Every year on July 7th, World Chocolate Day allows chocolate lovers around the world to indulge in their favorite treat without any guilt. It’s unclear who came up with this yummy food day. However, the day is celebrated on July 7th because it was on this date in 1550 that chocolate was first brought to Europe. The first World Chocolate Day was celebrated in 2009.
Chocolates are traditionally made from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao trees, which are cultivated in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America.
We all have consumed the usual chocolates, dark chocolates, milk chocolates as well as some strange and weird ones at the same time. Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, a number of health benefits are associated with this delicious treat.
Here are some amazing health benefits of eating chocolate:
• Scientists at Harvard Medical School have suggested that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help keep the brain healthy and reduce memory decline in older people.
• Research published in The BMJ, suggests that consuming chocolate could help lower the risk of developing heart disease by one-third.
• Chocolates are believed to contain high levels of antioxidants.
• Some studies have suggested chocolate could lower cholesterol levels and prevent memory decline.
• According to a study presented at the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta, GA, eating 30 g (about one ounce) of chocolate every day during pregnancy might benefit fetal growth and development.
• People who are seeking to lose or maintain weight should eat chocolate only in moderation.
• Findings published in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggest that a little dark chocolate might boost oxygen availability during fitness training.
• One study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, suggests that chocolate consumption might help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, also known as “bad cholesterol.”
• A study published in the journal Heart in 2015 tracked the impact of diet on the long-term health of 25,000 men and women. The findings suggested that eating up to 100 grams (g) of chocolate each day may be linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
• Regular consumption of chocolate bars containing PS and CF, as part of a low-fat diet, may support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure.
• Results of a lab experiment, published in 2014, indicated that a cocoa extract, called lavado, might reduce or prevent damage to nerve pathways found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This extract could help slow symptoms such as cognitive decline.