The Skinny on Chocolate: It’s a Health Food

English: Roasted cocoa (cacao) beans

“Forget love, I’d rather fall in chocolate.” Deanna TroiStar Trek: The Next Generation

I have to agree with Deanna Troi–forget love. Let me fall in chocolate.

Actually, as a child, that was my daydream–to get a Hershey bar as big as my bedroom and not have to share.

Why am I, like so many Americans (read on to see that I don’t lie), obsessed with this delectable seed?

A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages...

    1. The very smell of chocolate increases theta waves in your brain. That makes you relax. Can you imagine me without my chocolate?
    2. It’s a great, natural anti-depressant. (Imagine what I would be like without chocolate!) It contains tryptophan which helps create serotonin. Forget the turkey. I want chocolate for Thanksgiving.
    3. The inventor of the chocolate chip cookie was a brilliant individual. The recipe was sold to Nestle in return for a lifetime supply of chocolate. Who got the better end of the deal? Uh duh. It’s obvious.
    4.  A single chocolate chip can provide enough energy for an adult human to walk 150 feet. Thirty-five chips enables the adult to walk one mile. For 875,000 you can walk around the world.
    5. It takes about 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate.(See the illustration of the beans above).
    6. And every second, Americans (collectively) eat 100 pounds of chocolate. That’s a lot of beans.
    7. Each person consumes 12 pounds of chocolate a year. (I personally make-up for the few who eat no chocolate.)
    8. Americans spend $7 billion dollars a year on chocolate. (I thought my budget was bad.)
    9. Hershey produces 20-25 million kisses a day. Pucker up. It’s like love.
    10. Eating dark chocolate every day reduces your risk of heart disease by one-third. However, I don’t think that extends to the quantities I consume them.
    11. Chocolate has an anti-bacterial element that protects your teeth from decay.
    12. Be careful. Good things need to be used in small doses. A lethal dose of chocolate (heavens, how could there be such a thing) is 22 pounds–about 40 Hershey bars.
    13. The average chocolate bar has about 8 insect parts.
    14. There’s a pill that makes your fart smell like chocolate.
  1. The original name for hot chocolate was cacahuatl. Translated it was cocoa water. The Europeans did not like drinking anything named caca water. Would you?
Which is your favorite chocolate fact? Currently #14 is my favorite. What can you expect from caca water?

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