Who doesn’t enjoy a piece of chocolate every now and then? If you say you don’t, you’re only lying to yourself. Chocolate can be added to anything you consume. There’s chocolate-flavored coffee drinks, cookies, cakes and bacon.
It’s estimated that the world consumes 7.2 million metric tons of chocolate every year! That’s a whole lot of chocolate. Our nutritional counseling experts want to let you know that not every piece of chocolate is right for your health. Not all is bad news! You can treat yourself to a piece of chocolate without feeling guilty once in a while.
The history of chocolate
Chocolate didn’t always look like how it does when you buy it at the stores. It comes from cocoa beans that are turned into a paste and then mixed with water and other ingredients to create a drink. It was formerly served as a hot, bitter drink. Chocolate can be traced back to as early 1900 B.C. in Mexico, where the pre-Olmec cultures produced it. It was known as the “food for the gods.”
Back in the day, not just anyone could enjoy the taste of chocolate. In the Mayan culture, chocolate was reserved for the rulers, priests and nobles. The Aztecs also carved the beans, and they would trade their goods for cocoa beans. It becomes a form of currency between the two groups. In the 1500s, Spanish explorers arrived in Mexico in search of gold. Instead, they returned with chocolate, and began to sweeten it. From here, chocolate started to expand around the world.
Is Chocolate Good for Your Health?
Chocolate can get a bad reputation for being bad for your health and contain too much sugar. However, not all chocolate is bad for your health. Dark chocolate, in particular, is right for your health. Researchers have found that dark chocolate has higher amounts of cocoa that can give you these health benefits.
Lowers bad cholesterol
Recent studies have discovered that consuming a certain amount of dark chocolate, cocoa and almonds a day may help lower the risk of heart disease. The combination of all three can reduce the number of low-density lipoproteins, this protein can contribute to clogged arteries.
Reduces memory decline
As people get older, they can start to forget things like where you left certain items or what the name of a relative could be. In some cases, older people can also develop Alzheimer's disease and start to lose their memory slowly until they forget who they are.
A study found that consuming two cups of hot chocolate drink daily can keep the brain stay healthy and reduce memory decline. The reason behind this because it was found that the hot chocolate improves the blood flow to the brain. The blood flow then helps the impact of the brain's thinking and memory.
There's a reason why you feel better-eating chocolate. According to research, it has been found that eating dark chocolate daily can reduce your stress. Dark chocolate can lower the levels of stress hormones. So next time you're feeling stressed, grab a dark chocolate candy bar.
Don't feel guilty about enjoying your dark chocolate bar once in a while. Let our nutritional counseling experts help you plan out a diet that enables you to stay healthier and avoid any injuries. Contact us today to learn more about our nutritional counseling services.