Never has there been a food that means so much to so many. Chocolate is revered by people across the world for good reason. It’s botanical name, Theobroma cacao, literally translates to “Food of the Gods.”
And we’ll be honest, we’re big fans of that rich, deep, dark chocolate goodness at the Mohr House.
Though chocolate has been a part of Valentine’s Day for as long as we know it, its drool worthy, rich flavor also boasts some impressive health benefits to stake its mark in American Heart Month. While this is great news for chocolate lovers, it’s important to distinguish the differences among the different types of chocolate.
Four pumps of chocolate syrup in your latte or marshmallow filled candy bars don’t quite come with the same benefits as 100% raw cacao, which is loaded with flavanols, a super healthy phytonutrient. These flavanols can support cardiovascular health, circulation, and much more.
Let’s look at some of the science behind this powerful health food and see how you can apply it to your own daily routine. A study out of the University of Barcelona found daily consumption of 40 grams of cocoa powder with skim milk for 4 weeks boosted HDL (the heart healthy cholesterol) and reduced LDL (the dangerous cholesterol).
Another recent review, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the results of 42 studies to determine overall effects on cardiovascular disease. This review supported the study above, with improvements in cholesterol, but also found reductions in blood pressure, improved circulation and improved insulin resistance. And these results may not be limited to just adults. An Australian study found 7 grams of dark chocolate (equal to about 1 tablespoon of a high quality Raw Cacao product, like Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder) daily improved children’s blood pressure as well.
Isn’t it nice to know science supports the benefits of having a little homemade hot chocolate on a cool February evening?
Here’s a favorite recipe around here — our daughter is a big fan herself and it’s nice for us knowing she’s getting more than just pure sugar and other “junk” in most hot chocolate packets:
High Protein Antioxidant Powerhouse Deep, Dark Hot Chocolate
- 2 tablespoon Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao powder
- 1 scoop chocolate whey protein: we use Jamie Eason’s Lean Body for Her Whey Isolate
- 1 Cup unsweetened, Vanilla Almond Milk (or low-fat Dairy Milk)
- Dash Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
- Dash Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Method of Preparation
- Mix all ingredients with milk in a medium saucepan.
- Heat it over low to medium heat, without causing it to boil.
- Stir continuously with a whisk to dissolve the sugar and distribute the cacao.
- Serve when hot.
This whey mixes very well. If you find lumps, even after stirring, you can blend all ingredients first and then heat.
About the Author.
Dr. Christopher Mohr, PhD RD is a nutrition spokesperson and consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including the The Dairy Council, SOYJOY, and Nordic Naturals. He is a consulting Sports Nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals and is also the Sports Nutritionist for Under Armour’s TNP Training Council. Through his company Mohr Results, Inc., he works with all types of individuals from soccer moms to collegiate and professional athletes. He often appears on TV as a nutritional guest expert, including an appearance with Chef Emeril Lagasse and another on the Montel Williams Show. He was the nutrition expert for the NY Times Bestseller, “LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout” and worked closely with Fitness Celebrity Denise Austin to create the entire nutrition component of her latest book. He is on the Advisory Board for Men’s Fitness Magazine and has written over 500 articles for consumer publications, such as Men’s Fitness, Weight Watchers, Men’s Health and Fitness, to name a few. Dr. Mohr has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University and University of Massachusetts, respectively. He earned his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. To contact Chris, visit his website at www.mohrresults.com.