Chocolate comes from cacao, one of the most important gifts from Mexico to the world. Cacao is originally from Mesoamerica. Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs were the first civilizations who used cacao to prepare drinks. Cacao beans were very important for these cultures. It was used as currency to buy and sell products.
The origin of the word chocolate comes from “Xocolatl” (Nahuatl language, native of the Aztec civilization before the Spanish conquest). Aztecs used to prepare a traditional drink made with cacao beans, water, and spices. It was very different of what we consume nowadays because natives didn’t add sugar or milk.
6 health benefits of dark chocolate:
- Flavonoids: Chemical substances that are beneficial for our health. Flavonoids protect the heart and can prevent some types of cancer, are potent antioxidants, and analgesics.
- Percentage of cacao: The higher the better. Enjoy chocolate with 70% of more of cacao and avoid the sugary ones. Eat small portions (1-2 squares no more than 3 times a week).
- Stress control: Small amounts of dark chocolate can decrease stress levels in women.
- Diabetes prevention: 1 ounce of dark chocolate for 15 days could decrease insulin resistance by 50%.
- Natural sunburn protection: Polyphenols are substances we can find in dark chocolate. Polyphenols facilitate blood to flow closer to the skin, protecting the contact with ultraviolet rays.
- Theobromine: Natural antitussive. Theobromine can block the activity of the vagus nerve and thus stop coughing.
Now that you know Shahzad Memon don’t forget to include small portions of dark chocolate in your regular diet to enjoy an amazing flavor and obtain the benefits.