Cacao trees are the bedrock of chocolate production. Some people refer to these trees as cocoa trees. Its botanical name is Theobroma cacao, and apart from chocolate, there are other valuable products obtained from this tree.
Cocoa is present in over 15 countries spread across Africa, North America, Europe, and South America. According to data made available by Statista, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire lead in cocoa exportation. Statista reveals that the two West African countries accounted for more than 50% of all the cocoa that was exported to different parts of the world in 2019.
Chocolate and chocolate products have always been a center of attraction globally. And there are various reasons for this. Firstly, some chocolate-producing countries generate huge income, exporting chocolate to other countries. Secondly, chocolate itself is a brand that attracts high patronage and consumption.
If you are told chocolate contains some milligrams of caffeine, would you believe this? That's an undeniable fact!
You consume caffeine when you eat chocolate snacks such as Eat Your Coffee Caffeinated Energy Bars. The amount of caffeine in chocolate is, however, nowhere near that of coffee. The amount of caffeine in coffee is at least twice that of chocolate.
Either naturally or artificially, there is some amount of caffeine in chocolate. But it is important to note here that white chocolate has zero milligrams of caffeine content.
Chocolate and the Central Nervous System (CNS)
Everything you eat, drink and consume affects how all your body systems function in one way or the other. Chocolate is not an exemption. And there are so many ways to consume caffeine, including chocolate and coffee intake.
The cacao bean is the main raw material for making chocolate. The Cacao bean contains theobromine. Theobromine functions in the human body just like caffeine.
When the cacao bean undergoes the fermentation process, it becomes a cocoa bean. Thereafter, the cocoa beans are used to produce different chocolate types with other ingredients.
How then does chocolate affect the central nervous system? The theobromine present in the raw materials used to make chocolate has a positive effect on the central nervous system.
For instance, when you take Eat Your Coffee Caffeinated Energy Bars, the theobromine in the chocolate is released and picked up by neuro-transmitters, which relay a positive message to the brain. This positive message helps the brain in cognitive reasoning and reduces depression.
Your Health and Chocolate
You should feel more secure eating chocolate, as it has quite several health benefits. Chocolate has lower caffeine content when compared to coffee. So, no need to worry about too much caffeine when you eat chocolate.
One of the health benefits of chocolate is that it's a heart regularizer. You will have a healthy functioning heart when you eat chocolate snacks such as Eat Your Coffee Caffeinated Energy Bars. Also, the theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate aid in increasing your brain's problem-solving processes.
Chocolate is known as anti-stress, thereby enhancing mood boost and energy boost. The theobromine found in chocolate is responsible for this anti-stress function.
Caffeine in Chocolate and Coffee
All scientific findings agree that too much caffeine is detrimental to the body. This, however, does not mean you should not consume anything with trace amounts of caffeine. Caffeine in chocolate, like many other foods and drinks, is safe for you.
The caffeine in chocolate is natural, just like that of coffee, but with a different amount of caffeine. In some chocolate types, the ratio of milligrams of caffeine to that of coffee is one to four, or even less.
For instance, the caffeine content in coffee is at least 43 milligrams. On the other hand, a milk chocolate bar has a caffeine content of fewer than 6 milligrams.
Chocolate and Theobromine Levels
The more theobromine that goes into your central nervous system, the better your brain's cognitive power. When the theobromine levels are raised in your body system, you become more physically active.
Likewise, the combination of theobromine and caffeine boosts your mental strength. Just like humans, animals metabolize theobromine when they feed on cacao beans.
Cacao beans are rich in theobromine. And the theobromine in cacao beans is not lost when processed into cocoa beans and finally into chocolate.
Several findings revealed that the theobromine in chocolate raises the level of hormones, endorphins, and neurotransmitter, serotonin. Both endorphins and serotonin help to reduce anxiety and nervousness and make us feel happy.
The Cocoa Butter in Cosmetic Products
During the fermentation process of cacao beans to give cocoa beans, chocolate is not the sole end product. There are other valuable products, too, such as Cocoa butter, which is a vital ingredient in white chocolate production.
