Everyone likes a warm cup of cocoa during the cold winter months, especially for those of us that reside in cold climates. Did you know that drinking a cup of cocoa a day can help to fend off the nasty flu virus? Recent research has shown that a cup of cocoa can increase your ability to fight the influenza virus by giving your immune system a boost. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols dietary fiber, and essential minerals, such as iron, copper, and zinc.
Cocoa has many other health benefits, including:
+ It’s a powerful antioxidant
+ Improves insulin sensitivity to aid in reducing your blood sugar
+ Decreases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL), your good cholesterol
+ Reduces blood pressure and cardiovascular risk
+ Increases your good gut bacteria
+ Works as an antimicrobial
Not any cocoa will do. Make sure your cocoa is low in sugar and is free from partially hydrogenated fat. The best cocoa contains more than 80% cocoa. The best way to make a cup of cocoa is with a 100% cocoa powder or cacao powder, a tad of honey or maple sugar, and milk or milk alternatives, like almond or cashew milk.
That’s it. It’s that simple!
Kamei, M., Nishimura, H., Takahashi, T., Takahashi, N., Inokuchi, K., Mato, T., & Takahashi, K. (2016). Anti‐influenza virus effects of cocoa. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96(4), 1150-1158.
Langer, S., Marshall, L. J., Day, A. J., & Morgan, M. R. (2011). Flavanols and methylxanthines in commercially available dark chocolate: a study of the correlation with nonfat cocoa solids. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59(15), 8435-8441.