Feb 8, 2024, 03:20 PM IST
Chocolate has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. The oldest origin of chocolate is believed to be in the Maya and Aztec civilizations in Central America, where people used cacao beans to make a bitter, spicy drink.
Moderate consumption of dark chocolate has been associated with several health benefits, such as improved heart health, lower blood pressure, and enhanced brain function due to its high content of antioxidants and flavonoids.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a stimulant similar to caffeine. Theobromine can have a mild stimulating effect on the body and is toxic to some animals, like dogs and cats.
Chocolate contains compounds that can stimulate the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain associated with feelings of pleasure and well-being. This is why many people consider chocolate a comfort food.
In ancient Mesoamerica, cacao beans were used as currency. They were so valuable that they were often traded for goods and services.
Chocolate has even made its way to space! Astronauts aboard space shuttles and the International Space Station (ISS) have enjoyed chocolate as part of their menu.
The largest chocolate bar ever made weighed over 12,770 pounds (5,792 kilogrammes). It was created by Thorntons plc in the United Kingdom in 2011.