Wednesday October 28 is National Chocolate Day! Cure your sweet tooth with these 10 facts about chocolate, or with a trip to Sweet Emotions in Storrs Center.
1. The word chocolate comes from “Xocolatl,” the Aztec word for bitter water.
Chocolate is a sweet food prepared from cocoa seeds. The seeds of the cocoa tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop flavor.
2. It takes approximately 400 cocoa beans to make 1 pound of chocolate.
The annual world consumption of cocoa beans averages approximately 600,000 tons!
3. 100 pounds of chocolate are eaten in the U.S. every second.
Annual consumption in the U.S. is about 11.3 pounds per person.
4. The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.
5. Eating dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third.
Chocolate contains flavonoids that are a type of phytochemical. Dark chocolate has been found to contain 536 milligrams of flavonoids per 1.4-ounce serving. Research shows that as few as 80 milligrams a day can lower blood pressure.
6. Chocolate can boost your workout.
Skip the expensive sports drinks and protein shakes. Research shows chocolate milk is just as effective a recovery aid.
7. Chocolate releases endorphins and lights up the brain’s pleasure centers by increasing serotonin levels.
8. Eating chocolate can help prevent tooth decay and works as an antibacterial agent.
Antibacterial agents in cocoa beans offset its high sugar levels.
9. We crave chocolate because it makes us feel good.
“Chocolate is sociologically considered a comfort food, and people crave comfort foods when they feel terrible,” says Annmarie Kostyk, a chocolate expert.
10. A popular misconception of chocolate is that it contains caffeine.
An ounce of milk chocolate contains about 5 milligrams of caffeine, the same as an 8-ounce cup of decaf coffee.
Now that we’re educated, lets go celebrate this sweet holiday!