7 reasons why chocolate is the perfect Valentine's gift

For centuries, cocoa and chocolate have symbolized generosity and appreciation between people.

Its origins date back to the 1100s and 800s BC, when indigenous people from Central America accidentally discovered chocolate while brewing beer from the pulp of cocoa pods. According to research, at first the indigenous people discarded the cocoa beans, but over the years they began to ferment them and use them to prepare a very bitter, non-alcoholic drink. This concoction was served in jugs and offered on special occasions such as weddings and births.

Much later, in the 16th century, the Spanish brought the cocoa drink to Europe, becoming a precious gift: Hernán Cortés, after receiving the cocoa that Moctezuma gave him thinking that Cortés was the reincarnation of God himself, returned to Spain and gave cocoa to King Charles V in an act of gratitude, while Queen Anne of Austria gave cocoa to King Louis XIII of France on the day of their marriage.

It was not until 1894 that chocolate bars appeared in the United States as we know them today, being incorporated forever into our modern diet and maintaining the character of a special gift. Buy some in adomiciliotudesayuno.cl.  

And so, for centuries, tons of cocoa and chocolates have been gifted to boyfriends, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, friends and neighbors as a symbol of love, friendship and joy.

1. Perfect for any occasion: surprise, thank, fall in love and share

Giving  chocolate is giving quality, sweetness and dedication. It can be a relative, a friend, son, grandfather, that special person, the favorite secretary in the office, our boss, whoever. And there may be many reasons: surprise, thank, fall in love or, simply, share a moment at the office, at home, after or before lunch, during a movie … and so we could go on forever. 

Far from being the easy gift that gets you out of trouble, finding the perfect chocolate for a person requires dedication and, above all, knowing their tastes. Those of us who give chocolates want to give an experience, a moment and, why not, happiness! 

2. Give happiness and good humor to those around you

Various scientific studies have shown that consuming chocolate lifts our spirits, makes us feel happier and helps us reduce stress. How? Chocolate has been found to have small amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, which is used by the brain to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that can cause feelings of happiness. 

Another component that has been found in chocolate is phenylethylalanine. This chemical substance with a complicated name is what promotes the feelings of attraction, excitement and nervousness, and is associated with the initial euphoria of falling in love, making us feel more content and relaxed. Specifically, it is what causes those butterflies in our stomach. In addition to generating feelings of happiness, it acts as an antidepressant when combined with dopamine, which is naturally present in the brain. 

3. Protects our skin against UV rays

Cocoa is classified as a superfood given its multiple properties that generate health benefits. But, for all these properties to be transferred to chocolate, it must have a high percentage of pure cocoa. That’s where that number, expressed as a percentage in the chocolate bars, comes from. So try to give away chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa!

Chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa has flavonoids, which, thanks to their natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, have protective effects against ultraviolet rays . These help reduce our skin’s sensitivity to radiation from sunlight. However, it is not possible to replace sunscreen by eating a chocolate bar. 

4. Makes you feel more awake and alert

According to a British study , consuming chocolate causes increased blood flow to the brain, making us feel more awake and alert. In the study, a group of students were asked to perform some math challenges shortly after eating chocolate, with successful results. 

There is even scientific evidence that indicates that the consumption of chocolate with high percentages of cocoa has a favorable effect on our brain and that, specifically, they can improve our intellectual and cognitive capacity. Along these lines, it has been found that it can help prevent memory loss. 

5. Chocolate is good for your health

For a long time the consumption of chocolate has been demonized for having a high fat content and sugars, but fortunately the dissemination and awareness of the benefits of chocolate made with cocoa has been banishing that bad reputation. Here we will talk about two areas in which chocolate, which is created from cocoa, is good for your health: it reduces the possibility of a stroke and helps eliminate “bad” cholesterol.

Reduces the chance of a stroke

Another effect of cocoa, the main component of chocolate, is the dilation of the arteries. Harvard Medical School professor Norman Hollenberg studied the effects of cocoa flavonoids among the Kuna Indians of Panama, who drank about 40 cups of cocoa a week. During his research , Hollenberg observed that the Kuna, who lived in the San Blas archipelago, had a much lower risk of dying from heart or cerebrovascular problems than those who lived on the mainland.

Helps eliminate “bad” cholesterol

One of the components of cocoa is stearic acid, which is characterized by not raising blood cholesterol when consumed. Even consuming chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa can help increase “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease “bad” LDL.