Tag Archives: Chocolate

Is Chocolate Healthy?

We bet you’ve heard of chocolate being healthy for you, right? Is there such a thing? Chocolate’s reputation is actually changing. There are a lot of studies that suggest it can be a healthy choice for your heart (in moderation). There are great health components found in cocoa like flavanols, theobromine, and antioxidants. To break it down, flavanols are found in cocoa and chocolate. Research shows that flavanols have influences on blood flow to the brain and heart. Theobromine is another heart-healthy compound found in chocolate and has been used to treat high blood pressure.

Prevent Heart Disease?

In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by a whopping 50% over a 15 year period – pretty crazy! Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in dark chocolate. According to Cleveland Clinic, research has shown that flavanols have a very positive effect on heart health by helping lower blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart as well as the brain. Dark chocolates flavanols can also help make blood platelets less sticky and able to clot, which reduces the risk of blood clots and stroke.

Antioxidants in chocolate?

Antioxidants are known to support the body’s cells to resist damage. Antioxidants are actually located in a lot of foods! These include berries, nuts, grains, some meats, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables, and CHOCOLATE.

Are all chocolates healthy?

Cocoa naturally has a very strong taste, which comes from the flavanols.  When cocoa is placed into your favorite chocolate products, it goes through multiple steps to lessen this taste. The more chocolate is processed, the more flavanols are lost.  That’s why picking dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate is best.

How much is right for me?

There is currently no set healthy serving size for chocolate. However, you don’t need to feel guilty anymore if you enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate every now and then. If you want to add chocolate to your diet, do so in moderation.

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Why Do We Give Chocolate on Valentine’s Day?

Since our classroom parties in elementary school, we’ve been receiving chocolate and other sweets from classmates, friends, parents and significant others. If you’re anything like me you’ve probably wondered why we even do this. Was it always this way? Why do we even celebrate Valentine’s Day anyway? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, or if you are now, you’re in luck because I did the research.

According to Smithsonian.com, the first mention of Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday appears in Geoffrey Chaucer’s 1382 poem, Parlement of Foules. While the holiday’s origins track a ways back, it wasn’t always linked with sweets. By the time chocolate became commonplace in the English-speaking world in the 1840’s, Valentine’s Day celebrations included showering one’s romantic interest with cards, gifts, poems, songs and even locks of hair.

In 1861, Richard Cadbury changed the game. Cadbury, a popular British chocolatier, had recently invented a new process for making a more palatable drinking chocolate, which resulted in leftover pure cocoa butter that had been extracted through the process. Cue eating chocolate. Once they put the solidified chocolate into molds, they had to create an appealing way to package this new confection.

Cadbury was inspired by the cupid-covered cards and gifts lovers were gifting each other on Valentine’s Day. So, in 1861, he created the ubiquitous heart-shaped boxes we know today in a stroke of marketing genius. Advertised as a gift that kept on giving, allowing individuals to store trinkets or love letters in these elaborately decorated boxes post-chocolate consumption, these boxes became extremely popular and are still treasured today.

While other confectioners have outsold the Cadbury’s in the American market (Milton Hershey and Russell Stover, for example) the British chocolatiers are still credited with starting the Valentine’s Day chocolate frenzy.

So the box of chocolate tradition clearly has staying power and fortunately (or unfortunately for my wallet) won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Unlike the chocolates inside the box.

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