Cocoa beans grow in pods from particular trees and consumption of chocolate is often linked to feelings of happiness.
Its combination of sweet and bitter and the distinct taste it leaves in your mouth is unparalleled. One reason why people like it so much is because chocolate contains endorphins which supply the brain with a feeling of relaxation, pleasure and comfort.
Milk chocolate. The added milk creates a softer flavour and lighter colour but can reduce the antioxidants and can actually be more calorific due to the sugar and butter content.
With dried fruit. It is possible to vary the texture and taste depending on the type of dried fruit (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts etc.), but they add to the calorie content.
White chocolate. Lots of people would not consider this to be real chocolate, given that it only contains byproducts of cocoa. It contains more calories than dark chocolate but it is high in calcium and protein.
On top of it being a food which can make us happy, chocolate also has nutritional properties which are unknown to some. The high levels of the purest form of cocoa act as an antioxidant thanks to the presence of flavonol, a molecule which prevents the formation of blood clots.
The cocoa also reduces inflammation and insulin resistance. Another benefit of chocolate is that it improves intellectual performance, including memory. As expert Marisol Guisasola, in her blog 'Adelgazar sabiendo', and a recent study published in Appetite magazine indicate, the antioxidants in chocolate protect our cells from oxidation and ageing, and they also improve the flow of blood to the brain.
So are you someone who wants to improve your brain's performance, including your memory? Eat chocolate at least once a week. A new study of almost 1,000 people between 23 and 98 years of age has confirmed that people who do eat chocolate this frequently get better results on brain training tests than those who do not have this weekly quantity or do not eat chocolate at all. “Twenty per cent of cocoa beans are flavonoids, these are added to other bioactive compounds like caffeine and theobromine, which already improve alertness and cognitive performance,” explains the investigation.
So, why am I telling you this? Well, July the 7th, is the day we’ve all been waiting for! World Chocolate Day, sometimes also referred to as International Chocolate Day. Although there are a number of 'chocolate based' days, July 7th is the day. So stock up and indulge!