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Happy National Chocolate Day!

In celebration of National Chocolate Day, here are a few fun facts and reasons to love nature's clever treat, as if you needed one.

Health Benefits

Studies show a variety of health benefits of cocoa, including reducing cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease, with as little as 4 ounces of dark chocolate daily.

It may also boost enzymes in the brain that affect happiness and relaxation. Read more here.

While the overly processed, sugary varieties may have limitations to the benefits, the bean as nature provides it has even been called a superfood!

History

Chocolate originated in pre-Olmec Mesoamerica, and the first evidence of chocolate drinks dates back to 1900 B.C. The Aztec people thanked the gods for it (literally, they considered a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl) and used it as currency.

The Chocolate Shortage

From time to time, terrifying news of an impending chocolate deficit emerges. Not to worry. The International Cocoa Organization has nullified such news. While seasonal changes, droughts and other temporary factors may affect crops from year to year, a sizable, long term shortage is not likely, at least for the next few years. 

Also, recent consumer interest in healthy eating as well as global economic factors has led to a decrease in chocolate consumption, according to some reports. With demand down, supplies might just last a little longer.

Curious Uses for Chocolate

 In celebration, I'll be sampling December's delicious BakeKit recipe. 

Happy indulging!



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