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Drink Healthy Hot Cocoa to Warm Up and Stay Healthy Too

A study, carried out by Dr Chang Yong Lee and colleagues at Cornell University in New York, shows that drinking a cup of hot cocoa may be the perfect way to warm up and provide your body with a helpful dose of antioxidants. The study was published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer reviewed publication and the world’s largest scientific society.

Many studies over the years have proved that green tea, wine and chocolate, especially dark chocolate, are rich in antioxidants and can protect the body against a variety of diseases.

A study in China found that those who drank tea were half as likely to develop cancer as those who didn’t drink tea, while another study in France suggested that a daily glass of red wine cut men’s chances by 50% of having a second heart attack.

Yet this new study suggests that drinking a cup of hot cocoa may be more powerful in supplying the body in antioxidants than either tea or wine.

Red wine, tea and chocolate are high in polyphenols, which have an antioxidant effect on the body. Antioxidants protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals and help defend against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

The study, headed by Dr. Chang Yong Lee, measured antioxidant levels in a cup of water with a standard-sized bag of green tea, a cup of water with a standard-sized bag of black tea, one glass of California red Merlot, and a cup of hot water with two tablespoons of pure cocoa powder, the equivalent of a normal-sized packet of instant hot cocoa.

The team analyzed the antioxidant content in each drink and found that the cup of hot cocoa had double the amount of antioxidants as the glass of red wine, three times more antioxidants than the cup of green tea and five times more than black tea.

Although the antioxidant levels of cocoa can be found in candy bards, desserts, liquers and other sugar rich sources, the team suggests that it is best to opt for hot cocoa since the saturated stout content in remarkably lower than most other sources. To avoid sugar and dairy, they suggest skim or soy milk and artificial sweeteners to replace sugar.

They concluded that hot cocoa is better than cold, since the hot drink stimulates the release of more antioxidants.

Experts say that other excellent ways to get antioxidants include eating a wide variety of vegetables, such as tomatoes, fruits, such as oranges, and herbs, such as green tea.

The author of this article is Tim Moore, writing for Vitamins Stuff, a site that offers information on vitaminstuff.com Vitamins and Alternative Medicine.

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