Chocolate Essay

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The Theobroma cacao tree is where it all started. Olmecs, Aztecs, and Mayans were the original consumers of cocoa: they would form it into a drink and ingest it for medicinal reasons (Allen Par. 7). The Spanish then brought it back to Europe and continued to treat a variety of ailments with it (Allen Par. 7). In the last 40 years people have started to question the health benefits of chocolate, but new research is starting to prove that the Olmecs, Aztecs, Mayans and Spaniards were not too far off. Now, the pods from the tree containing cocoa beans are collected, and the cocoa beans are taken out of the pod (Healing Foods Pyramid Par. 15). The beans are then fermented, dried, roasted, then ground to make cocoa liquor (Healing Foods Pyramid Par. 15). The cocoa liquor is then combined with sugar, vanilla, and cocoa butter to make what is now known as chocolate (Healing Foods Pyramid Par. 15). Controversy over the health benefits and detriments of chocolate is slowly subsiding, but there are many things that a lot of people still do not know about how chocolate can affect ones health. Chocolate is misunderstood.
There are many myths and misunderstandings about chocolate. For example, chocolate is not addictive. Many people might consider themselves “chocoholics”, but the fact of the matter is that there is now actual chemical addiction. Researchers, instead, insist that chocolate cravings are stimulated by the “sensory properties”, such as the smell, taste and texture, of chocolate (Brody Pars. 26). In a study concerning the satisfaction of a chocolate craving, one group was given a milk chocolate bar, one group was given a white chocolate bar that contains no actual cocoa, one group was given a capsule of cocoa powder, a...

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...d the Kunas consumed large amounts of a drink made from unprocessed cocoa that they stopped drinking when they moved to the city. (Tallmadge Par. 5)
Hollenberg was able to conclude that cocoa can lower blood pressure. Participants in a study done by researchers at “Germany’s University of Cologne” were given 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate or white chocolate “every day for two weeks” (Allen Par. 11). The volunteers whom all had “untreated high blood pressure” were then given the other selection of chocolate. The participants’ blood pressure started dropping within ten days of eating the other variety. While the white chocolate bars did not effect the volunteers, the dark chocolate caused “systolic blood pressure (the upper number)” to drop “an average of 5.1 points” and the “diastolic pressure (the lower number)” to drop “an average of 1.8 points” (Allen Par. 12).

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the theobroma cacao tree is where it all started. olmecs, aztecs and mayans were the original consumers of cocoa, and the spanish brought it back to europe.
  • Explains that chocolate cravings are stimulated by sensory properties, such as the smell, taste, and texture, of chocolate.
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