Humans have always had a close relationship with chocolates. From wooing a new crush to mending a broken affair, chocolates have played an important role. It’s loved around the world not only for its taste but also for its health benefits. After going through a few of my favourite interesting facts about chocolate, you’ll get a better understanding why.
Here are 21 reasons why chocolate is good for you:
1. The cacao bean naturally contains almost 300 different flavors and 400 separate aromas.
2. The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.
3. Cacao trees can live to be 200 years old, but they produce marketable cocoa beans for only 25 years.
4. The world’s largest chocolate bar weighed 5.792 Kgs.
5. Every second, Americans collectively eat 100 pounds of chocolate.
6. Research has shown that dark chocolate boosts memory, attention span, reaction time and problem solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. It can also improve the ability to see better in low-contrast situations, lower blood pressure, which positively affects cholesterol levels, platelet function and insulin sensitivity.
7. Because of the nature of cacao butter, chocolate is the only edible substance that melts at around 93 F or 33.8 C, just below body temperature. This means the second you put a piece of chocolate in your mouth, it will begin to melt. It can also a more intense and longer-lasting buzz than kissing.
8. White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate, as it contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor.
9. It takes around 400 cacao beans to make one pound (450 grams) of chocolate.
10. The first chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1937 by Ruth Wakefield who ran the “Toll House Inn”. She substituted broken pieces of Nestle’s semi- sweet chocolate expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate chip cookies. That didn’t happen but the surprising result turned Ruth into one of the 20 th century most famous women inventors. She took the pan out of the oven and realized she just invented “chocolate chip cookies”
11. The English company Cadbury made the first chocolate bar in 1842.
12. M&M’s were created in 1941 as a means for soldiers to chocolate without it melting.
13. Hershey’s produces over 70 million chocolate kisses every day. They were first produced in 1907 and were shaped like a square, but a new machine in 1921 gave them their popular shape today.
14. Chocolate Magnate Milton Hershey canceled his reservations for the Titanic due to last minute business matters. Thank god for that!
15. Although cacao originated in Central and South America more than 4,000 years ago, today around 70% of the world’s cacao is grown in Africa. Cote D’Ivoire is the single largest producer of cocoa, providing 40% of the world’s supply.
16. Chocolate is so important to farmers in Indonesia, they built a 20-foot statue of a pair of hands holding a cacao pod to honor it.
17. In Oaxaca, Mexico, healers called curanderos use chocolate to treat several illnesses such as bronchitis. In some other areas of Mexico, children drink chocolate in the morning to ward off scorpion and bee stings.
18. Commercial chocolate has such low amounts cacao solids that it’s more likely the sugar than the actual chocolate that the chocolate lovers are addicted to.
19. Cacao has been around for millions of years and is probably one of the oldest of nature’s foods.
20. Montezuma 11, the 9 th emperor of the Aztecs, and was once one of the most powerful and wealthy men in the world was also known as The Chocolate King, as he had a stash of nearly a billion cacao beans at the height of his power.
21. Columbus’s son Ferdinand recorded that when the Mayans dropped some cacao beans, “they all stopped to pick it up, as though an eye had fallen.” Columbus did not see the potential of the cacao market and mistook them for shriveled almonds.