We are no stranger to chocolate and its benefits to our health. This highly nutritious food is traced back to 2000 BC. So, if you are a coffee fan, what are the health benefits of adding chocolate to your cup of coffee?
Chocolate has plenty of health benefits, particularly dark chocolate. Packed with antioxidants, it helps to lower your blood pressure. Consuming dark chocolate and coffee in moderation is great for the hair and skin. You get plenty of iron, fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, and other minerals. This is abundant in dark chocolate and raw cocoa, so avoid excessively sweet or milk chocolate.
Read on to learn more about how to add chocolate to your coffee and what benefits you get in return.
Putting Chocolate in Coffee
Dark Chocolate Benefits the Skin and Hair
The science is clear. Consuming moderate dark chocolate with coffee can provide great health benefits to your skin and hair. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, iron, copper, fiber, magnesium, manganese, and other minerals.
Coffee Is Abundant in Antioxidants
Coffee is also abundant in antioxidants; thus, the combination works wonders. Moreover, the abundance of antioxidants will help lower blood pressure but remember, the darker the chocolate, the better.
Although it may be difficult to resist, try to avoid the sugary chocolates found in your local supermarket.
Coffee and Chocolate Work Much Better Together
The dietary fiber in chocolate will help balance your coffee. Minerals like zinc, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus are also abundant in dark chocolate.
Plus, cocoa offers plenty if you believe your coffee cup isn’t giving you enough caffeine. So, you can increase the caffeine level of your coffee without actually having to add extra.
Since coffee and chocolate contain antioxidants, they work in great harmony to battle free radicals for better health.
Dark chocolate can also boost your blood circulation and cardiovascular system’s overall health.
The good news is that you can either use raw cocoa powder or add solid chocolate bars. The latter is always better as we think it will give you the best flavor.
Helps in Weight Loss
You might also have heard that pairing coffee and dark chocolate together will help weight loss. Well, at the very least, it will point you in the right direction.
One thing is certain: dark chocolate will help you feel satisfied and reduce your appetite, thanks to its high dietary fiber content.
It also increases insulin sensitivity, making you feel hungry.
Moreover, dark chocolate can help you relax if you suffer from stress eating. So, by adding it to your coffee regularly, you can avoid overeating in the name of stress while also losing weight.
Can Help Improve Focus
You read that right! Adding chocolate to your coffee can help you concentrate better.
In addition to improving focus, adding chocolate to your coffee can also improve memory and attention by increasing cerebral blood flow. Caffeine alone can cause anxiety, so adding chocolate will reduce all of the anxiety-reducing effects of caffeine.
Moderation Is Still the Key
However, moderation is still the key. Drinking lots of coffee in the morning can harm your mood. The key here is moderation. Rest assured, dark chocolate and coffee will help reduce the sensations of rage and anxiety.
Were you baffled yet? A meta-analysis of 11 research on the impact of coffee on brain health published in the World Journal of Surgical Oncology found that both coffee and tea (and thus, by extension, cacao) can lower the incidence of brain cancer as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Add that solid chocolate bar to your coffee, and thank us later. You will be smarter!
How Much Chocolate Should You Put in a Cup of Coffee?
Generally speaking, one tablespoon of cocoa powder has 37 to 130 mg of cocoa flavanols.
It also increases insulin sensitivity, making you feel hungry.
Flavanols are the key compounds in cocoa and chocolate with health benefits like relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition‘s study, coffee contains methylxanthines which boost the absorption and function of cocoa flavanols.
This is why it is good to use chocolate in your coffee.
If you’re wondering if consuming this type of beverage has any negative consequences, cocoa is undoubtedly on the safe side.
In one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 34 healthy adults took 2000 mg of cocoa flavanols daily for 12 weeks.
Even at that incredibly high dose, the researchers identified no negative effects. A daily tablespoon of cocoa in your coffee would provide far less exposure to cocoa flavanols.
How to Put Cocoa Powder in Your Coffee
When adding cocoa powder, you will end up with a cup of coffee that has a somewhat chocolatey and bitter flavor that sets it apart from other types of coffee.
However, if you prepare the chocolate syrup or sauce at home, it could taste slightly different but will still serve its purpose.
