The cocoa tree – from which chocolate is derived – known as Theobroma Cocoa literally means ‘’Food for the Gods’’. In India, chocolate was first distributed by Fry & Sons Company in 1847 which later merged with Cadbury. The largest chocolate bar weights 5,792.50 kg. To this day, it remains the most beloved and most addictive snack to one and all, regardless of age.
For many, it is the go-to energy booster and motivator. This sweet indulgence is also enjoyed during diets because it’s irresistible. Chocolate can be enjoyed in many forms – chocolate cream, chocolate chips in biscuits, cakes and even shakes. Chocolate sauce is an excellent topper for many meals like pancakes, fruits and ice cream.
For all the ado over chocolate, it provides many health benefits:
#1 Decreases Heart Problems
According to a Swedish research study, those who consume one or two bars of chocolate a week are less likely to suffer from heart diseases than those who don’t. A survey conducted among twenty thousand people in England showed results of 11% who were less likely to suffer from a stroke and 25% who are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases. This is because chocolate contains a large amount of flavonoids, an anti-oxidant compound which expands the flexibility of the arteries.
#2 Decreases Stress
You may have wondered why the wise advise a bar of chocolate before examinations. This is because chocolate has the innate ability to reduce stress and boost your thinking juice, thus helping you to cope better in stressful situations. According to a Swedish research, four squares of chocolate a day for two successive weeks can automatically decrease cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone in our body.
#3 Prevents Cough
According to a research by the Imperial College of London in 2004, chocolate works as well as the medicine Codeine in mitigating coughs. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which relaxes the Vagus – responsible for stimulating the cough reflex. Next time you sense a wave of coughs oncoming, give the pharmacy a break, and take a bite off that choco-bar.
#4 Stimulates Skin
Dark Chocolate has flavonols which protect your skin from the sun. It also enhances skin hydration and regulates blood flow. Instead of applying loads of sunscreen every time you go out, try some dark chocolate. It’s sweeter and cheaper.
#5 Makes You Happy
Chocolate makes everyone happy! Just the mention of it tends to boost our mood. It contains the component Trytopan which triggers serotonin – the “Happiness hormone”. Chocolate also triggers the brain to release endorphins that give us happy, pleasurable sensations.