Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Chocolate anyone? ooooh I'm very sure that no one can reject chocolate. Kids, man, woman, old, young..anyone likes chocolate. I was craving on chocolate but too bad I didn't keep any chocolate left in my house so I guess I'll have to stop craving it until I buy my fave chocolate. We all know that chocolate is said to be good for our health. Isn't it amazing? BUT, you have to know what king of chocolate is good for our health. Not every chocolate is good. And of course, the chocolate with high sugar will not be good for our health. So, here's an information about chocolate.

Chocolate comes of age as a health treat.Chocolate. There are few foods that evoke as much passion as this decadent treat. Folklore from many cultures claimed that consuming chocolate instilled faith, health, strength, and sexual passion. Once an indulgence of royalty, it is now a treasured and accessible - and yes, even healthy - treat. So where did our infatuation with chocolate begin?

Where does chocolate come from, anyway?

The cacao tree, whose pods contain seeds that can be processed into chocolate, was discovered 2,000 years ago in the tropical rainforests of the Americas. The first people known to have consumed cacao were the Classic Period Maya (250-900 A.D.). They mixed ground cacao (cocoa) seeds with seasonings to make a bitter, spicy drink that was believed to be a health elixir.

What was chocolate's great allure?
To the Mayans, cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility. The pod was often represented in religious rituals, including marriage ceremonies, and was referred to as food of the gods. In central Mexico, the Aztecs believed that wisdom and power came from eating the fruit of the cocoa tree, and that it had nourishing, fortifying, and even aphrodisiac qualities. The Aztec emperor Montezuma even drank liquid chocolate daily to enhance his libido.Europeans get a taste of chocolate - and fall in love.Europeans got their first taste of chocolate in 1519, when Montezuma offered the spicy drink to Spanish explorer Cortes and his army. The Spanish conquistadors brought cocoa seeds back to Spain, where they introduced new spices and sugar to the liquid concoction. The fad drink spread throughout Europe, where it remained a beverage of the elite for centuries.
Chocolate becomes known for its powers of seduction.Chocolate's reputation as an aphrodisiac flourished in the French royal court. Erotic art and literature were inspired by the seductive substance. Casanova, the infamous womanizer, made a habit of drinking chocolate before his romantic escapades. Even today, romantic lore commonly identifies chocolate as an aphrodisiac.Chocolate goes global.The first machine-made chocolate was produced in Barcelona in 1780, paving the way for the mass production of chocolate. Later, mechanical inventions made it possible to produce smooth, creamy, solid chocolate for eating - not just the liquid for drinking. The first solid chocolate bar was developed by British chocolate maker Fry & Sons in the early 1800s.

When did chocolate become associated with Valentine's Day?
"It's believed that during the 17th century, lovers began exchanging mementos on Valentine's Day - sweet treats were one of them. In 1868, the first Valentine's Day box of chocolates was introduced [by Richard Cadbury]," - says Susan L. Fussell, senior director of communications for the National Confectioners Association.Three cheers for chocolate!In 1875, the first milk chocolate was introduced to the market by Daniel Peter of Switzerland. Chocolate became so popular around the world that even during World War II the U.S. government shipped cocoa beans to the troops.

Is chocolate really an aphrodisiac?
Not really, even though throughout its history, chocolate has been purported as one. Chocolate contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), a.k.a. the "love drug," and it's been linked to the regulation of physical energy, mood, and attention. A tiny amount of PEA is released at moments of emotional euphoria, elevating blood pressure and heart rate. There is no evidence that PEA found in foods increases PEA in the brain - although many chocolate lovers may beg to differ!The 21st Century: Chocolate makes health headlines.Dark chocolate (as opposed to milk or white chocolate) contains healthful flavonoids similar to those found in tea, red wine, fruits, and vegetables. Studies have shown that small portions of dark chocolate can improve blood vessel flow and may improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity to help reduce the risk of diabetes. But beware, chocolate candy has plenty of saturated fat and sugar, which can lead to weight gain, so enjoy small portions of as part of a healthy diet.
(source from medicinenet.com)