By Z. K
Tue, 07, 20

Some of the most popular chocolate bars are plain and simple....

world chocolate day

Whether it's on top of ice cream, filled with peanut butter or inside a cookie, chocolate is how many people satisfy a sweet tooth. In times of stress, times of sadness, times of celebration, happiness, boredom, Saturday night, any night – many of us turn to chocolate to put a smile on our faces. Chocolate can enhance and help to create the most luxurious desserts and can even be enjoyed and indulged on its own. Some of the most popular chocolate bars are plain and simple.

Good news for those with a sweet tooth, eating chocolate can be healthy. That's right, chocolate is healthy (within reason; the darker the better). However, chocolate to come with health benefits, it must be 70% cacao or higher, and low in sugar. A milk chocolate bar may contain as little as 10% cacao, while a dark chocolate bar could contain up to 90%. You can finally indulge in your favourite snack guilt-free - in moderation of course.

Health benefits of chocolates:

A nutritious snack: Did you know that if choose chocolate with a high cocoa content (75% to 85%) you are getting a very nutritious snack? Take the typical 100 gram chocolate bar. It has almost all of your RDA for copper and manganese. It contains over half your magnesium RDA and about two thirds (67%) of your RDA for iron. It also has about 10% of fiber. There is also lots of zinc, selenium and potassium too.

Chocolate makes you happy: Chocolate contains the chemical compounds phenylethylamine (‘the love compound’) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that helps calm us) - both are naturally occurring substances in the body that evoke feelings of euphoria. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins. Endorphins play a key role in helping to prevent depression.

Good for heart: Regular dark chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. Consumption of cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It promotes gorgeous skin: The flavonols in dark chocolate can protect the skin against sun damage Flavonoids are pretty powerful. Without you realising, they get to work on your skin, acting as a filter to harmful UV rays and protecting you against sun damage. (And no, that does not mean you can skip the sunscreen). What’s more, as we know all too well, dark chocolate is a great stress reliever, which also helps keep the skin young, fresh and fine-line free.

It may prevent diabetes: It sounds mad, but cocoa has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. So dark chocolate – in moderation – might delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.

It gives you brain power: Chocoholics are the smartest people around. Or at least they should be, thanks to the flavanol content of the snack. Teamed with reports that it also helps to improve blood flow to the brain, it appears that dark chocolate makes excellent brain food. So much so, that researchers have even put its properties to the test with Alzheimer's patients.

World Chocolate Day

Chocolate is one of the most delicious treats ever, and it deserves its own special day to enjoy, isn't it? Every year all chocolate lovers around the globe celebrate World Chocolate Day on July 7. World Chocolate Day on July 7 each year indulges in one of the world’s favorite treats. Whether it is chocolate milk, hot chocolate, a chocolate candy bar, chocolate cake, brownies, or something covered in chocolate, this day is for chocolate lovers. References to World Chocolate Day being observed have been recorded as early as 2009. Celebration of the day includes the consumption of chocolate. Some references indicate that this day celebrates the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550.

History of chocolate

The history of chocolate is very long and complicated, chocolate itself saw rises and falls, it was adored by public and banned by the church. And still we all love chocolate for its heavenly taste and number of flavors. The food historians state, that modern chocolate bars were introduced in Europe on July 7, 1847. This invention belongs to Joseph Fry, an English chocolate maker. He was the first to add melted cacao butter to chocolate to make chocolate moldable. The first milk chocolate appeared in 1857, and since then many chocolate makers started a long way towards improvement of its texture and taste to make a perfect bar.

How to celebrate Chocolate Day

Although some would love to celebrate this day every day, the chocolate day gives you the perfect opportunity to eat your favorites in ample portions. Visit your favorite restaurant and indulge in a delicious chocolate dessert. (Since it’s lockdown, you can order on line). Another idea is to host a chocolate tasting party. Invite friends to bring their best chocolate recipes to share. Why not get the cookbook out of the cupboard, scour the internet for some ideas and get yourself in the chocolate day spirit, baking and creating some wonderful chocolatey creations?

Explore chocolates from around the world, too. Post photos on social media using #WorldChocolateDay.

Some interesting facts about Chocolate

  • Daniel Peter, a Swiss confectioner, in 1875, developed the first solid milk-chocolate using condensed milk, which had been invented by Henri Nestle.
  • In the United Kingdom, Cadbury is the leading brand of milk chocolate.
  • White chocolate is made up of sugar, milk and cocoa butter, without using cocoa solids.
  • Dark chocolate is known as ‘plain chocolate’ that is produced by using a high percentage of cocoa with cocoa butter containing fat instead of milk. There are dark milk chocolates also and several degrees of hybrids. High quality of dark chocolate is known as Couverture chocolate. It has a high percentage of cocoa solids and cocoa butter and is precisely tempered. This chocolate is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding, and garnishing.