Friday, October 17, 2008

Chocolate: Great for Your Skin

So I subscribe to this health newsletter called "RealAge" and it actually sends a lot of interesting articles out. I am copy and pasting this one because it's that time of year when I get to pull out the only two things that make winter bearable - My Scarves and Hot Chocolate.

In honor of the latter, I give you this:

Think chocolate is one of the worst things for your skin? Think again.

RealAge skin expert, Dr. Amy Wechsler, has a recipe for hot chocolate that can make your skin glow.

Dark Is Key
In one study, just 6 weeks of a daily dose of cocoa made skin smoother, better hydrated, and less sun sensitive. And 12 weeks did even more. All thanks to the skin-boosting antioxidants in cocoa, called flavonols. But it’s got to be dark chocolate, according to Wechsler. "Skip cocoa mixes, which don't have the same flavonol levels, and go for the real thing: dark, unadulterated cacao powder that contains 70 percent or more cacao," she writes in her new book, The Mind-Beauty Connection. Here's her to-die-for recipe (actually, it’s her husband Harry's!):

Harry's Super Simple, Healthy Hot Cocoa
The secret to this easy recipe? Heat it slowly. Slow heat helps release the antioxidants.

1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder with 70% or more cacao (such as Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder or Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa)
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup skim or low-fat milk

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently (do not let it boil), stirring frequently, until cocoa is just beginning to steam. Pour into a mug and enjoy.


christy said...

i guess i need to try slower heat b/c every time i've made hot chocolate like this it ends up with lumps of bitter cocoa in it. hence the case of swiss miss in my pantry.

kelsey said...

oh, am i happy to hear this report. i love, love, love dark chocolate, and i love, love, love hot chocolate.

since it has cooled down here (into the 70s. brrrr.), i have begun my nightly ritual of hot chocolate and toast before bed. makes me want to go to sleep right now.