Below are two methods for how to make coffee with cocoa powder:
Before we start, you should know that cocoa powder will not dissolve well in water.
You’ll need to make a paste here by mixing cocoa powder (that is about 1 to 1.5 tsp) with water. Once you end up with a paste with a fine texture, add your coffee to the mix.
Simple as it is, your cup of coffee now has that jolt of cocoa that will give it that awesome flavor.
Combine 1.5 tablespoons of powdered coffee and one teaspoon of cocoa powder and mix them well.
Heat the milk (or water) to a simmer and stir it into the cocoa-coffee mixture in small increments. Make sure that you mix it well with either a spoon or fork until you form a paste.
Add more milk if you wish when you stir the paste.
To add a hint of cinnamon taste to the drink, add half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the initial mix, and voila! Your coffee is ready.
We think these two methods are quite useful, although they are not the only ones.
You can always be creative with cacao powder and coffee powder and come up with fresh ideas.
Adding Cocoa Powder to Coffee
While you can add various things to your coffee, why choose cocoa? What advantages does cocoa powder provide you with, and what sets it apart from solid or sweet chocolates?
Helps Lower Blood Cholesterol
Well, polyphenol (an antioxidant) in the cocoa powder helps lower blood cholesterol, reduce inflammation, etc.
When it comes to decreasing LDL cholesterol, flavanol-rich cocoa can boost blood levels of nitric oxide, which helps relax arteries and blood vessels. It can also help in the prevention of many life-threatening diseases.
Can Improve Mood
According to a 2010 study, a group of pregnant women consumed cocoa powder in the form of hot chocolate. The results showed that these women felt less stressed soon after drinking the beverage. What’s even more interesting is that their babies’ emotions also improved.
Can Also Help Avoid Type 2 Diabetes and Cancer
Aside from these brilliant benefits, cocoa consumption can also help you avoid Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
So, know that a spoonful of cocoa powder will go a long way. Plus, it tastes great.
Again, can you put chocolate in coffee? Putting chocolate in your coffee will enhance its flavor. Adding coffee also makes it a better source of caffeine. Melt the chocolate before adding it to your coffee using the microwave, stovetop, or warm water.
How About Mixing Cocoa Powder Into Cold Brew Coffee?
Yes, you can mix cocoa powder with your cold brew coffee, and you can do so by using 1 tbsp (that is about 7 grams) for 34 ounces (or 1 liter) of cold brew coffee. Give it a try by following the steps below:
- Finely grind the coffee beans of your choosing.
- Fill a French press or cold brew device halfway with ground coffee.
- Mix the powder into your coffee.
- Pour water into the container.
- Mix the ingredients in a mixing bowl and set them aside to steep the coffee.
- Once you’re done with steeping, filter your cup of coffee the same way you do with any other cold brew, and you’re good to go!
As you can see, with just 1 tbsp of cocoa powder, you can easily prepare a distinct flavor cold brew. You can always add extra if you think the flavor is not enough for you.
Alternatively, you may also make a paste by simply heating some cold coffee and adding chocolate powder directly to the mix.
Then, depending on your preference, add your preferred amount of cold brew coffee to the combination and finish it however you like.
Which Dark Chocolate Is Best for Coffee?
Higher Cocoa Percentage Is Better
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the cocoa percentage, the better. 85% is awesome. Now, 70% would be fine if you want a moderate amount of cocoa. You can go with 60% if you are somebody who likes sugary stuff.
With that being said, the best chocolate for coffee is usually one that has at least 70% cocoa in it. This will create a decent mix of sweetness and chocolate flavor without being too overbearing.
Now, make sure to use high-quality chocolate here because low-quality ones might have an off-putting flavor when you mix them into your cup of coffee.
When it comes to flavors in general, most people like the more complex and powerful flavors, and that makes sense.
Mix Things Up Too
Try some single estate or small-batch chocolate from various countries worldwide if you’re looking for something truly unique. It is also a great way to taste different chocolate flavors while experiencing the same health benefits.
However, the only drawback is that it can be quite costly. If your budget does not allow for all of these ideas, there is no harm in keeping things simple. Just choose a cocoa content of 70% or above.
