When people hear about chocolates, they think of it as square cut bars wrapped in foil and packed in boxes or candy wrappers. Long time ago, chocolates were actually brewed bitter drinks from cacao beans.
Origin of chocolate
The word “chocolate” came from the Aztec’s Nahuatl “chocolatl”or “xocoatl” meaning “sour or bitter water or drink”. In Latin, Thebroma cacao or cacao tree means the “food of the gods”. Historians have estimated that chocolates have been around for 2000 years but research study suggests it to be much older than that.
Chocolate was introduced in Europe by Christopher Columbus during his voyage in 1502 where he brought back with him cocoa beans from the Caribbean islands.
During the 17th century, chocolates became a popular drink in Europe and were believed to have nutritive, aphrodisiac and medicinal properties.
Later in 1847, chocolate in bars were made. Joseph Fry and Son discovered that mixing some cocoa butter into Dutch chocolate drink can turn it into solid form. That’s how we got our favorite chocolate bars.
Chocolate has become an all-time favorite not only in Europe but also in America. The International Cocoa Organization has stated that every man, woman and child can consume 3 pounds of chocolates each year.
Interesting facts about chocolates
- Chocolate is made from cacao beans are which are rich in flavonoids and phenols that are good for the body. It is rich in essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin A, B1, C, D and E, iron, calcium, potassium and the highest source of magnesium.
- Chocolate protects the heart and arteries. Its flavonoids content helps reduce risk of heart disease. Eating a small bar or 1.6 ounce everyday helps maintain a healthy heart and vascular system. It improves blood circulation by improving blood consistency.
- Chocolate reduces blood pressure. Study shows that a daily dose of dark chocolate helps reduce blood pressure. Good for those who suffer high blood pressure.
- Lab examination shows raw cacao has 955 ORAC units or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity per gram. Cocoa is known to be the highest source of antioxidants. In fact in a spoonful of raw chocolate powder already contains more than 25, 200 antioxidants. Due to its antioxidant levels, cocoa reduces certain inflammation of the body.
- Dark chocolate facial masks have been used even during the times Cleopatra to revitalize the skin. Chocolates are being used as a facial treatment in most spas around the world.
- Chocolates are great body lotion because it contains antioxidants and vitamin E which is essential for the skin. Some ingredients including cocoa and shea butter prevent stretch marks and helps moisturize the body because their high emollient content.
- Flavonoids in chocolate help protect the skin and regulate blood giving you that flawless looking smooth and fresh skin.
With all these beauty and health benefits of chocolates, it is a proven fact that chocolates are good inside and out.