Who would have guessed that the key to a healthy heart is chocolate?
New research continues to build the case for making chocolate part of a heart-smart diet.
The latest? A cup of hot chocolate could be your best friend when it comes to your ticker.
Not convinced? Research is ranking it even higher than wine or even tea in this category.
Still not convinced? Read on and get ready to make yourself some healing hot chocolate!
Antioxidants in hot cocoa
Researchers at Cornell University found that antioxidant concentration in hot cocoa is nearly twice as good as red wine, almost three times better than green tea, and nearly five times stronger than black tea.
The study also found that serving chocolate hot releases even more antioxidants thanks to the heating process.
But what does this mean for you?
Well, more antioxidants in your diet means a positive impact on your heart.
Just one cup of hot cocoa is packed with 611 milligrams of gallic acid, which is a phenolic compound commonly used for treating diabetes, kidney disease, and internal hemorrhages.
Flavanols in chocolate
Want more proof? Two more studies (published by Age and the British Journal of Nutrition) found that people who ate cocoa benefited greatly from its flavanols.
These flavanols make it easier for the heart to function and can even help reverse the effects of aging on the organ itself by making your arteries a lot healthier.
The same studies also indicate that regular intake of the flavanols in cocoa reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
But before scarfing down lots of chocolate, as possible, be mindful.
A chocolate bar may have some of the same benefits, but they’re generally thought to be negated by all the saturated fat in each serving.
Your best bet really is to stick with a hot mug of dark cocoa.
The official advice is to make your next mug of hot chocolate with 100-percent unsweetened and non-alkalized cocoa powder and fat-free milk.