Going above 90 is also a bad idea because it can make your coffee too bitter to drink.
Dark chocolate with a percentage of 90% or above is not particularly pleasant since the flavors are too strong. Those with a 90% cocoa percentage are only usually used in preparing cakes.
However, if you still enjoy the flavor, go for it. It is really up to you as it is a matter of personal preference.
How Can You Dissolve Dark Chocolate in Coffee?
A chocolate bar will add a rich and calming flavor to your coffee. Your cup of joe takes on a new flavor thanks to the chocolate, and you get more caffeine. However, if your coffee isn’t hot enough, the melting process can be difficult.
So, here are four ways you can melt chocolate bars in your coffee:
- Break the chocolate bars into small pieces and then put them in the microwave.
- Stir the chocolate later after 30 seconds.
- If the chocolate isn’t completely melted, microwave it for additional 15 seconds.
- Now add to your cup of coffee and enjoy!
You may also use your stovetop to dissolve dark chocolate in coffee:
- To make the chocolate melt faster, cut it into little pieces.
- Melt the chocolate bars in a small saucepan, and make sure you do so over low heat.
- Stir well until you end up with melted chocolate.
- Pour the melted chocolate into your cup of coffee and mix it well. Enjoy!
- Break the chocolate bar into smaller bits and fill a saucepan halfway with water, and set a heat-safe bowl on top.
- Pour the chopped chocolate bars into the boiling water and stir until they melt well.
- Finally, pour your hot coffee into a cup with the melted chocolate and stir well.
- Follow the same steps and place your coffee in the refrigerator to cool if you want your coffee cold.
4. Warm Water
It is better to slice the chocolate bar to help you melt it quickly with this one:
- Melt the chopped chocolate bars first in a small bowl of warm, but not too hot, water.
- Then, add a few drops of water until you have the desired consistency.
- To ensure that the mixture melts down evenly, stir it every time you add water.
- Ensure the water is not too hot because the chocolate melt will turn gritty if it is.
- As soon as the chocolate bar has sufficiently melted, you can add your coffee.
Finally, using the microwave for larger gatherings is probably the best way to go, as you can quickly dissolve large amounts of chocolate bars.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate Coffee
1. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Dark chocolate lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol). We all know that having too much bad cholesterol is unhealthy for us.
2. Benefits the Heart
Both dark chocolate and coffee contain ingredients that reduce blood sugar levels and enhance blood flow. Furthermore, anything that decreases cholesterol is beneficial to the heart. Dark chocolate can lower cardiovascular death in males by up to 50%.
3. Gives Your Skin a Healthy Glow
Dark chocolate is high in flavanols, which will protect your skin from damaging sun rays. Of course, this does not negate the need for sunscreen. If you’re going on a summer vacation, it’s good to start eating more dark chocolate a few weeks ahead of time.
4. Helps with Diabetes
Diabetes is linked to the word insulin. Dark chocolate coffee can improve insulin sensitivity and thus help to lower blood sugar levels. It can truly be introduced into a diabetic diet.
5. Packed with Minerals
It contains minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, potassium, and selenium. It also contains 11 grams of fiber.
6. Full of Antioxidants
Both coffee and dark chocolate contain high antioxidants, which are great for heart health. They also help prevent infection and eliminate free radicals in the body.
Did you know that the cocoa tree is one of the best natural sources of antioxidants on the planet? This means that cocoa pods also have antioxidant properties.
7. High Levels of Polyphenol
Dark chocolate has long been regarded as the healthiest chocolate due to its high polyphenol content. Polyphenol helps in the prevention of aging and promotes heart function.
Conclusion – Benefits of Adding Chocolate to Coffee
The science is clear – drinking coffee with chocolate can have great health benefits for your hair and skin.
The combination of chocolate and coffee works like magic, and they will provide you with loads of antioxidants, fiber, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, and other great minerals. It also helps lower blood pressure and boosts cholesterol levels.
A bit of dark chocolate will add a rich, nuanced, and pleasant flavor to your cup of coffee. You will taste that soar yet sweet taste that adds an extra dimension to your coffee flavor with each sip. You can’t be wrong with this, can you?