On July 11th, everyone with a sweet tooth celebrates the World Chocolate Day. While not an official holiday, this date is still significant for many. The French proposed to celebrate World Chocolate Day in 1995. 

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It is known that the Aztecs were the first to learn to make chocolate – the “food of the gods” as they called it. A short time later, when chocolate was imported into Europe, the product was named “black gold” on the continent – for it was only consumed by the wealthy. As the treat was such an expensive pleasure, it was only present on tables of aristocrats. And it wasn't until the start of industrial-scale production in early 20th century that many Europeans could afford to enjoy the taste of chocolate. Chocolate came to Russia thanks to Peter I the Great after he had opened his “window into Europe.” 

Amidst today’s huge choice of chocolate, what really matters is understanding which products are beneficial for our health and which ones are not. Science has proved that chocolate contains ingredients that promote recreation and psychological recovery. Dark varieties of chocolate stimulate the release of endorphins (“happiness hormones”) that activate pleasure centers, improve the mood and maintain vitality. Chocolate is believed to have a “cancer prevention” effect and to be able to slow aging processes in the body. But that has not proven by scientists yet! 

What is undoubtedly true is that chocolate boosts mood and can really be beneficial to human beings. Yet, only dark chocolate is that useful for health! 

Why is that so? 

  • Chocolate is rich in flavonoids. It is one of the most common and large groups of nutritionally important plant substances. Flavonol contained in cocoa stimulates cerebral circulation. 
  • Dark chocolate contains vast amounts of useful substances. A 50-gram serving of bitter chocolate containing 70-90% cocoa provides about 6 grams of dietary fiber needed for healthy digestion; one third of the recommended daily intake of iron for cardiovascular system performance. 
  • Bitter chocolate lowers blood pressure and improves cognitive functions. 
  • It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and platelet accumulation. The risk of stroke decreases when the product is consumed moderately.

As you can see, chocolate is not only delicious but also a healthy food. In some countries, various master classes and factory tours with treats to visitors are held on the World Chocolate Day. 

Russia has three chocolate museums in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Pokrov where mass events and fairs are held every year on July 11th. All forms of chocolate are on sale, from souvenirs to sweet, edible clothing. In the USA, the chocolate holiday is celebrated twice a year – on July 7th and October 28th. In Germany a whole chocolate country was built – the Schokoladenland! On Chocolate Day, connoisseurs come there for a treat. In Switzerland, a “chocolate train” was designed that takes everyone to local factories. And in Iceland, a tradition to burn fires is alive on Chocolate Day. The Vikings thus express their respect to the treat.

What is really important is to be moderate in one’s consumption of chocolate and remain in a good health!

The article is based on open sources.

Source of image in the text: Getting the brain work with chocolate

Source of image on the homepage: Why chocolate is beneficial