I just wanted to talk about this really interesting study that was recently published. This study reviewed and interpreted research done in the last decade on the benefits and risks of chocolate consumption.
Chocolate is the most commonly craved food in the world. Chocolate originated from Mexico where the Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs cultivated the cacao tree. In the past, due to its health effects, it was considered the drink of Gods, an association that gave rise to the scientific name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, from the Greek words theo (God) and broma (drink).
Initially it was consumed as an aphrodisiac drink, but because of its high price, chocolate was later replaced by coffee and tea as the main drink. Chocolate has since become a favourite confection in most developed countries including Europe and North America. Nowadays cocoa is grown mainly in West Africa, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.
The tree and its dried seeds prior to processing are called 'cacao' in American English; after processing, i.e. roasting and grinding, the term 'cocoa' is used. 'Chocolate' is the food prepared from roasted cacao seeds.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate and cocoa, have many potential health benefits. Flavanoids appear to be one active component. Consumption may help prevent colon, lung, skin cancer, prostate, pancreatic, brain, testicular and breast cancer It may protect against cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, diabetes type 1 and type 2, insulin resistance, obesity, coronary artery disease, dementia, high blood pressure and hypertension. It may help cope with stress.