A Healthy New Year Includes Chocolate

Chocolate lovers will rejoice when they hear that it has actually been researched and concluded that it is a healthy addition to your diet in moderation.

The resourceful Mayans and Aztecs were the first tribes that discovered this substance 3000 years ago in Central America. The pods were from the cacao trees and were fermented to make a strong bitter drink called xocoatl, meaning" bitter water". On occasion maize or vanilla was added to the bitter liquid to make it more palatable. Cocoa beans were also used as currency.

The Swedish botanist Linnaeus, introduced the systematic task of classifying plants. In 1730 he gave them latin names and the cacao tree was given the identity Theobroma, meaning " food of the gods", or "divine food".

Cacao bean trees bear fruit nearly year-round and the flavors of the beans vary depending on the time of the year they are harvested. Two harvests are gathered per year, November to January known as the "Christmas crop" and a smaller harvest in June, known as the" St. John's crop".

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the author of a rare book on gastronomy titled Physiolgie du Gout in 1826 stated "The persons who habitually take chocolate are those who enjoy the most equable and instant health, and are the least liable to a multitude of illnesses which spoil the enjoyment of life."

New and constantly emerging studies indicate chocolate can treat depression, because it contains phenylethylamine, a slight anti-depressant similar to our body's own dopamine and adrenaline. Chocolate also tends to increase levels of serotonine which aids persons with depression and PMS symptoms.

The cocoa butter aspect of chocolate acts similar to olive oil, containing a number of essential oils that are beneficial for strengthing the bones, hair folicals and nails. Flavonoids that chocolate contain, appear to prevent cell damage and inflamation, also benefiting the skin from aging.

This divine food contains vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D and E. Minerals include calcium, potassium,sodium, magnesium, iron ,zinc, copper, chromium and phosphorous. With the 136 studies done thus far on the health benefits of chocolate, studies confirm that cocoa contain antioxidants which fight free radicals that form cancer and anticoagulants which are the same properties of asprin and prevent blood clots, increases blood flow and less platelet stickiness. It has also been sited for improving bad cholestrerol by as much as 10 percent.

Each American consumes about 12 pounds of chocolate per year, now you have permission to enjoy the rich, creamy deliciousness of chocolate. After all everything was put on this Earth for a reason, but also everything should be enjoyed in moderation.

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About The Author, Gerene Schendel
Gerene Schendel is passionate about chocolate and invites you to follow your bliss to http://www.mytastefultreats.com, sign up for easy to make dessert recipes emailed weekly.