Benefits of Ashwagandha Hot Chocolate
Ashwagandha hot chocolate powder or cocoa is a highly nutritious beverage. Not only does it provide essential nutrients like fiber and iron, but dark chocolate, consisting of more than 70 percent cacao solids, also offers a range of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium, as well as vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin K.
Cocoa is particularly abundant in flavonoid antioxidants, surpassing the antioxidant content of green tea by threefold. These antioxidants play a crucial role in promoting various health benefits, including inflammation reduction, cancer prevention, immune system enhancement, and weight management improvement, among others. Hence, it is advisable to opt for darker or less processed chocolate variants as they are healthier.
A study published in the journal Neurology indicates that consuming hot chocolate made with cocoa can improve memory retention. The study highlights a strong connection between hot chocolate intake and enhanced memory, suggesting that having two servings of hot chocolate daily may help prevent Alzheimer's disease. The addition of Ashwagandha hot chocolate powder promotes increased blood flow throughout the body, including the brain, which is believed to be the primary factor behind its memory-enhancing effects.
Furthermore, cocoa's ability to improve blood circulation also benefits cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The European Food Information Council reports that the flavonoids found in cocoa are associated with improved blood circulation, reduced blood clotting, and the inhibition of LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
Additionally, consuming Ashwagandha hot chocolate naturally contributes to feelings of happiness. This is attributed to its content of caffeine, serotonin (known as the "happy hormone"), and tryptophan, which induce mental relaxation. These neurotransmitters, released when consuming chocolate powder or even a piece of chocolate, have a positive impact on the brain.
In recent times, stores have started offering various Ashwagandha hot chocolate powder varieties, including those made with plant-based extracts like Ashwagandha. These enriched hot chocolate options provide higher nutritional value compared to regular hot chocolate, making them more beneficial for overall well-being.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a widely recognized adaptogenic herb in Ayurvedic science, renowned for its rejuvenating properties. Adaptogens, including Ashwagandha, are natural supplements derived from herbs, roots, and mushrooms that are consumed to combat stress without causing toxicity in the body.
The name "Ashwagandha" originates from its ability to bestow horse-like strength and power to the human body, while the term "somnifera" in its scientific name, Withania somnifera, signifies its sleep-inducing qualities.
In appearance, Ashwagandha resembles a small, red berry fruit, similar to a cherry tomato. It is primarily native to India, the Middle East, and temperate regions like North Africa, but its cultivation has expanded worldwide. This perennial shrub remains available throughout the year, featuring oval-shaped leaves and yellow-green, star-shaped flowers surrounding the Ashwagandha berry.
Each component of Ashwagandha, including the leaves, berries, and roots, possesses therapeutic value and brings forth its unique advantages and benefits. By harnessing the properties of Ashwagandha root extracts in the creation of Ashwagandha hot chocolate powder, individuals can experience enhanced mental and physical stamina through the combined benefits of both elements.
What are the benefits of Ashwagandha hot chocolate?
To conclusively understand the benefits of Ashwagandha hot chocolate, it is important to first familiarise ourselves with the various benefits of Ashwagandha listed below:
Ashwagandha, functioning as an adaptogen, influences the functioning of the nervous system. It plays a role in the regulation and secretion of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which are released by the body in response to various stimuli. Ashwagandha effectively regulates these neurotransmitters, enabling us to manage stress in a balanced and stable manner. Its counter-stimulating properties help mitigate the detrimental impact of stress on the immune system, endocrine system, and neurological system of the body.
Additionally, Ashwagandha possesses anti-fatigue properties that alleviate stress and fatigue by replenishing and rejuvenating the body with energy, while also inducing a soothing and relaxing effect. Consequently, consuming a cup of Ashwagandha hot chocolate provides a dual effect of invigoration and tranquility.
