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A bite to good health. What happens when Love meets Chocolate at the crossroads of the Heart? A Marvelled Perfection. The Famous Botanist Alexander Von Humboldt (1769–1859) on this take on Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Plant) opined that “nature has nowhere else concentrated such an abundance of the most valuable foods in such a limited space as in the cocoa bean.” As Theobroma passes through the divine hands of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god planter of cacao trees to bless his peoples, Mayans, Aztecs and Conquistadors with food of the gods.
From the touch by the god planter, Quetzalcoatl of Southern Mexico to finally the hands of Tetteh Quarshie, a blacksmith and illustrious son of the then Gold Coast. The Golden Pod has become the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. The saying ‘cocoa is chocolate; chocolate is cocoa’ illustrates the culinary delights of chocolate across the globe from Ghana, the world’s best exporter of premium quality cocoa. Ghanaians love chocolate, beyond a bite to sweetness it’s a symbolic expression of love. It is for this reason that in 2005, the country instituted the annual National Chocolate Day on 14th February, (now the National Chocolate Week from 8th to 14th February) which is to promote the domestic consumption of local chocolate and other cocoa-based products. The celebration, dubbed, ‘Eat Chocolate, Stay Healthy, Grow Ghana’ stands as a sense of national pride and unity.
Love and Chocolate celebration has survived civilizations, influenced cultures, medicine, and economic development across Africa and the world. cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, contains biologically active phenolic compounds. When it comes to chocolate, either dark or milk bar there is a feast of flavours such as pineapple, caramel, lime, coffee and mint to choose from to satisfy the chocolaty burning desire. Chocolate's antioxidants potential have a range of health benefits that support a balanced diet. The higher the cocoa content, as in dark chocolate, the more the benefits. Dark chocolate may also contain less fat and sugar, people who ate one serving of chocolate were 22 per cent less likely to experience a stroke than those who did not.
There is no doubt that chocolate remains one of the most popular and widely consumed confectioneries in the world, it contains a variety of valuable ingredients which makes the treat a concentrated food, it also contains small amounts of natural theobromine which is very vital to the human body. It effectively satisfies your food cravings between meals by providing the body with the energy it needs, even in small amounts. It aids cognitive function allowing you to stay concentrated at work. Consequently, time after time when you feeling a little down you can always take a bite of chocolate to boost your stamina.
Chocolate is one of the finest luxuries which has limited dark sides and allergies when you consume. Remember a bit of chocolate a day; keeps the doctor away. So, make a good choice and take a bite to good health. As we say Ayekoo to our diligent cocoa farmers, and dedicated workforce for blessing the world with chocolate and other cocoa-based products to sustain our Environment, Wealth and Health.
Article by Bridget Boahemaa Aidoo
Public Affairs - Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana
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