It’s Christmas in a few weeks, and that means one I can justify indulging in my favorite treat. I love to walk the stores at this time of year. The presentation of the chocolates intrigues me. The colors and shapes, the selection – just lovely! It’s while I was studying the heaped counters that I decided to devote this blog to fun facts on chocolate.
And as none of us are going to stop eating it – we might as well enjoy it!
- Chocolate is healthy for you – it’s made from plants and contains many similar health benefits as dark green vegetables. Chocolate contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants to protect the body from free radical damage. A small bar of dark chocolate a day will help to reduce your blood pressure and has proven to lower your bad cholesterol by up to 10%.
- Chocolate contains copper, iron, zinc and magnesium – nutrients that are essential to the body.
- Chocolate has long been considered an aphrodisiac. It’s not, but it does contain a chemical, called phenylethylamine, which is the same chemical the brain produces naturally when you’re in love. So only enjoy with someone you want to be in love with – at least temporarily.
- Chocolate contains serotonin, which acts as a natural anti-depressant – so it’s actually good to eat when you’re feeling down.
- Chocolate stimulates production of endorphins, which helps you feel happy.
- Chocolate contains other elements like caffeine, and theobromine, which act as stimulants – so it’s good to take when you’re tired as a quick pick up.
- In the US, almost three quarters of the consumers choose milk chocolate over other varieties.
- In 2000, the Italians created the largest chocolate bar coming in at a whopping 5,000 pounds. The Armenians broke that record in 2010, producing a chocolate bar that weighed 4410 kilos (9702 lbs).
- The popular belief that chocolate causes acne has been proven to be inaccurate.
- When making the Hitchcock film, Psycho, they used chocolate syrup to represent blood in the famous shower scene.
- The world consumes close to 600,000 tons of cocoa beans a year. Most of these beans come from West Africa. It takes close to 400 of these beans to make 1 pound a chocolate a year.
- The chocolate beans come from a tree species carrying the genus name of Theobroma – which means Food of the Gods.
- The chocolate industry coaxes over $20 billion a year from consumers.
- An average American will eat about 10-12 lbs of chocolate per year.
- The Swiss were reputed to be the heaviest consumers of chocolate each year, consuming close to 21 pounds per person per year. Not to worry, they have one the lowest heart failure rates and obesity issues. However, the Swedish have just moved into the top spot – consuming close to 30 pounds per person per year. I have no idea how their health issues are!
- Chocolate melts in your mouth, because it’s made with cocoa butter, which has a melting point lower than the average temperature of the human body.
- It’s been proven that allowing chocolate to melt in your mouth produces brain and heart rate activity that’s similar to – and even stronger than – the effects produced when kissing someone passionately
- One chocolate chip, should give any adult enough energy to walk 150 feet. Imagine what that one chocolate chip cookie could do for you.
- American chocolate manufacturers use around 1.5 billion pounds of milk.
- The first chocolate cake has been traced back to 1674.
- Hersey’s is the oldest and largest chocolate company in the US. However, Cadbury is the most popular in the UK.
- The snicker bar was named after a pet horse belonging to Frank and Ethel Mars. It first came on the market in 1929.
- And finally, who said money doesn’t grow on trees, cocoa beans were used as a currency back in the days of the Aztecs and Mayans.
Besides, I’m celebrating the release of Garden of Sorrow, book 4 in my Psychic Vision series this week – with my favorite treat, a big box of chocolates!
Alexis Gordon has spent the last year trying to get over the loss of her sister. Then she goes to work on a normal day…and reality as she knows it…disappears.
Detective Kevin Sutherland, armed with his own psychic abilities, honed by his friend Stefan Kronos, a talented psychic artist and law enforcement consultant. But Kevin has never seen anything like this case – a killer with a personal vendetta to stop Alexis from finding out more about him …and his long dead victims.
The killer can be stopped. He must be stopped. But he’s planning on surviving…even after death.
So how do you indulge? On occasion – and yes, every day could be considered an occasion in my house. Only on big holidays like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day? To celebrate? To wallow? Tell me, what role does chocolate play in your life?
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Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She’s best known for her Psychic Visions series. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in several different genres. To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series . All her books are available in print format as well.
To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her online with Twitter at www.twitter.com/dalemayer and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author
Books by Dale Mayer
Psychic Vision Series
Hide’n Go Seek
Garden of Sorrow – Out December 1, 2012
Single Title Romantic Suspense/thrillers
Touched by Death – out now!
It’s a Dog’s Life- romantic comedy
Young Adult Books
In Cassie’s Corner
Dangerous Designs – Book I
Deadly Designs – Book 2 – out now!
Vampire in Denial – Book I of Blood Ties
Vampire in Distress – Book 2!
Gem Stone Mystery Series- out now!
Career Essentials: The Resume
Career Essentials: The Cover Letter
Career Essentials: The Interview
Career Essentials: 3 in 1