The sleep-inducing characteristic of Ashwagandha can be attributed to its calming effect. Regular consumption of Ashwagandha hot chocolate results in a reduced hyperactive response to stress, allowing the body to maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day. By resisting stress, the body can naturally maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
Due to its stress-reducing properties, Ashwagandha supports a robust immune system. The combination of flavonoids present in Ashwagandha hot chocolate further enhances the body's innate ability to combat infections, rendering it more resilient against harmful external pathogens.
Research has also demonstrated the efficacy of Ashwagandha in enhancing the strength and vitality of the male reproductive system. Moreover, Ashwagandha hot chocolate, enriched with Vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant in female reproductive health, has been extensively studied. Consequently, regular consumption of Ashwagandha hot chocolate can enhance fertility levels in both men and women.
Furthermore, some studies suggest the utilization of Ashwagandha during radiation and chemotherapy for cancer patients. This is primarily due to its remarkable supportive effects on the immune system. By incorporating Ashwagandha hot chocolate into the treatment plan, the anti-inflammatory properties of hot chocolate synergize with the immune-boosting properties of Ashwagandha, potentially aiding in the prevention and treatment of cancers.
By combining hot chocolate with Ashwagandha, individuals can avail themselves of the combined benefits of both, which specifically contribute to improved muscle mass, strength, and the recovery of bones and joints.
Moreover, utilizing hot chocolate with Ashwagandha addresses the characteristic smell associated with Ashwagandha, imparting a luxurious and rich flavor to the beverage while simultaneously enhancing its nutritional value and taste.
Recipe and frequency of usage
There are various recipes available to experience the nourishing qualities of Ashwagandha hot chocolate. One commonly used and straightforward recipe is provided below:
- Warm a cup of milk or bring hot water to a boil.
- Add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa or hot chocolate powder to the milk.
- Incorporate half a teaspoon of Ashwagandha root powder into the milk.
- Include a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Sweeten the mixture with a natural sweetener such as coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup instead of refined sugar to optimize the benefits.
Note: If you have Ashwagandha-infused hot chocolate powder, simply add a tablespoon of the powder to the milk and skip steps 2 and 3.
For optimal benefits from Ashwagandha hot chocolate, consume this rejuvenating beverage twice a day. If you choose to have it only once a day, it is preferable to consume it in the evening to counteract elevated stress levels and promote restful sleep. During the evening, the body has ample time to metabolize the caffeine content. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you can also enjoy the drink in the afternoon.
It is advised to refrain from consuming Ashwagandha hot chocolate during pregnancy. Despite its traditional usage in India for pregnant women, modern medical studies suggest that Ashwagandha has the potential to induce uterine contractions, particularly when taken in high quantities, leading to the risk of miscarriage.
Exercise caution when incorporating Ashwagandha into your hot chocolate. It is recommended to carefully regulate the dosage of Ashwagandha, keeping it limited to no more than one tablespoon per day, as excessive amounts can result in abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.
How is Ashwagandha hot chocolate powder manufactured?
The process involves:
- Harvesting the roots of the Ashwagandha plant during its flowering and berry development stage.
- Drying the roots to obtain a fine powder.
- Mixing the Ashwagandha powder with drinking chocolate powder.
- Pressing cocoa solids to create a concentrated cocoa powder with a 75% concentration for the hot chocolate powder.
- Blending the Ashwagandha powder and hot chocolate powder under optimal conditions.
- Measuring the ingredients to ensure the production of a healthy and safe drinking chocolate powder.
The notable feature of Ashwagandha hot chocolate powder, available in various brands on the market, lies in its emphasis on being an all-natural, vegan, and sugar-free product. This is achieved by incorporating natural sweeteners to enhance flavors without compromising one's well-being. With no added preservatives, the Ashwagandha hot chocolate powder offers its benefits without any adverse effects.
Therefore, individuals who regularly consume chocolate powder at home or have a fondness for chocolate beverages may find value in incorporating Ashwagandha hot chocolate as a means to rejuvenate and augment energy levels, while also experiencing a sense of happiness and enjoyment from its flavorful composition. The Ashwagandha hot chocolate presents a guilt-free opportunity to harmonize pleasure and wellness.
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.