World chocolate day, also known as the International chocolate day observed on July 7th is all about celebrating one of the best creations of humankind- Chocolate. The silky, rich and smooth taste of chocolate has the power to unite our entire race, that can swear by it. Chocolates are not only one of the most delicious and versatile foods available to us but also pack loads of health benefits. World chocolate day celebrates this delicious, healthy and irreplaceable treat!
According to legend, World Chocolate Day commemorates the introduction of chocolate to Europe in the year 1550. Before that time, chocolate was limited to specific regions and countries. For example, some parts of south and central America and Mexico. It was discovered by foreign invaders and thus travelled to many other countries of the world. It became a favourite of the people wherever it reached. In 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés was said to be served a chocolate-based drink called ‘Xocolātl’ by Aztec emperor Montezuma. The explorer took the drink back with him to Spain and added vanilla, sugar and cinnamon to improve the taste. The drink gained popularity in England & France in 1600s after the Spanish invasion. Edible, solid chocolates were only created in the 1800s. Gradually, many chocolate-based dishes began to take form across the globe and a variety of delicacies started cropping up.
Chocolate is perceived as a fattening indulgence. However, that can be attributed to the high sugar content and processing that it is subjected to by certain companies. Mindful and moderate consumption of chocolate can help your body and brain ace numerous health functions. Dark chocolate that contains at least 85% cocoa and only 15% sugar (or sugar alternative) are considered to be excellent for our health. Chocolates act as natural mood enhancers and having a few bites can help you feel more content. They contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, phytochemicals called flavonoids, stimulants called theobromine that can help with immunity, heart health, cough, boosting memory and brain function. Chocolates are believed to be fattening, but consuming dark chocolate twice or thrice a week in moderate amount can help control weight, curb sugar cravings and aid digestion.