive in all the corners of the world. In ancient times, cacao was so precious it was used as currency, but it was also used to treat different illnesses. According to Mexico’s Office of the Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer (Profeco), the Olmec were the first to grow cacao and use it to prepare a beverage that was only consumed in ceremonies, for it was considered a food worthy of gods.
The health benefits of drinking hot chocolate
Believe it or not, hot chocolate
is full of health benefits, which can help with conditions including depression, heart diseases, and even brain diseases. Read on to know more about the health benefits of cacao
Cacao: Vitamins and minerals
Cacao has a high content of several vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, which are essential for good health:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin B2
Now you know, products made from cacao
are an excellent option at any time of the day thanks to its health benefits. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that not all hot chocolates
will have these health benefits since they must contain at least 72% of cacao and not too much sugar.
The benefits of eating cacao
According to a study published in 2009, cacao
is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps improve cholesterol levels
and reduce inflammation levels
and blood pressure
. On top of that, another study showed that cocoa and cacao are also great to reduce the chances of heart attacks and cancer. More on the health benefits of cacao next. Hot chocolate against depression
It might be beyond belief, but cacao
improves the symptoms of depression since it contains flavanols and caffein and helps with serotonin production. Moreover, scientific research published in 2004 explains there is a link between eating chocolate
and a decrease in stress.
Cocoa for the heart
Due to its high content of flavanols and other substances, hot chocolate
is perfect for lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of a heart attack. On the other hand, cacao also lowers cholesterol levels in the blood.
Now you know, eating products made with cacao
is ideal for taking care of your heart; nevertheless, you must eat dark chocolate
with little sugar, or else, you won’t make the most of many of its benefits.
Is hot chocolate good for the brain?
Besides improving your mood and protecting your heart, cacao
and hot chocolate
are excellent options if you want to strengthen your brain since it is rich in polyphenols, a chemical that improves brain function.
Although more research is needed to confirm the effect of chocolate
on several diseases, it appears to be a great ally in the prevention of Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cacao could prevent cancer
As mentioned before, cacao
contains flavanols, but why is this substance so relevant? Because it is linked to properties that prevent cancer. Likewise, this food is also rich in antioxidants, making it ideal against the effects of free radicals.
Chocolate to strengthen the immune system
Since cacao is rich in iron, zinc, and selenium, it is a fundamental ingredient for boosting the immune system naturally.
Translated by Miranda Perea