Nothing beats the feeling of sipping hot cocoa during the christmas season. Snuggling up to a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day is one of life's tiny pleasures. But could it also be one of its healthiest?
That's possible, according to a research team in Southampton,England. The panel has determined that cocoa may have a beneficial effect on heart disease and strokes by preventing potentially fatal blood clots from forming in the heart or the brain.
When blood clots lodge in our brain or heart, there are potentially fatal consequences such as the aforementioned problems. Cells in our blood, known as platelets, are necessary for clotting to occur, - but studies led by Dr. Denise O'Shaugnessy have shown that chocolate inhibits platelet function.
"Cocoa contains a substance called flavinoids, which are also present in red wine," O'Shaugnessy explained in a news release announcing the study findings. "Flavinoids can be preventive for coronary heart disease; however our research has uncovered another ingredient in cocoa which may be responsible for the platelet inhibition. This finding may mean that a nice hot cup of cocoa may take on new importance for people in high risk categories."
The study findings were presented to the Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis & Haemostasis in Sydney, Australia. The research is similar to the news regarding dark chocolate and its positive health effects.So when you give a chocolate gift, rest assured that your gift will please the body as much as the taste buds!