Hot chocolate is one of the beverages that just sounds so good, especially when the weather is cold and breezy. It’s become a comfort drink for those who don’t really prefer coffee or tea to warm their bodies. And because it’s that good, practically all cafes have their own version of the creamy chocolatey drink!
As if these benefits weren’t enough, a recent study also found that hot chocolate (made from cocoa, that is) can make you smarter! The study, done by researchers from the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences, found that hot chocolate made from cocoa can help in learning and solving. (Read: 3 Pinoy-Made Chocolates for Your Next Cup of Hot Cocoa)
But what exactly is in hot chocolate that makes us more intelligent? Scientists say it’s all because of the flavanols found in cocoa!
Flavanols in Hot Chocolate
“Efficient oxygenation of the brain is key for cognition,” said lead researcher Dr. Catarina Rendeiro. “The fact that flavanols can be effective at improving cerebral oxygenation and cognitive function even in a healthy brain is a remarkable finding, and it means that we can potentially all benefit from diets rich in flavanols.”
However, Dr. Rendeiro added that this thing of “making you smarter” can only happen if you drink hot chocolate made from actual cocoa, and not those powdered chocolate drinks you find at the supermarket. (Read: This Fine Cacao in Mindanao Will Transform PH Chocolate)
“This is mainly because the processing of cocoa to make [commercial] chocolate can substantially damage flavanols,” explained Dr. Rendeiro. (Read: What’s Hot in 2021: A Barista’s List of Must-Try Coffee Drinks)
And in case you wanted to know, dark chocolate has the highest level of flavanoids!