Hot Cocoa, the Healthy Drink?

It contains more antioxdants per serving than red wine or tea

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- That cup of hot cocoa may do more than just warm your body and spirit after you spend an evening skating on the pond. It may actually offer you some health benefits.

Hot cocoa contains more antioxidants per cup than a similar serving of red wine or tea and may be a healthier choice, says a Cornell University study. Antioxidants are chemicals believed to help fight cancer, heart disease and aging.

The researchers found that, on a per-serving basis, the antioxidant concentration in cocoa was almost two times stronger than in red wine, two to three times stronger than in green tea, and four to five times stronger than in black tea.

The study also says hot cocoa triggers the release of more antioxidants than cold cocoa.

Many other kinds of popular beverages, including coffee and cranberry juice, also contain high levels of antioxidants but they weren't evaluated in this study. Experts say the best way to obtain plenty of antioxidants is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

The study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, was partially funded by the Rural Development Association of South Korea.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about antioxidants.

SOURCE: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, news release, Dec. 3, 2003
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