Chocolate! To eat or not to eat?

We all love chocolates- form small bars to big ones; there’s something in it that gives full joy and satisfaction. While it varies in brands and taste, chocolates are still the best comfort food for many. When you see it in supermarkets and local stores, you can’t help but to buy one. Indeed, we love chocolates, and there’s a rattling battle between not to eat it or grab it and eat.

But how well do you know chocolates? Did you ever wonder where it first produced? Where did it come from? Who discovered it? Let us brush up on your chocolate knowledge and learn more about your all-time favourite dessert.

THERE ARE MULTIPLE CELEBRATIONS OF CHOCOLATE EACH YEAR

Holidaymakers are consistently hunting for a reason to make a special day of celebration for chocolates. July 7 is considered as Chocolate Day, a bow to the historical tradition that the day marked when chocolate was first brought on July 7, 1550, in Europe. There’s also a celebration of National Milk Chocolate Day every July 28. An International Chocolate Day is also added on the calendar every September 13. It merely means we can celebrate multiple chocolate days in a year.

CHOCOLATE IS ACTUALLY A KIND OF VEGETABLE.

Researchers are on their way to proving whether a bar of chocolate is kind of vegetable or not. To say in very simple terms, an evergreen cacao tree produces cacao beans where milk, and dark chocolates came from. This makes the essential part of the chocolate a vegetable.

HOT CHOCOLATE WAS THE FIRST CHOCOLATE TREAT

Mexican and Aztec culture was first known to its first brewed cacao. Though the result is not like what the usual hot chocolate treat – it wasn’t very pleasant and was often used for ceremonial events like weddings.

MAKING CHOCOLATE IS A HARD WORK

While a lot of people are loving chocolates then and now, the process of making it sounds laborious. Despite its revered background and status, the cacao seed doesn’t simply magically and immediately become a bar of chocolate- it takes for about 400 seeds to make a pound of this sweet treat.

BAKER’S CHOCOLATE ISN’T MADE JUST FOR BAKING

John Hannon and Dr James Baker founded their chocolate company in 1765, called Walter Baker Chocolate. The term “Baker’s Chocolate” came from their company and became famous in its name. But then, they denoted that the baker’s chocolate isn’t just meant for cooking and baking.

THE FIRST CHOCOLATE BAR WAS INVENTED IN ENGLAND

The Cadbury company made its first ever barred chocolate way back in 1842. Up to this day, they are known for their big bars of chocolates, and perhaps the most popular in their delightful Easter-themed chocolate treats.

CACAO TREES CAN Survive UP TO 200 YEARS OLD

That sounds amazing and impressive, it means more chocolates to come and more chocolates to bite! But the tropical beauties only make feasible cacao beans for merely 25 years of their lifespan

You thought you knew most of the facts about chocolates, but as your love for chocolates grew, you might want to know more about it. Eating chocolates, all that you know, brings happiness and full of sweetness, yet there’s more to it. And discovering more will make your love grow stronger as you eat it once again. Here’s the list of question trivia about this sweet treat:

WHEN WAS CHOCOLATE FIRST FOUND?

As history exclaimed, Cacao trees grew wild in Latin America. There’s tangible evidence that chocolate was produced in Mexico early 1900BC. It was called “kakawa”- where the word cacao came from.

DID YOU KNOW THAT CHOCOLATE WAS USED AS CURRENCY?

The Aztecs loved and valued chocolates so highly to the extent that they used it as currency. Have you ever wondered if we still have chocolate coins today?

MILK CHOCOLATE WAS INVENTED IN SWITZERLAND

A man named Daniel Peter, who served at the Nestle Factory in 1887 modified the fundamental chocolate recipe by combining condensed milk to it, hence, inventing milk chocolate. It was called Gala; in Greek, it means ‘milk’. Today, as you see and taste milk chocolate, it is different and varies in ingredients.

HOW MANY BEANS ARE THERE IN CACAO POD?

