The Aztec Emperor, Montezuma - who is quoted as saying of Xocolatl: "The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food" regarded it as an aphrodisiac and reputedly drank it fifty times a day from a golden goblet. Montezuma "took no other beverage than the chocolatl, a potation of chocolate, flavoured with vanilla and spices, and so prepared as to be reduced to a froth of the consistency of honey, which gradually dissolved in the mouth and was taken cold.
Benefits of eating chocolate
Flavonoids, antioxidants: Chocolate is chock-full of flavonoids—naturally-occurring compounds found in the cacao plant, as well as in red wine, tea, fruits, and vegetables. Flavonoids may have potentially beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. They may also act as antioxidants, which are believed to prevent or delay certain damage to the body’s cells and tissues.
Good cholesterol: Chocolate and cocoa butter contain two main saturated fats (palmitic and stearic acids) and one mono-unsaturated fat (oleic acid). Unlike other saturated fats, stearic acid is a neutral fat and does not appear to raise bad cholesterol (LDL). Oleic acid is the same type of fat in olive oil and may actually raise good cholesterol levels (HDL).
The feel good factor: Chocolate contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mild mood elevator. It’s the same chemical that our brain produces when we feel happy or in love. The mild rush we get from this substance may be why some people say they’re addicted to chocolate.
Minerals: Cocoa and chocolate provide a treasury of minerals. Often working in conjunction with vitamins, these are also indispensable for normal physical function. The most significant of the minerals are.
Calcium: 3 - 40% Mostly found in milk and white chocolate. Needed for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth.
Together with vitamin A, aids coagulation of blood in wounds. Plays a role in muscle function.
Magnesium: 6 - 60% The greatest concentrations are found in dark chocolate. Helps maintain a strong skeletal system.
primarily active in the promotion of memory and brain function and in preventing depression.
Copper: 0 - 60% Mostly found in dark chocolate and, to a lesser extent, in milk chocolate. Probably has a role in countering cardiovascular disease.
Iron: 2 - 35% Mostly found in dark chocolate. Active in the transport of oxygen to all body tissues.
Zinc: 7 - 17% The highest concentrations are found in dark chocolate. Important in the take-up of nutritional elements from macro-nutrients. Involved in cell growth and the repair of tissue in the body.
Manganese: 0 - 100% The highest concentrations are found in dark chocolate and, to a lesser extent, in milk chocolate. Aids the functioning of the nervous system.
Phosphorus: 25 - 35%Only in milk and dark chocolate. Involved in the maintenance of a strong skeletal system. Has a role in the utilization of energy arising from food.