If there is one type of food that will always stay on top of our favorites list, it will most likely be chocolate! The ultimate comfort food, we turn to it whenever we feel happy or sad. Just imagine sinking your teeth on the soft and irresistible goodness of these sweets and your life is very well much complete.
Even if most of us consider chocolates as one of life’s pleasures, not all of us are aware of the facts about it. If you want to be considered as the ultimate chocolate aficionado, then you should have a couple of facts under your belt about your favorite dessert. They say that food is much sweeter if we know more about them so here is a crash course that can teach you a thing or two about your beloved comfort food.
Where Does Chocolate Come From?
Chocolate is basically processed from the seeds of the cacao tree which are commonly found in tropical countries like South America, Central America, and Mexico. The seeds originally have bitter tastes and are fermented first to develop their distinct flavor. After fermentation, they are dried, cleaned, and roasted before the bean shells are removed. The result is cacao nibs which are later on ground to form cocoa mass or the rough form of pure chocolate. This raw and pure form of chocolate is either added with cocoa butter, fats, and sugar to create what we all know and love as sweet chocolate.
Did you know that chocolate is not only considered as comfort food because of its delectable taste? Yes, there is a scientific reason why we always feel good and satiated whenever we eat them. Cocoa solids contain theobromine and phenethylamine which are alkaloids that can cause physiological effects on our system. These alkaloids have been connected to the production of serotonin in the brain which makes us feel better and relaxed. Health professionals also claim that chocolate has a couple of health benefits. If they are eaten in moderation, for example, they have the capacity of lowering blood pressure.
This dessert is also known to be a good source of energy. A single chocolate chip can actually provide the much needed energy a human adult needs to walk 150 ft. An ounce of chocolate also contains 10% of the daily iron intake that we need. It can also be beneficial to pre-menstrual syndromes and tumor cases.
But while most of us love chocolates, there are also a lot of negative myths circulating our beloved dessert. For example, many believe that chocolate is a source of large amounts of caffeine which can be harmful to the body. But do
you know that you have to actually eat more than a dozen of chocolate bars just to get the amount of caffeine that we normally get in a cup of coffee? Many also point to chocolate as the cause of tooth decay. This belief is very much false because it is not the act of eating chocolates that cause damage on our dental health but poor oral hygiene after we eat these desserts. As for health buffs, many nurse the misconception that chocolate is a very large contributor on weight gain. This is only partly true, however, because many health professionals actually claim that this dessert can actually be a part of a low-fat diet if eaten in moderation.
Caution: Do NOT Feed Your Pets Chocolate
If there is someone who should regard this piece of heaven some caution, it is our favorite pet, the dogs. The alkaline theobromine in chocolates can be deadly for them because it can cause damage to their cardiac muscles and central nervous system. Other than this fact, chocolate is a safe food for us given that we eat them in moderation. Chocolates simply prove us that not everything sinfully delicious can put a dent on our health.
So much is our love for chocolate that statistics say that we spend around $7 million dollars annually just for these sweets. Milk chocolate has always been the most popular type of chocolates though it has been proven that men prefer dark chocolates more. Their irresistible taste has made them one of the classic favorite foods of humankind. It makes our life more colorful and bearable. And now that you know more about your favorite dessert, you can enjoy your next box of chocolates even more.