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