Calling all chocolate lovers!
The backbone of Seven Summits Snacks, a superfood that holds the fuel and energy that we provide for ourselves and our community, is being celebrated internationally. Today, we celebrate World Chocolate Day, and this purposeful nutrition ingredient has come a long way, from being a currency in ancient Central America, to a powder form that is staple in modern day cuisines.
We invite you to indulge in five fascinating facts about this remarkable ingredient, which continues to captivate our taste buds and offer potential health benefits. So, grab one of our superfood chocolate bars and join us on this journey of discovery!
Fact 1: Chocolate has been associated with various health benefits, such as improving mood, boosting cognitive function, and providing antioxidants.
According to an article by Harvard School of Public Health, dark chocolate, specifically, contains flavanols that help with cardiac health. They also showed effects in an increase in insulin sensitivity, thus may reduce risk of diabetes if further involved in long-term studies. In terms of the antioxidants it holds, Cocoa is a superfood packed with antioxidants that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals as it contains more antioxidants than green tea and red wine. Consuming cocoa can also reduce blood pressure, improve blood flow, and protect against heart disease and it may also slow the aging process and improve skin elasticity.
Can’t get enough of the superfood facts? Read our Cocoa - the Ultimate Superfood blog for more!
Fact 2: Cacao beans were once used as currency, medicine and ritual ingredients by the Mayans and Aztecs.
Xocolatl (xo-co-latl), was believed to be a gift from the gods by ancient Central American Mayans and Aztecs and use said god-given plant as beverages as well as currency to trade other items. As it symbolizes opulence, it has been enjoyed by the upper-class societies, even with one Maya King, Montezuma II who allegedly consumed gallons of the drink daily as an energy source and aphrodisiac. As Cacao beans arrived in Spain from Central America, it easily received love from Spanish courts. The Spanish enjoyed their first non-alcoholic stimulant drink and enjoyed a single cup in the morning to strengthen and fuel their whole day. Caffeine and Theobromine are the stimulants that affect brain function and blood flow, as evidently showed in the centuries and civilizations before us.
Fact 3. Cacao butter is a good and steady source of energy (shoutout to our endurance bars! 🙌) and a common ingredient in skin care products such as moisturizers and anti-aging creams.
Cacao butter is a by-product of the chocolate making process yet is usually mixed back with Cocoa powder to create a delectable chocolate treat or used individually for other products such as moisturizers and creams. It contains fatty acids that help hydrate the skin, and creates a barrier that holds moisture, thus preventing skin drying. Due to this, it is a widely used ingredient in skincare, specifically moisturizers and lip balm.
Fact 4. The largest producer of cocoa in the world is Ivory Coast, followed by Ghana and Ecuador.
Cocoa only grows in the equatorial regions of the earth, in a band 20 degrees north and south of the equator. Ivory Coast exports a whopping 2,034,000 metric tonnes of Cocoa production, singlehandedly securing the 30% of world’s cocoa production, with Ghana at 883, 652 metric tonnes and Indonesia at 659, 776 respectively. As both Ivory Coast and Ghana are part of cocoa cooperatives, Fairtrade minimum prices are ensured for both the countries and the small farmers that give their efforts to plant, sow, and harvest Cacao beans. Fairtrade certified cooperatives are guaranteed a $2,400 per tonne, on top of the $236 per tonne, set by the Ivorian government. This had helped farmers such as Ettien N’Guessan, a cocoa farmer of 40 years as he was able to take care of his children’s needs and invest in improvements of the farm.
Fact 5: Switzerland holds the title for the highest chocolate consumption per capita, with an average of around 8.8 kg (19.4 lbs) per person per year.
That’s a lot of chocolate for a person! That is equivalent to around 110 superfood bars or 293 endurance bars, which means 293 hours of running, all fueled by Seven Summits Snacks! Switzerland is no stranger from Chocolate brands anyway, so there’s no question that they would be the top consumers of chocolate per person. Famous brands offer a rather sweet and indulgent chocolate products, thus consumed for leisure or as a snack. In contrast to our superfood and endurance bars wherein we use superfood to flavour our bars, as well as honey to ensure a slow and steady energy source.
In the end, chocolate is something that consumers of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles love, and it is undeniably one of the most versatile ingredients out there. Whether it is flavoured with natural ingredients or simply made to be enjoyed as a treat, chocolate is definitely worth celebrating every year.
Celebrate World Chocolate Day by grabbing one of our superfood chocolate bars! 🍫🫐