Those allergic to chocolate and those who do not like it, certainly may not agree with the title. Even though chocolate that comes from cocoa is massively consumed worldwide. Therefore, there are truths and lies around it. Read more and find out what they are.
"World Chocolate Day" is celebrated on July 7, the date of the arrival of the treat in Europe in the 15th century.
There are several versions of the origins of chocolate, but many historians agree that Aztecs are the pioneers in the cultivation of cocoa that is the main source of chocolate.
The Aztec Indians harvested cocoa seeds and made an infusion they believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. The product came to be known as "chocolate" meaning 'hot liquid''.
The Celebration of Easter is probably the date when chocolate is most savored in various formats and combinations:
Unsweetened Chocolate (or Baking Chocolate)
Sweet German Chocolate
With fruits, biscuits, brownies, cake, ice cream, coffee, etc.
Research conducted at the University of California has pointed out that chocolate contains more than 300 nutrients, in addition to high levels of chemicals, known as flavonoids and phenolics, that help reduce the risk of heart disease, among other benefits.
Similar compounds are also found in red wine, famous for the good it does when ingested in moderation.
The chocoholics may agree that it's not easy to refuse a good box of this "Nectar of the Gods!"
What is a myth and what is true about chocolate:
Chocolate is aphrodisiac
As the Aztecs have already known, the chocolate follows the principles of the Goddess Aphrodite.
Just like coffee and tea, which appeals are scientifically proven, chocolate makes a good match with brain chemistry because it stimulates the production of phenylethylamine, a substance associated with emotion, in this case, sensations.
Chocolate may cause pimples
Scientific studies have proven that chocolate is not responsible for the formation of pimples nor acne. On the contrary, chocolate does not worsen if you already have it, which demystifies popular belief.
Chocolate causes cavities
Any food that is rich in fermentable carbohydrates contributes to the formation of caries. That’s an obvious observation. So if you eat too much of it, naturally you are subject to have cavities.
Diet chocolate is less caloric
It's not like that. Although it does not contain sugar, diet chocolate has substances that can increase the level of fat and calories.
Therefore, this caloric degree in diet chocolate would be most indicated for those who have some glycemic restriction.
Chocolate helps in raising bad cholesterol
Because chocolate is rich in substances that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, it can decrease LDL oxidation.
In other words, chocolate facilitates proper blood flow by reducing blood pressure and the level of your bad cholesterol.
Chocolate can increase stress
Another myth, since it has been scientifically proven that chocolate if ingested daily basis may indeed reduce levels of stress hormones in people.
Chocolate lacks nutritional value
A chocolate bar contains as much antioxidant capacity as 2 cups of green tea or 1 glass of red wine. Furthermore, chocolate contains minerals and dietary fibers.
However, the same warning pops up again: do not exaggerate. Otherwise, you may get fat if eating too much chocolate.
Chocolate has to have at least 70% cocoa to be healthy
Although it is proven that the higher the amount of cocoa, the more nutritious the chocolate will be, as it will have high antioxidant content, half of the cocoa will also have the same effect.
In an 18-week study, volunteers who ate chocolate with 50% cocoa also had a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Chocolate causes headaches
Although mentioned as a common cause of migraines, a study from the University of Pittsburgh showed no link between chocolate and headaches.
Chronic headaches were thought to be caused by amines in foods such as cheddar cheese, peanuts, cured meats, chocolate, and alcohol. So the study removed chocolate from this blacklist.
Chocolate increases cognitive function
Scientists at Harvard Medical School have suggested that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day can help keep the brain healthy and reduce memory loss in elders.
Researchers have found that hot chocolate helps improve blood flow in the brain.
Chocolate improves athletic performance
Research published in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that dark chocolate may increase oxygen availability during physical training.
For scientists, dark chocolate contains flavonoids known as epicatechins, which increase the release of nitric oxide into the body. Beet juice has a similar effect.