Chocolate is the world’s one of the most craved foods. The cacao tree’s scientific name is Theobroma cacao, which literally means ‘food of the gods’. Which is apt given the divine taste of chocolate.
Here are 5 facts about everyone’s favorite food.
5. Chocolate Melts At Body Temperature
The melting point of chocolate is 93° Fahrenheit, slightly lower then than of the human body(98.6° Fahrenheit). It starts to melt the instant it touches our tongue or hand. This is what gives chocolate its unforgettable melt in the mouth texture and feel.
4. Chocolate Is Like A Drug
Craving chocolate has more to do with its chemical composition than our desire to eat something sweet. Among other various chemical compositions, cacao beans contain Anandamide. It activates our dopamine receptors and gives us a feeling of pleasure. Anandamide is actually produced naturally in the brain but it breaks down quickly. However, when ingested it actually has a much longer half-life. One of its closest analogous is THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the primary constituent of cannabis and has similar effects on our brain.
3. It Was Used As Currency
According to the historic records, people of the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations used to consume cacao beans, long before the Europeans. Ground up cacao beans was used to make a drink like “coffee”. The wet lowland regions were ideal for the growth of cacao and it was the major produce and hence was used as a currency.
2. Chocolate Can Improve Your Memory
The massive bounty of chemicals inside the cacao bean (over 70 at last count) are being relentlessly analyzed for potential health benefits, and one might be able to improve your memory. Scientists at Columbia University Medical Center had a group drink a beverage containing a high dose of cocoa flavanols, an antioxidant present in chocolate, every day for three months, then had them take memory tests. Overwhelmingly, the group who drank the beverage performed significantly better than the control group – around 25% better. In addition, brain scans showed increased function in the dentate gyrus area of the brain, which is linked to the formation of new memories.
1. It’s An Immediate Mental Stimulant
Consuming chocolate widens the blood vessels and can help reduce blood pressure. It can help in improving focus and cognitive ability. Northern Arizona University conducted a study in order to find more such effects of chocolate. The study conducted on 122 volunteers discovered that when fed with 60% dark chocolate a spike in alertness and brain activity was observed.
Why Chocolate Turns White?
A chocolate bar left out for too long starts showing white mold-like growth. Even though it changes the flavor but they are not mold. Researchers have found out that it is in fact when affected by heat liquid fats present inside chocolate escape to the surface re-crystallizes.