Chocolate Facts

Chocolate is an obsession for some and for some just a delicious treat to eat. Either way, if you are a chocolate lover, you already realize the value of cacao.

Chocolate is made from cacao beans, but the chocolate we know and love goes beyond cacao beans. Today, the history, industry, and value of chocolate is more intense and special than many would assume.

Throughout history and in many cultures, chocolate has taken a role among various people from the Aztecs, Spanish and the English.

Learn more about chocolate or discover why you need to eat more chocolate.

The discovery of chocolate was 5,300 years in present day Ecuador

discovery of chocolate

The Mayo-Chinchipe people of present day Ecuador may be the first to have discovered and consumed the first cacao or chocolate of any kind. Some say the discovery could have been in the area of Mexico in Central America as well.

A find in Ecuador by archeologists unearthed traces of cocoa in Ecuador dating back to 3,300 B.C. Therefore, this evidence and finding overall shows perhaps the oldest claim and proof of chocolate consumption.


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The word ‘Chocolate’ Comes From the Aztec Word ‘Xocolatl’

Xocolatl

Chocolate” goes back thousands of years and originates to the Aztec word “xocolatl,” This word in Aztec, Xocolatl,  means “bitter water.”

The Amazon of Ecuador is native to some of the initial found cacao plants of the world. Therefore, chocolate is one of the few Aztec derived words to be used all over the world.


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Chocolate was viewed as more important than Gold by the Aztecs

Chocolate more important than Gold by the Aztecs

In the 14th century, the Aztecs were actively trying to expand their empire. Chocolate was a commodity and was seen as more valuable and important than gold. The reasons why chocolate became so valuable are historical.

Chocolate came to the Aztecs from their God, Quetzalcoatl. This Aztec god apparently had tekan a cacao tree from heaving and was able to take it to earth. The logic was that humans only had access to chocolate through a god only.

Lastly, The Aztecs drank chocolate with other warming spices because they believed chocolate brought wisdom, power, immunity, and romantic proclivity.


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Currently, the chocolate industry is worth more than $130 billion

chocolate industry

Chocolate is big business. It is obvious many people love and will spend a lot of money on chocolate. The global chocolate market and industry is valued at $130.56 billion.

There is a lot of expected growth to happen as well. Chocolate lovers keep growing and demanding more. By 2027 the chocolate industry could reach up to $200 billion.


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Chocolate boosts your immune system and fights many chronic diseases

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate does indeed boost and increase your general health and well being, and as well your immune system. An impressive amount of flavonoids and minerals, like cacao, may have beneficial and positive effects on the immune system.

Chocolate has a lot of zinc, which is a vital nutrient that wards off virus types as well various bacterias. In fighting chronic diseases, like cancer, chocolate has antioxidants and properties that protect against oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.


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Making one pound of chocolate requires at least 400 Cocoa beans

chocolate with Cocoa beans

The production process to make chocolate is a lot more intensive than many would realize. Why? Because, a lot of cocoa beans are needed to make a pound of chocolate.

In terms of resources and farming, making commercial chocolate requires a lot of cacao trees. On average, each cacao tree makes around 2,500 beans.

Despite all of the difficult work to manufacture chocolate as we consume it, sales of chocolate are always high. Chocolate is great for any healthy balanced diet and of course enjoyment.


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Theobromine is the reason why so many people enjoy chocolate and why it makes them feel good

Theobromine

Many people around the world go crazy and love chocolate for a variety of reasons. However, it has been researched that the single cause for excitement and feeling good is a plant compound called Theobromine.

Theobromine, which stands out in dark chocolate, may also be the reason why “cacao” or chocolate is often called the “food of the gods.”

When eating chocolate, Theobromine when it is in the body has the effect of increasing heart rate and blood flow. Moreover, Theobromine will lower blood pressure, enhance performance, and improve your mood overall. The darker the chocolate then the stimulating of an effect it will have!


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There are three main types of chocolate but many varieties

types of chocolate

Many would be surprised that there are only three main types of chocolate. The main types of chocolate are white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.

Chocolate does indeed create a wide array of foods made specifically from cocoa, but this a variation only. Chocolate comes in a variety of types ranging from Milk Chocolate to White Chocolate to simply cocoa powder and of course dark chocolate.

The many varied and different types and flavours of chocolate are made by changing the quantities of the variable different ingredients. Moreover, many subtle and dramatic flavour contrasts may change according to the time and temperature during the roasting of the beans.


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An English Candy and sweets seller invented the solid chocolate bar

chocolate bar history

All in all, producing chocolate is not easy, knowing the facts of chocolate is important. The way many eat chocolate today came from confectioners from the present day United Kingdom.

In 1847, the Fry and Sons shop in England first came up with this type of chocolate type by mixing together cocoa butter, sugar, and chocolate liquor. This process created the bar shape we all know for chocolate.

In time, the chocolate bar was developed much more in 1849 in England. It was John Cadbury, of Cadbury Chocolate, who introduced a brand of this chocolate bar to the market.


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Chocolate can make you live longer and prevent aging

Chocolate benefits

It is possible that chocolate itself, in its pure form Cacao, could be the ultimate source of the fountain of youth. First, cacao has been proven to help your skin in terms of tightness and freshness.

Moreover, chocolate can put off the onset of degenerative issues and complications in the body. For example, you can prevent age related cognitive regression as well as even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases that accelerate aging.

Lastly, studies have shown chocolate has a flavonoid called Epicatechin that directly has anti-aging benefits in mice. Thus, it seems a regular diet of chocolate, which includes this flavonoid, could keep younger longer.


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Chocolate can make you happy and elevate your mood

happiness with chocolate

Chocolate can cause quite a reaction in a vast variety of people. The reason why chocolate can make many feel happier is because of the properties of chocolate.

The mood enhancing properties include, as previously noted, Theobromine as well caffeine, and  phenylethylamine, also known as the “love drug” in some parts of the world.

Chocolate can trigger and produce a reaction in your own body as well. For example, the body itself has its own naturally occurring antidepressants, which can stimulate a person. These stimulants  like anandamide, tryptophan, and serotonin make many people very content and excitable.


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Chocolate Day

Chocolate has figured in many things, events, and as well holidays. For example,  Halloween and Valentine’s Day features a lot of chocolate. In the USA, there are four main  chocolate holidays.

And, we must not forget that July 7th is Chocolate Day. This holiday celebrates the 1550 arrival of chocolate to Europe. Furthermore, there is National Milk Chocolate Day on July 28! On November 7 there is National bittersweet with Almonds day.


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Chocolate could be classified as a vegetable

Theobroma Cacao

Yes, it may be unbelievable but chocolate grows on a cacao tree. The cacao bean, where chocolate comes from, is technically part of an evergreen family of trees that includes other vegetables like Okra thus making it a vegetable.

The cacao tree called the Theobroma Cacao gives the chocolate its main essence and power. Many may be surprised to see the variety of those three types of chocolate though. Scientifically, cocoa beans within the seeds inside of the fruit of the cocoa tree are classified as a pod, which is technically a vegetable.


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chocolate chip cookie

One of the most popular and common ways many people around the world get chocolate is from chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate chip cookie was invented mistakenly by Ruth Graves Wakefield.

In the 1930s, the inventor while putting together food for guests accidentally stumbled into one of the most popular chocolate treats in the world.

Ruth Wakefield, the inventor, intended to only make butter cookies, but the chips of chocolate in the batter stayed intact. The new mixture of batter and chips of chocolate was a success because many find this type of cookie addictive.

Author: Jay Garr

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