Chocolate

Welcome to Snicker University - CHOCOLATE

 As Health Educators, you will be learning about the history of chocolate, the health benefits ; as well as the health risks of this powerful bean that appeals to many around the world.

Section 1- History Of The Cacao Bean

What Is This Bean?

Chocolate originated in France?

  • Yes, Chocolate was discovered in France.
  • No, Chocolate was discovered in Mexico.

Who cultivated chocolate?

  • The Aztecs
  • The Incas
  • The Mayas
  • All Of The Above

The cacao bean is the dried and fermented seed which eventually is processed into chocolate. Which image is the cacao bean?

Did You Know?

One Morsel At A Time

The next time you bite into a bar of chocolate, consider that taste as a link to some of the world’s most endangered forests—and to the millions of farmers who live near them. A typical pod contains 20 to 50 beans and about 400 dried beans are required to make one pound of chocolate.  Cocoa pods weigh an average of 400 g (14 oz) and each one yields 35 to 40 g (1.2 to 1.4 oz) dried beans; this yield is 40–44% of the total weight in the pod. One person can separate the beans from about 2000 pods per day.

The world’s retail chocolate business is worth an estimated $42–60 billion annually. Yet only about 6–8 percent of this revenue actually makes its way back to the cocoa farmers, many of whom are poorer smallholders. Labor abuse is said to be rife in some cocoa regions, and reports of farmers enslaving thousands of child workers in places like Côte d’Ivoire have sparked widespread criticism of the industry.

Section 2-Health Benefits Of Eating Chocolate

Health Benefits Of Eating Chocolate

Dark Chocolate & The Heart

Flavonoids

Help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, it appears that we also benefit from this "antioxidant" power.

Antioxidants

Believed to help the body's cells resist damage formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing, and from environmental contaminants, like cigarette smoke. If your body does not have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, your "bad" cholesterol" could form plaque on the artery walls.

Flavanols

The main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. It has antioxidant qualities. This has influence on vascular health~ lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.

Good vs. Not So Good

  • Flavonoids
    Protect plants from environment harm and damage.
  • Antioxidants
    A great source of protection for the body from cellular damage. Foods and beverage are blueberries, pecans, elderberries, dark chocolate and green tea.
  • Flavanols
    Main type of Flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate.Improves vascular health, like lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart.
  • Cortisol
    Stress Hormone.

Section 3- Health Risks Of Eating Chocolate

Avoid Too Much


Dark chocolate may help to lower your blood pressure if you have hypertension, increase your HDL "good" cholesterol, decrease your LDL "bad" cholesterol and improve your mood and sense of well-being by increasing your serotonin and endorphin levels. All this is beneficial, however, there are some risks to learn about.

72% and Up

Too Much or Not the Right Type

Studies show that dark chocolate does have benefits for your health.  Eating too much chocolate or chocolate that has more milk and sugar versus cocoa can harm your health too. 

Caffeine

Consuming large amounts of dark chocolate can lead to an increased heart rate, diarrhea, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, and dehydration.

Migraine Headaches

Dark chocolate contains a natural chemical called tyramine. Tyramine is thought to possibly trigger the migraine headaches, but further studies are needed to understand this relationship better.

Kidney Stones

Dark chocolate may increase your chances of having kidney stones. According to  researchers, dark chocolate has oxalates in it. This can cause an increase in urinary oxalate excretion, which can increase your risk of forming kidney stones. 

RECAP: Tying It All Together

  • Eating chocolate in moderation can be good for your overall heart health.
  • Dark chocolate can lower your blood pressure, prevent blood clots and improve blood flow to the brain and heart.
  • Chocolate is the most craved food in the world.
  • Highly processed chocolate can increase the risk of obesity.
  • If you have a predisposition for certain health conditions, you should shy away from eating chocolate.
  • Initially, chocolate was consumed as an aphrodisiac drink but due to the high price was replaced by tea and coffee.
Hello, now that you've learned some information about chocolate.  As Health Educators, it's time to check your knowledge. Put the following statements in ranking order of importance based on what you have learned.