As Valentine’s Day approaches, everyone who is in love is looking for a treasured box of heart-shaped chocolates on the shelves of supermarkets and pastry shops. Today, chocolates are as traditional Valentine’s gifts as a bouquet of roses or a bottle of wine. For many years now, this holiday has seen a huge surge in chocolate sales. Only flowers sell well on this day.
Chocolate is as sophisticated as wine in the way it is designed to ignite our senses and give us pleasure. And yet, why is chocolate so good?
Chocolate is a romantic stimulant
From its taste to its aroma, chocolate is sensual and sexual. It increases sex drive and is therefore associated with love and affection. Chocolate is considered aphrodisiac food since the time of Aztecs. Chocolate is said to contain a substance that inflames desire and make the beloved one more open to romance. In olden days, this resulted in the tradition in European royalty to give their lovers chocolates mixed with amber to stimulate their love.
The stimulant effect of chocolate is due to a combination of theobromine, theophylline and caffeine. Theobromine has been identified as one of the compounds contributing to chocolate’s reputed role as an aphrodisiac.
Chocolate increases happy hormones production
Even thinking about that sensation of warm melting cream at the back of the throat makes you feel better. Indeed, the association of chocolate with good mood and romance is well documented.
Chocolate is a source of endorphins. Sweet foods stimulate the production of endorphins, the hormone of joy. In “Legally Blonde,” Reese Witherpool said, “Endorphins will make you happy” and it’s completely true.
Chocolate is “Food of the Gods”
The cocoa tree, the source of the main component of chocolate, is translated from Greek as “Food for the Gods.” Isn’t it nice to present a delicacy with such an exquisite name for Valentine’s Day?
Chocolate is a declaration of love
Back in the 19th century, the Victorians were well aware of the potential of chocolate as a seduction tool. The young men seemed to know instinctively that the surest weapon in the suitors’ arsenal was a box of chocolates. Etiquette books and chocolate sellers encouraged this opinion so much that exchanging candy between a man and a woman was tantamount to a declaration of love. The box of chocolates given to the woman was a way to show her love while at the same time showing the giver’s good taste and discernment in choosing a particularly suitable package. The chocolate sellers have worked hard to convince consumers that there is a direct link between the amount of money spent and the intensity of emotion.
Chocolate improves men’s health
Chocolate is an excellent source of B and E vitamins and the dietary minerals: calcium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. Regarding sex, vitamin E plays an important role in the production of sex hormones. Several studies have shown that vitamin E can aid low libido in women. Zinc enables the male body to produce testosterone and because of that may improve men’s health conditions.
It’s a solid scientific basis why chocolate can boost your mood and improve your health.
Chocolate is an excellent source of essential nutrients
Chocolate is good not only for your mood but for your general health. It has over 19% of the Daily Value of riboflavin, vitamin B12 and the dietary minerals – manganese, phosphorus and zinc; and 10-19% of the Daily Value of calcium, magnesium and iron. It also contains polyphenols, especially catechins and flavonoids. Flavonoids are important antioxidants and promote a number of health benefits.
Science-based health benefits of chocolate
The chocolate content has been extensively studied and is thought to be responsible for most of chocolate’s therapeutic effects via their multiple effects in the body, including:
- Prevention of blood clots
- Blood vessel dilation
- Protection of nerve cells
- Reduction of insulin resistance
- Increased blood flow to the brain
- Regulation of genes that control body weight
- Inhibition of cancer growth
Chocolate was one of the Aztecs’ secret treasures
The cacao tree is native to Mesoamerica and cocoa beans were an important commodity in pre-Columbian time. A Spanish soldier who was part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day reportedly may have been consumed by Moctezuma II in order to satisfy his many wives, and 2,000 more by the nobles of his court. Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the later 16th century, wrote of its growing influence on the Spaniards: “it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians”.
Definitely, there’s something special about chocolate. It sends massive pleasure signals to our brain making the day or date wonderful. Give the sweetest gift to your Valentine to fall more in love with you.
Make your Valentine’s Day happy!