11 Health Benefits of Christmas Dinner

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa

(Image credit: Douglas Sherman | shutterstock)

When it comes to picking a healthy holiday drink, hot cocoa tops both red wine and tea in antioxidants, according to a 2003 study. Chang Yong Lee of Cornell University and colleagues examined the benefits of the chocolate-y beverage, finding that the antioxidant concentration in cocoa was almost two times stronger than red wine per serving. Hot cocoa's antioxidant concentration was two to three times stronger than green tea, and four to five times stronger than that of black tea. His findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. [5 Drinks For Winter: How Healthy Are They?] "A cup or two of hot cocoa every once in a while can provide a delicious, warm and healthy way to obtain more antioxidants," Lee said in a statement.

For an even healthier way to enjoy the flavor-rich drink, avoid adding extra sugar and make it using hot water or skim milk instead of whole milk.

Remy Melina was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Hofstra University where she graduated with honors.