Chocolate: Fact & Fiction

Posted by dom on February 26th, 2007 — Posted in Misc

Guest blogger Yuliana Hendarto takes a look at one of our personal favourite foods:


ChocolateChocolate. This must be one of the most delicious, lovely, fun and famous food on earth! Not only does chocolate tastes great, it has lots of nutritional and health benefits too! Lucky you.But before all of you rush out to the nearest convenience store and grab your chocolates, let’s take a look at these first:

Longevity
A Harvard medical studies consisting of 800 male graduates found that chocoholics have longer life span. This is probably due to high polyphenol level in chocolates, which is claimed to protect you again heart disease.However, many of the so-called chocolate bars today are so rich in sugar, milk and fat content that it’s just too unhealthy for large consumptions! So opt for good quality chocolates or dark chocolates. Avoid the ones with nuts for lower calorie, fat and cholesterol content and NEVER ever consider mars or snickers bars as chocolates. They’re candy bars. Period.

Acne
The popular belief says that chocolate causes acne. However, be rest assured that there is NO effect of eating chocolates whatsoever on your skin. In fact, haven’t you heard of chocolate spa treatments? From body wrap, scrubs, bath, hydroteraphy to massages, it’s said to be good for the skin and muscles.

Chocoholism
Apparently the word does not just signify someone who loves chocolate. Chocolate does have some addictive substances! These include sugar (didn’t think sugar is addictive huh?), theobromine, anandamide (an endogenous cannabinoid), tyroptophan, phenylethylamine, caffeine.

Phew. What a mouthful!

No worries. Simply put, theobromine causes the mood-elevating effect while tyroptophan plays a role in our nervous system to help regulate our mood. On the other hand, anandamide is internally and naturally produced by our body and has short-lasting effect. Altogether, the amount of these chemical substances found in chocolates is pretty minute such that the effect on us is rather negligible, aside from the happy feelings. However, take note that theobromine (and hence chocolates) can be fatal for our pets!

Here is a list of some fun facts about chocolates:

  • The Mayans started drinking hot chocolate as far back as 2,600 years ago!! That is also the earliest record of Cacao use.
  • Chocolate’s basic ingredients are the cocoa solids, cocoa fat and sugar.
  • It is cacao trees and cacao pods, and becomes cocoa after the beans have been processed
  • Chocolate was reserved for warriors, nobility and priests.
  • The Aztec used cacao beans for their taxes: a slave cost 100 cacao beans and 12 for a courtesan’s service!!!

And to end this entry on a sweet note, here’s a fun link to a Chocolate Quiz!

Sources:

4 Comments »

Comment by DS

With out a doubt chocolate should be considered a wonderful and healthy food. The problem is the type of chocolate we eat. If you are rushing in to your local convenience store to buy your chocolate, odds are you will be buying chocolate which contains the wrong ingredients to have any health benefit. Th a achieve the health benefits from chocolate you should eat dark chocolate with cocoa percentages of at least 60% or greater. Some of the better dark chocolates imported from Europe of Michel Cluizel, Chocolate Bonnat, L’Artigiano and Neuhaus. All of these can be found at chocolate stores who specialize in fine chocolates like Cioccolato at http://www.iluvchocolate.com. The mission here if you want to eat chocolate and be healthy is to eat good dark chocolate, not what we call candy bars.

Posted on February 27, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Comment by Kristen

Michel Cluizel is one of my favorite brands of chocolate – they make milk chocolate bars with higher cocoa content and dark chocolate bars that are rich without being bitter – but because it’s a French brand it can be tricky to find. I’ve shopped at http://www.iluvhcocolate.com too, and they are a good source for high quality chocolates.

Posted on February 28, 2007 at 9:18 pm

Comment by Ian

Longer life span if you each chococlates? Sounds like the excuse i need to eat more of the dark gold!! I just hope i get a chocolate christmas gift this year from http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk – I think that the addiction probably comes from the fact that your mood is improved.

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Comment by Mildred Huter

i really enjoyed reading this keep up the good work

Posted on January 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment