While the new year is a great time to make dietary changes, I still have a hard time not indulging in a little bit of chocolate every now and then. Plus, with the chill of winter upon us, saying “no” to a cup of hot cocoa seems even harder. As such, I’m always excited when new research comes out about the health benefits of chocolate.
Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain recently revealed that higher chocolate consumption in a test group of adolescents was associated with lower levels of total and central fatness based on body mass index and other measurements.
These and other health benefits commonly associated with chocolate can be coupled with the benefits of milk in the not-so-guilty pleasure of hot chocolate, according to Tetra Pak. Through its Milk Unleashed campaign, the company is suggesting that consumers make their hot chocolate with Grade A shelf-safe milk to add essential nutrients, including calcium; vitamins A, D and B12; potassium; phosphorus; magnesium; riboflavin; niacin; and zinc to the winter treat. The campaign even created a Cow Calendar for the month of December filled with 31 days of hot-chocolate-making tips and ideas to indulge both kids and adults.
For indulging in hot chocolate on the go, Dunkin’ Donuts released three limited-time hot chocolate flavors this winter. Its Mint and White hot chocolate varieties as well as the new Salted Caramel variety will be available at participating stores through February.
And for added heat this winter season, Caribou Coffee brought back its Spicy Hot Chocolate. This spin-off of the company’s Spicy Mocha beverage uses the same signature spicy blend, which features cinnamon and chili, but without the coffee.
With all of these options, the beverage industry sure is making it easy for consumers to indulge and stay warm.