11 properties of chocolate to celebrate your International Day

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On September 13, the International Chocolate Day, a commemoration dating back to the 1990s, when France wanted honor Roald Dahl on the day of his birth. Perhaps that name is not very well known, but he was the author of such well-known titles as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, that strange character that Johnny Depp played in the cinema.

Interestingly, the International Chocolate Day It started being held in July coinciding with World Cocoa Day, and in some countries that date is still maintained today.

Do you want to know more about its origin and its history? We tell you some more curiosities and benefits it has for health.

Occurs in developing countries

The main cocoa producers are the developing countries of Africa and South America, which enjoy a tropical climate, which is essential for the cultivation of this product. At the top of the ranking, according to FAO data, is the Ivory Coast, followed by Ghana. Both countries represent 60% of world cocoa production. Indonesia, which started the production of this product a few years ago, has managed to sneak into third place, followed by Nigeria and Cameroon. In the second part of the table are the American countries led by Brazil, followed by Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.

And it is consumed in developed countries

However, the main importers are the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, according to data from the OEC (Observatory of Economic Complexity), which are the countries where the transformation of cocoa into chocolate takes place for what they are, in turn, the main chocolate producers. In fact, only a few multinational companies (Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé and Ferrero) dominate both the transformation and the production of chocolate.

Germans are the main consumers

The Europeans who consume the most chocolate are the Germans, with 11 kg per year per person. In second place are the Swiss with 9.7 kg, followed by the Estonians with 8.8 kg and the English with 8 kg. The average consumption in Europe is 5 kg per person, but in Spain we are somewhat below, we only eat 4.5 kg a year of chocolate.

Formerly it was used as currency

Before the Spanish came to America, chocolate was used as currency. The characteristics of its cultivation, which requires special conditions, and the fact that it was cultivated in the lands of the nobility facilitated its use as currency regulated by the nobles. During the colonial period it continued to be used as a means of payment but under the control of the Spanish authorities.

Originally it was bitter

dark chocolate day

The origin of cocoa cultivation dates back to the Mayans in Mexico, but it was the aztecs those who they started talking about xocoatl, when naming the bitter and spicy drink that they produced from cocoa beans.

Today, a beneficial component for health

Reduces the risk of heart attack

An investigation highlighted that chocolate reduces the chances of cardiovascular problems for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. People who consumed the most dark chocolate and in a higher proportion had a lower risk of developing heart disease and suffering a stroke.

In addition, flavonoids, which are plant-based compounds found in pure chocolate, help blood vessels to open, improving blood flow through the veins, which lowers blood pressure.

Improves skin and prevents aging

It has been shown to help women’s skin better tolerate UV rays due to the amount of antioxidants it contains, which, among other things, prevent skin redness when sunbathing and help improve its density and hydration. What’s more, antioxidants help prevent cell aging even better than any fruit.

Avoid depression

chocolate day mood

When the problem is depression, consume dark chocolate naturally increases serotonin, which is what the brain needs to fight it, since the lack of this hormone is one of the reasons that generate a depressive state. Some describe chocolate as the vegetable prozac for its beneficial effects.

Improves memory and mood

Thanks to the flavonoids contained in chocolate, activates the area of ​​the brain responsible for memories, which helps to increase memory that decreases as a result of age. What’s more, polyphenols, which are also found in chocolate, are the responsible for our having a better state of mind when we eat it, causing a feeling of happiness and tranquility.

It does not make you fat, nor does it cause acne, or cavities

One of the most widespread myths is that chocolate makes you fat, but the reality is that not high in fat, so if it is consumed in moderation it does not make you fat. The same goes for the widespread idea that it causes pimples that makes teens stop eating chocolate, but there is no scientific evidence that chocolate aggravates acne.

And surely this surprises you … White chocolate does not exist

All the above properties are characteristic of dark chocolate, what is the cigar, well white chocolate does not exist. Actually, it is a mixture of cocoa butter, condensed milk and sugar that does not have cocoa mass that is produced from the cocoa beans that are, in fact, those that have all the properties.

Far from causing tooth decay, chocolate prevents it because contains antibacterial substances that compensate for the high levels of sugar it has and fight bacteria in the mouth, come on that protects against cavities.

Are not you enough reasons to celebrate International Chocolate Day? From ING we wish you a very sweet day.

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Food, Health

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