We do not know what Annie Lenox would be thinking when singing this famous song, but we can imagine a possible answer: chocolate. Probably is because this delicacy is one of the most delicious one that Humanity produces. Moreover, it brings incredible health benefits, and has inspired quite a few works of art. That is why cocoa has an exclusively dedicated world day: July 7th. In this article, we give you further information about this magical fruit.
Food of gods
It is believed that the cocoa tree are from the Amazon rainforest, and in pre-Columbian times, it was traded among the American peoples until it reached Central America. The term «cacao» comes from the Nahuatl language, and combines the words «cac» («red») and «cau» («force» and «fire»). That is, «red fire» or «red force», referring to the reddish color of the fruit of this tree.
In the Mayan and Aztec cultures, cocoa was considered a valuable food. It had so much value that it was even used as a currency for commercial exchanges. It was also used as an energizer, as a tonic for the prevention of diseases, and as a ritual in some ceremonies.
In the middle of the 16th century, Europeans brought the fruit to their continent, which was quickly appreciated in the royal courts. In particular, the hot drink that we know today as «chocolate» became popular, and it was already made in America. Hence, the main cocoa consuming countries are in Europe, despite the fact that they cannot grow it due to their climate.
On the other hand, the scientific name of cocoa is «theobroma cacao», which means in Greek, precisely, «food of gods». We can see in this case that even science agrees with the magic of this special fruit that makes a lot of people happy.
The belief that a bar of chocolate makes your day better is not a new piece of news to anyone. But it is also scientifically proven that cocoa has many benefits; For some reasons, it was already used thousands of years ago as a traditional medicine in America to cure asthma, parasitism and cough, among other conditions. Due to its high number of flavonoids, it works as an antioxidant. It reduces cholesterol levels, stress and blood pressure, as well as helping prevent diabetes. In addition, it contributes to the renewal of tissues and to the regulation of cell processes.
Cocoa enhances intellectual performance and sweetens your day
At a mental and emotional level, we also find some more benefits such as, increases intellectual and cognitive capacity, and it cheers you up due to the fact that it encourages the production of serotonin. Furthermore, cocoa oil, the main component of cocoa butter, is used to treat wounds, rashes, burns and other skin conditions. Is it possible to ask something else of such a beneficial food? Yes, it is delicious.
Since the cocoa tree needs a humid, tropical climate to grow, most of the producers are in West Africa, Central America, South America, and Asia.As it is said, there are several countries who dispute the first place for the quality of the cocoa. In recent years, an agreement has been reached that the best cocoa varieties are produced in Peru and Ecuador, whose chocolates managed to unseat Switzerland as the icon of the best chocolate producer in the world. It is estimated that about 745 tons of cocoa are produced per year, which are mainly exported to Europe and the United States. With so much going around the world, and just taking place in the «Week of Sweetness» in Argentina, how can you refuse a good glass of hot chocolate milk, or a delicious chocolate bonbon? We would like you to tell us about some memorable experience that this noble food has produced in your life. Bon appetit and yum yum!
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