Hot chocolate, also known as hot cocoa, is a heated beverage consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and often sugar.
The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Aztecs around 2,000 years ago. The beverage became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico in the New World.
Even the the court of King Charles V adopted the drink. It also became a fashionable drink popular with the Spanish upper class. Cocoa was given as a dowry when members of the Spanish Royal Family married other European aristocrats.. At the time, chocolate was very expensive in Europe because the cocoa beans only grew in South America.
The beverage has undergone multiple changes since then.
Today, hot chocolate in the form of drinking chocolate or cocoa is considered a comfort food and is widely consumed in many parts of the world.
You can determine the nutritional value of the drink as well as its flavor by enriching it with different ingredients.
A 2003 study from Cornell University found that cocoa contains large amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. Also, it has been demonstrated that the cocoa bean helps with digestion. From the 16th to 19th centuries, hot chocolate was valued as a medicine as well as a drink.
Research has shown that the consumption of hot chocolate can be positive to one’s health. A study conducted by Cornell University has shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than wine and tea, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. Even small amounts of cocoa can reduce cholesterol in the blood and can lower blood pressure.
Chang Yong Lee, the professor and researcher at Cornell who conducted the study, revealed that larger amounts of antioxidants are released when the beverage is heated.
The flavonoids found in the cocoa that makes up hot chocolate also have a positive effect on arterial health.
Another dimension of the benefits of cocoa and chocolate consumption concerns mood.
Cocoa is rich in agents that enhance the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which possess anti-depressant and mood-elevating properties.
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”
Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health.
Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.
The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, and they can significantly reduce appetite, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
Furthermore, these fatty acids go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
Coconut oil can also kill harmful microorganisms.
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.
When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.
Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.” Maca’s benefits have been long valued, and has recently been popularized as a supplement and food ingredient.
If you have thyroid disease this is probably not the best thing for you. Maca root is high in iodine and glucosinolate, which is not ideal for your condition, so check with your physician first.
Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility.
Maca relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca.
Within days of using maca your energy level may increase. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired most of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost!
Maca helps your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids anemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy and allows you to heal from wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.
Many people take maca for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit for your skin is that is decreases sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help your skin withstand extreme temperatures.
If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stress, depression or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms. Some have reported an increase in mental energy and focus.
Turmeric is an old Indian spice with a powerful medicinal compound called Curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow or orange pigment.
In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to some potent drugs.
Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects. As an antioxidant, curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals, chemicals that can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells and cell membranes.
Epidemiological studies have linked the frequent use of turmeric to lower rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer; laboratory experiments have shown curcumin can prevent tumors from forming; and research conducted at the University of Texas suggests that even when breast cancer is already present, curcumin can help slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.
Curcumin may be able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. A number of studies have suggested that it protects against Alzheimer’s disease by turning on a gene that codes for the production of antioxidant proteins
- 1/2 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup water, warmed on stovetop
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon raw maca powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (plus a pinch of pepper for greater absorbability)
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 dashes cinnamon
- cayenne + sea salt, pinch of each
Add all ingredients to blender. Blend well and enjoy!