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Chocolate - food of the godsHealth Capsule by Maryjane Magbago
Four thousand years ago, chocolate was a bitter and spicy drink, not a sweet candy. The word chocolate was derived from "xocolatl". 'Xococ' means bitter and 'atl' means water. In other words, it was 'bitter water'.
The Aztecs regarded it as the "food of the Gods" which originated from Theobroma cacao tree of the Amazon in South America. Chocolate was a sacred brew of the Mayans and the Aztecs, offered to the gods and served during sacred ceremonies.
Despite its bitter taste, it was a favored drink and was believed to be an aphrodisiac, one that intensifies feelings of attraction, euphoria and excitement in relation to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
The Europeans attempted to improve the drink by adding cream and sugar and in 1842, Cadbury in England, produced the first ever sweet chocolate candy bar.
While roses cannot be eaten, dark chocolate is a healthy and satisfying gift for smitten lovers on Valentines. The sweet candy bar, as it is more popular today, melts in the mouth, not in the hands and benefits the heart the most.
Lovesickness and stress can lead to suicide and trigger broken hearts but the theobromine in dark chocolate is an antidepressant. It lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. Though it is poisonous to dogs, it has antioxidants that protect the heart from cancer and diseases. It is rich in magnesium and iron. It has flavonoids which help resist cell damage from pollutants.
Chocoholics have a good heart. Happy Valentines!