Everyone loves chocolate! (And if you don't, let's sit down and chat.) It's no wonder then that we have a whole day dedicated to it. July 7th is World Chocolate Day! Mark your calendars for future years so you can celebrate by enjoying chocolate without feeling ashamed about it.
So, let's talk about chocolate. Did you know the U.S. consumes 100 pounds of chocolate every second?! From snacking on chocolate candy bars, chocolate cake, and brownies, to drinking chocolate milk, hot chocolate, and milkshakes, it is safe to say chocolate is America's favorite flavor. Its sweet taste makes us smile while providing some surprisingly good health benefits (if you choose the right chocolate treat, that is – more on this later.)
How Did World Chocolate Day Start?
Chocolate is made from the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree, which grows in the tropical regions of Central America and Africa. The seeds are put through a process to create cocoa solids and cocoa butter. These components are then mixed in different ratios to produce various types of chocolate, like baking chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Cacao seeds have been used since 1100 BC. Of course, we have not celebrated World Chocolate Day for that long.
We celebrate the delicious food on July 7th because it was on that day in 1550 AD that chocolate made its first appearance in Europe. Anyone who has tasted European chocolate knows that it is something worth celebrating year-round, let alone on a single day. Nevertheless, July 7th has been celebrated as World Chocolate Day since 2009. No one is sure how World Chocolate Day started, but we'll accept any excuse to consume chocolate shamelessly.
Health Benefits of Chocolate
Although excessive amounts of chocolate are often associated with acne, high blood pressure, and obesity, it turns out the great-tasting snack actually has several health benefits when eaten in moderation. From boosting your mood to improving blood flow, these qualities help dark chocolate land on several lists as an official superfood. To receive all of chocolate's health benefits, consider replacing your milk chocolate with healthier dark chocolate.
As we mentioned, one of chocolate's greatest effects is psychological. The sweet taste of chocolate triggers the production of serotonin in nerve cells. This chemical communicates with the brain to stabilize mood, reduce depression, and regulate anxiety. We perceive this effect as chocolate making us happy.
Chocolate's taste also triggers the pleasure center of the brain with the release of dopamine. This chemical makes us want more of what triggered it. That is why it is so hard to eat just one square of your favorite chocolate bar.
Improves Blood Flow
Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids. Flavonoids provide antioxidants, improve blood flow, and lower blood pressure. This means they reduce the risk of heart disease. The flavonoids are found in the cacao powder of dark chocolate. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, often has enough added sugar to negate these benefits, so look for low-sugar options.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Surprisingly enough, chocolate even has oral health benefits. Chocolate has an antibacterial effect on the mouth that protects against tooth decay. Oral streptococci is a common bacteria in the mouth that erodes tooth enamel. Chocolate's antioxidant properties kill the bacteria before it can become an acid that damages teeth. Additionally, the cocoa butter in dark chocolate creates a coating on teeth that prevents plaque from forming.
Celebrate World Chocolate Day with Perk
After reading so much about chocolate, we're sure you're craving some. Celebrate World Chocolate Day with the right kind. Our products here at Perk provide health benefits from chocolate and more. And, our chocolate flavors come with no added sugar so you can get your chocolate fix without worrying about the consequences of high-sugar treats and desserts. We carry plenty of options from energy-boosting formulas for early mornings to chill chocolate drinks for bedtime.
Celebrate World Chocolate Day on a sweet note without derailing your health and wellness goals. Enjoy Perk's authentically flavored Mexican Hot Chocolate, Mint Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel, or White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel drinks.
If you prefer our All-Natural products, enjoy our All-Natural Mexican Hot Chocolate flavor in both Energy and Chill, as well as our All-Natural Chill Mint Chocolate. With Perk chocolate flavors, you can curb your cravings all while celebrating July 7th.
And be sure to try our latest flavor, Dutch Hot Cocoa!
Happy World Chocolate Day!