I swear there is something medicinal about hot chocolate (or hot cocoa,whatever you call it in your house).Maybe it reminds us of happier times--when we were young and less stressed out.But other than feel-good vibes,you wouldn't expect hot cocoa to have any real health benefits,right?Then I heard about this...

One of our very own Vitamin G readers (who I saw in the comments section recently--hi!) runs the blogI Look Like Fit,where I spottedthis interesting postabout hot chocolate's unusual health benefits.

According to Cornell University researchers,hot cocoa may help your muscles recover after intense exercise.And,the yummy stuff even has as many,or more,antioxidants than red wine.Who knew?

The researchers say that a cup of hot chocolate before or after exercise (and wouldn't that sound nice after a long winter jog?) might be a healthy choice.And,I'm not arguing with them on that point!

As far as brands go,it's best to drink a hot chocolate mix that has a higher cocoa percentage.I like the Ghirardelli brand.And,to be sure you're getting maximum health benefits from your cocoa,be sure the ingredient label doesn't refer to cocoa that has been "dutch processed." This process mellows the chocolate and reduces the amount of antioxidants you're getting.More on chocolate from Vitamin G,here.

What's you're favorite brand of hot chocolate?