I bet you are craving some chocolate after looking at the title! So how about we feed the hungry brains of ours with the history and benefits of this ethereal creation?
Chocolate is one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and many foodstuffs involving chocolate exist, particularly desserts, including cakes, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, etc. Chocolate is made from roasted and ground cacao beans and made available as a liquid, solid, or paste, or as a flavoring agent with some specific processes.
History of chocolate:
Chocolate has been consumed as a beverage like tea for nearly all of its history. On the Pacific coast of Mexico, an archaeological site provides evidence of cocoa beverages dating to 1900 BC. Chocolate was used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life in the Mayan civilization. Around the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted cocoa into their culture. The Maya and Aztecs associated cocoa with humans, and chocolate drinks specifically with sacrificial human blood. It is also said that they mixed with achiote (A shrub) to make it look like human blood.
Until the 16th century, no European had ever heard about chocolate. When Christopher Columbus and his son encountered the cocoa bean on Columbus’s fourth mission to the Americas, he and his crew captured a large native boat that contained cocoa beans among other goods for trade. While Columbus had taken cocoa beans with him back to Spain, chocolate made no impact until it was introduced to the Spanish court. During the industrial revolution, new processes used to process and store chocolate was invented. They added alkaline salts to reduce the bitterness and removed the natural fat, giving rise to the modern-day chocolate that we are consuming.
Chocolate comes in various forms. White chocolate doesn’t contain any cacao solids that give a dark color. Milk chocolate contains milk powder and condensed milk. Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar without adding the milk mentioned in milk chocolate. Among these types, dark chocolate is said to have more health benefits than others.
Benefits of Dark chocolate:
Dark chocolate enhances the mood. Cocoa contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why it can improve brain function in the short term. It also increases the cognitive function of the brain. Chocolate may also reduce the risk of getting heart disease. The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL, Low-Density Lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol.
As the quote says, “Too much of anything is good for nothing”, consuming too much chocolate may have some negative effects on health like insomnia. So enjoy this piece of awesomeness in a specific amount and reap its benefits! If you have read this far, this is a sign that you have to buy yourself a bar of chocolate and treat yourself!