Chocolate is loved by people around the world for both its delicious taste as well as its health benefits.
(Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate has wonderful health benefits!). It’s no wonder that the cocoa tree’s scientific name, Theobroma Cacao, means “food of the gods”!
The 4 000 year
history of chocolate
First, a history lesson. The Central and South American civilisations of the Mayans and Olmecs have been brewing up a dark and bitter drink from the cocoa fruit to use in traditional ceremonies for over 4 000 years. It’s a far cry from the sweet and tasty hot chocolate we all know today. In fact, chocolate as a sweet treat is a relatively new idea – only about 500 years old!
The health benefits
It’s hard to believe that something as delicious and moreish as chocolate could have health benefits, but it does! Cocoa contains high levels of antioxidants, which are essential for healthy functioning. Recent research has examined the impact of chocolate on ageing and memory, stress, blood pressure regulation and heart conditions.
Plus, chocolate makes you feel good! Dark chocolate, which contains at least 85% cocoa, has been proven to increase the levels of endorphins and dopamine – both feel-good chemicals – in your brain. This can assist in decreasing anxiety and feelings of being sad. If you prefer something a little lighter, white chocolate has also been shown to increase dopamine.
Try our chocolate recipes
Now that your tastebuds are calling for a chocolate fix, try out our fun chocolate recipes!
Chocolate was made to share
Did you bake the Chocolate Mousse Cake or the Choc Chip Cookies? We want to see your creations! Upload photos of your baking masterpieces on social media and remember to tag @mugg_and_bean. We could feature your snaps on our Stories.