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A Brief History of Chocolate & Health Benefits

A Brief History of Chocolate & Health Benefits

Before we get into why chocolate is so delicious, let's take a quick trip through its origins. Chocolate has a long and complicated history, dating all the way back to the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. It was first discovered by the Mesoamericans, who used it not only as a food but also as a currency. The word "chocolate" comes from the Aztec word "xocolatl," which means "bitter water."

The early chocolate was quite different from the sweet treat we know today. It was made by grinding cacao beans into a paste, then adding water and spices to create a frothy beverage. The Maya and Aztec empires fell before chocolate could be introduced to Europe, but when Hernan Cortes conquered Mexico in 1521, he brought cacao beans back with him.

Cortes gave some of the beans to King Charles V of Spain, who was unimpressed with the bitter drink. However, his daughter Maria Theresa loved it and introduced it to the French court. By the mid-1600s, chocolate had become all the rage in Europe. In 1828, Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten developed a process for removing fat from cacao beans, making them easier to grind. This led to the creation of cocoa powder, which is still used today.

In 1847, English Quaker John Cadbury created the first chocolate bar. More than 20 years later, Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter discovered how to add milk to chocolate, which made it much creamier and more palatable. And in 1907, British chocolate company Rowntree's released the first ever dark chocolate bar.

Today, there are countless varieties of chocolate available all over the world. But why do we still eat it, even though it's full of sugar? Keep reading to find out!

The Health Benefits of Chocolate
You might be surprised to learn that chocolate actually has some health benefits! Dark chocolate in particular is packed with antioxidants and can improve heart health. A study published in 2015 found that participants who ate dark chocolate every day for two weeks had lower blood pressure and improved arterial function
Another study from 2012 found that people who ate an ounce of dark chocolate every day for three months saw their HDL (good) cholesterol levels rise by 12 percent.
And finally, a 2017 study showed that eating dark chocolate can help improve cognitive function. So there you have it—evidence that eating chocolate isn't just delicious, but good for you too!

Is Chocolate Good for You? YES! Here's Why...As it turns out, there are plenty of reasons to keep eating chocolate—even though it does have sugar in it! Chocolate has many health benefits, including reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and boosting cognitive function. So go ahead and indulge in your favorite sweet treat—it might just be good for you after all! Thanks for reading!

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