Having a cup of hot cocoa in the evening can be a delicious and comforting end to the day, but it can also have health benefits. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of drinking hot cocoa at night and how it can affect sleep quality, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and more.
Hot chocolate is a drink that is prepared with milk and chocolate, and has been consumed for centuries. Chocolate has traditionally been used as a comfort and energizing drink, and has been linked to many health benefits.
Benefits of drinking hot chocolate at night
- It enhances sleep quality
One of the reasons why drinking hot chocolate at night can be beneficial is because it can improve the quality of your sleep. Chocolate contains a substance called tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep and mood, so it can help improve sleep quality.
Also, hot chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine, which can help maintain wakefulness during the day, but not enough to cause insomnia. Therefore, having a cup of hot chocolate at night can help you relax and sleep better.
- Improves cardiovascular health
Hot chocolate may also be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidant compounds found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as cocoa. Flavonoids may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood vessel function and lowering blood pressure.
In addition, a 2017 study found that consuming hot chocolate rich in flavonoids can reduce arterial stiffness and improve blood vessel function in people with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, drinking hot chocolate in the evening may be a delicious way to take care of the heart and blood vessels.
- Improves cognitive function
Hot chocolate can also improve cognitive function, which can be beneficial for academic and work performance. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are natural stimulants that can improve concentration and alertness.
Additionally, the flavonoids found in chocolate can improve blood circulation and increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which can improve memory and overall cognitive function. A 2013 study found that participants who consumed flavonoid-rich hot chocolate for five days had significant improvement in cognitive function and short-term memory compared to participants who consumed lower-flavonoid hot chocolate.
To optimize the benefits of hot chocolate for cognition and memory, it's important to choose a high-quality drink that contains a significant amount of cocoa and flavonoids. Additionally, it's important to note that hot chocolate can also contain excess sugar and saturated fat, which can be detrimental to your overall health.
Another way to optimize the benefits of hot chocolate for cognition and memory is to combine it with other foods and nutrients that can also improve cognitive function and memory. For example, combining hot chocolate with nuts, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to further improve cognitive function and memory.
Additionally, some nutritional supplements may be beneficial for cognition and memory and can be combined with hot chocolate for a synergistic effect. For example, the omega-3 DHA, found in certain types of algae and fatty fish such as salmon, has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory. Combining hot chocolate with a DHA omega-3 supplement may be an effective way to further enhance these benefits.
- Reduces stress and anxiety
Hot chocolate also has relaxing properties that can reduce stress and anxiety. Chocolate contains compounds such as theobromine, which may have a relaxing effect on the body by reducing
Studies have shown that regular consumption of hot chocolate can improve cognitive function and memory.
A 2013 study found that participants who consumed flavonoid-rich hot chocolate for five days had significant improvements in cognitive function and short-term memory compared to participants who consumed lower-flavonoid hot chocolate. .
Another study carried out in 2018 concluded that regular consumption of hot chocolate contributes to improving long-term memory.
In addition to flavonoids, hot chocolate also contains caffeine, which can improve concentration and alertness.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and can help improve attention span and working memory, which is the ability to hold and manipulate information in the mind in the short term.
In summary, regular consumption of hot chocolate may have benefits for cognition and memory by improving blood circulation and increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.