A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

5 reasons hot cocoa is good for you

Hot mocha mix in a jar is a great way to warm up on a chilly winter morning.

High antioxidants in cocoa help prevent cancer, heart disease and aging, and dark chocolate can reduce stress.

We relish hot cocoa for warming our bellies and spirits on cold winter days, but this ancient drink also can be good for you.  Here are five reasons to rank hot cocoa as healthful:

Antioxidant strength

Cocoa is twice as strong as red wine when it comes to antioxidants, 2-3 times as strong as green tea and 4-5 times as strong as black tea. Antioxidants help prevent cancer, heart disease and aging.

Stress-busting qualities

Researchers have found that eating an average-sized dark chocolate candy bar daily for two weeks reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as “fight-or-flight” hormones in highly stressed people.

Contains flavonoids

Hot cocoa is rich in flavonoids, which improve blood flow. Improved blood flow reduces the chance of blood clots, lowers blood pressure, improves heart health and helps you think better thanks to better blood flow to the brain.

Contains less fat

Hot cocoa has less fat than bar chocolate. Hot chocolate is chocolate melted in liquid, while hot cocoa is cocoa powder melted in hot water or milk.

Less extra ingredients

Homemade hot cocoa is better for you than instant mixes, which are full of sweeteners, oils and synthetic ingredients.

For a healthier cup of hot cocoa, try this recipe.

Hot Mocha Mix in a Jar

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 56

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups nonfat milk powder
  • 3/4 cup Splenda®
  • 3/4 cup powdered non-dairy coffee creamer
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee granules

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well blended. Store in a sealed container.

To serve, heat 1 cup of water and stir in 2 to 3 heaping teaspoons of cocoa mixture.

Nutrition information

Each serving (1 tablespoon dry mix) contains about 20 calories, 0.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 1 g protein.

Source: splenda.com

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