Health Watch - Holiday Moments: A Cup of Cocoa
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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about special holiday moments. During all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to also give yourself some quiet time to relax. When you sit down and have a cup of hot cocoa, you’re doing yourself a real favor.
We think of chocolate as a treat, but cocoa is a good source of heart-healthy antioxidants. There are compounds in cocoa that help protect arteries from damage, maintain healthy blood flow and prevent heart disease. However, the fat and sugar added to chocolate during processing reduce the health benefits.
Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says a good way to enjoy chocolate is with a cup of cocoa made with dark chocolate. A cup of dark chocolate cocoa has about the same heart-health benefits as a glass of red wine. Generally, the darker the chocolate is, the more health benefits there are.
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