Nothing is written on its shells, but the common beans in a pod contain between 30 to 50 seeds, depending on the variety of the pod and the country of origin.

WHEN DOES THE CACAO TREE PRODUCE ITS FIRSTFRUITS?

You’ll be left astounded if you will know that it takes five years before the cacao tree produces its first fruits and the production usually peaks at around the 10- year mark. The cacao tree has been known to last and survive for a hundred years but bear fruit for only approximately fifty years. And each tree will produce around 30-40 pods a year.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE CACAO PODS ARE HARVESTED?

After being harvested, the cacao pods will be left broken and open for ten days. The beans are to be fermented for five days in a special box and are left to dry in the sun for up to 2 weeks. During this process, the beans will change in colour, from purplish to brown.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CACAO AND COCOA?

Many people are struggling with these two and see these words interchanged, but there is a difference. Cacao is the plant itself and the products that come directly from it. On the other hand, cocoa is the chocolate powder made from the roasted seeds of cacao.

TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE CAN KILL YOU

Yes, chocolate can be excellent and satisfying, but it can kill you at some point. But don’t panic, it wouldn’t kill you immediately after eating. You would have to eat around 11 kilograms or 40 bars of dark chocolate in one sitting to die from a chocolate overdose. Some research points out that the cut off of eating chocolate is around 5.7 kilograms of unsweetened chocolate and 4 kilograms of milk chocolate.

Eating chocolates in proper balance can benefit our physical health. While many are addicted to eating it and are overdosing, it is essential to know the boundaries in eating these sweet treats. Yet, chocolates give a lot of positive gains and at the same time negative ones.

Most recent research studies suggest four possible health benefits of eating chocolate and cocoa. These are the following:

Chocolates may reduce the risk of a heart attack.

According to Dianne Decker, a researcher at the John Hopkins University of Medicine, a few squares of dark chocolates per day can reduce the possible risk of death from a heart attack by almost 50%in some cases. Her research claims that blood platelets clump more gradual in people who had eaten chocolates. This is notable because when platelets clump, the clot will form and when it blocks the blood vessel, it can lead to cardiac illness. Cocoa and chocolate can reduce cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure, having an anti-inflammation action and decreasing LDL oxidation.

Chocolates may decrease blood pressure and increase insulin sensitivity.

Recent research in Italy was done, they fed 15 people with 3 ounces of dark chocolate which carries no flavanol phytochemicals for two weeks. They found out that resistance to insulin (a danger factor in diabetes) was lowered in those who ate the dark chocolate. At the same time, systolic blood pressure was also dropped.

Chocolates may improve arterial blood flow.

Based on recent research by the cardiologist, healthy men who eat flavanol-rich cocoa may see functional changes in the flow of blood in their arteries, and the ability of their arteries to be relaxed significantly improved also. Knowing that arterial blood flow is significant to cardiovascular health.

Chocolates may help people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

In a small study in England, 1 kilogram of dark cocoa chocolate is given to a group of adults dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome. After they have eaten, the participants reported feeling less fatigue. And surprisingly, no weight increase was published in the chocolate-eating group.

What about all of the fat in chocolates?

The fat in chocolate originates from the cocoa butter and is usually made up of even quantities of oleic acid, stearic, and palmitic acids- all are forms of saturated fats. And we all know that saturated fats are associated with raises in LDL cholesterol and the potential risk of heart disease. Although palmitic acids affect cholesterol levels, it can only make up to one-third of the fat calories in chocolate. But still, it doesn’t mean you can eat all the chocolates you would like.

Always be careful about the type of chocolate you’ll choose. Watch out for those added ingredients that can give a lot of extra fats and calories. Moreover, establish the serving size of chocolate with your daily routine to help you reap cardiovascular benefits it may offer while maintaining a proper diet of it.

For now, make yourself glad in eating moderate portions of chocolate a few times per week and don’t forget to eat healthy food to keep its balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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