The fact that chocolate first appeared in the ancient culture of the Aztecs, who lived in the territory of modern Mexico, is known to most of us today.

The Aztecs cultivated cacao trees and began to extract an incredible powder from their fruits – the drink prepared from it gave them strength, vitality and energy.

Men especially liked to drink this drink, and from its name “chocolatl” came the modern “chocolate”.

In the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadors came to Central America and they also liked chocolate.

They brought the fruits of the cocoa trees to Europe and managed to teach other European peoples how to prepare from them not only a delicious and aromatic drink, but also chocolate that resembled the modern one using the following technology – they added sugar and vanilla to the cocoa powder .

In Europe, this product quickly became very popular and Europeans learned to produce chocolate themselves. The French, Swiss and English achieved particular success in this direction – the quality of their chocolate is known around the world to this day.

Composition and calorie content

The content of cocoa is very rich and varied.

It has been found to contain a lot of vegetable proteins and fats, there are also carbohydrates, vegetable fibers, organic acids, starches, sugars, saturated fatty acids and the following vitamins – A, E, PP, group B, beta carotene, minerals – calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulphur, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, fluorine and mobileden.

Cocoa powder is high in calories – 100 grams of it contain up to 289 kilocalories, and it is also very filling, so women who watch their body weight can replace one meal with a cocoa powder drink, but it is desirable to add less sugar to it.

Some of the most important trace elements in cocoa are more than in other foods.

For example, cocoa powder is rich in iron and zinc.

Cocoa – useful properties

Iron is necessary for the normalization of the hematopoietic process, and zinc is very important for the overall functioning of the body – this mineral is involved in the formation of enzymes, the synthesis of proteins, in the creation of structures of RNA and DNA – nucleic acids ensure normal cellular function.

Puberty and the development of the body cannot proceed normally without zinc, the process of blood formation is also stimulated and thus supports the faster healing of wounds.

In order to obtain the required amount of zinc, it is enough to drink a few glasses of cocoa powder and eat 2-3 bars of dark chocolate every day with over 70% cocoa content .

Cacao fruit powder contains melanin, which protects the skin from various types of radiation – ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

In the first case, melanin prevents sunburn, and in the second, overheating and sun or heat stroke. Therefore, it is desirable that a person drinks a cup of cocoa drink in the morning and eats a few bars of chocolate before going to the beach.

When a person buys chocolate, he should carefully read its composition, which is announced on the label.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers, in an effort to reduce the value of their product, instead of cocoa butter add other less valuable vegetable oils, whose nutritional value is much lower.

On the packaging of the chocolate, it must be described how much cocoa powder and cocoa butter are included in the composition of the product in a percentage ratio.

Other vegetable oils should not be present, and pure cocoa, i.e. cocoa butter plus cocoa powder should be at least 60-70% of the total content.

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