Cocoa butter has been used widely in the food and cosmetics industries. It is an important ingredient in body creams and body lotions. Applying only cocoa butter to your skin, without any other skincare products will make your skin glow and shine.
Not Coffee or Tea
Do you like the bitter taste of hot cocoa? In some parts of South America, hot cocoa is popular among the locals. Drinking coffee or tea is secondary. When you find yourself in such places, you might have to take a break from coffee or tea.
For some people, hot chocolate is their favorite chocolate. They are good to go with a cup of hot chocolate, with no need for milk or sugar. Not everyone is a fan of coffee or tea.
It is important to add here that both unsweetened baking chocolate and brewed coffee have much caffeine in them.
Your Teeth and Chocolate
Whether you chew cacao beans, cocoa beans, or chocolate products, you should clean your teeth. There have been cases where some little children have come up with decaying teeth as a result of eating chocolate and not brushing away the chocolate leftover.
Some chocolate candies stick to the gum and teeth. If left uncleaned, germs will feed on the leftover chocolate and later bore holes into your gum and tooth cavity. Therefore, endeavor to clean your teeth after eating chocolate or any sticky candies.
Number one Lovers of Chocolate
Many people are not interested in the importance of the two substances of caffeine and theobromine present in chocolate. They do not bother themselves if chocolate has the same amount of caffeine or more caffeine than other candies. They just eat chocolate to satisfy their urge.
A lot of Americans, Indians, Europeans, and a few others crave chocolate. Switzerland leads the park as far as chocolate production and consumption are concerned.
According to Statista, Switzerland consumed the most coffee per person in 2017, with the each citizen eating around 9kgs of the sweet stuff throughout the year.
There are many chocolate types. But, the three most known ones are dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Each chocolate contains a varying quantity of caffeine.
The amount of caffeine in the different chocolate types is not the same. The caffeine content in milk chocolate is not the same as in dark chocolate. Also, the amount of caffeine in dark chocolate is different from white chocolate.
This means that the amount of caffeine intake depends on the chocolate.
Caffeine boost brain power, therefore, you might decide to go for dark chocolate instead of white chocolate. You could even take very dark chocolate if you want more caffeine.
Aging and Chocolate
As you grow older, your metabolism decreases. This implies that your body will find it difficult to break down some food.
Chocolate is not cut out for people in their 70s and above. It contains ingredients suited for the metabolism of children and adults. Although caffeine is in chocolate, which stimulates the brain, this does not mean a septuagenarian will become a habitual chocolate eater.
A question could come up like, why should old people not feed on chocolate when they drink coffee which contains more caffeine than chocolate? The answer is simple. Chocolate contains sugar. Also, chocolate contains other ingredients not healthy for the elderly.
In addition, will you find it easy cleaning every day the teeth of an old father of yours with chocolate stuck in between his teeth and gums?
Price and Consumption
Be it dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate, there are affordable chocolates for everyone. And the price of chocolate depends on not how much caffeine is in it.
It is not about one chocolate brand having more theobromine than the other. Factors like brand name, ingredients, country where manufactured, and packaging determine price differences.
White chocolate produced in Switzerland of the same size and caffeine will be more expensive than the same coming from India.
In some countries, milk chocolate is consumed more. This is a result of the love for cocoa butter in milk chocolate.
The Irony of Chocolate Production
Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire lead in cocoa production. The two West African countries, however, are not among the top five manufacturers of chocolate varieties. Both West African countries export most of their cocoa without making chocolates to sell to other countries of the world.
Is chocolate ideal for breakfast?
Breakfast should contain the right classes of food, such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and oils. Chocolate is a snack and should not be taken for breakfast.
Can I eat a bar of chocolate and drink coffee at the same time?
There are no adverse health effects if you eat chocolate and drink it at the same time. You only need not let this become a habit. The reason is that both chocolate and coffee contain caffeine. Also, both chocolate and coffee are not a perfect combination for your well-being.
At what age should a child begin to eat chocolate?
Babies who are still being breastfed should not be given chocolate. Babies at this stage need the lactation in the mother's milk and not the sugar or caffeine in chocolate. Children above three years can be introduced to chocolate.
How healthy is chocolate for pregnant women?
Pregnant women should not substitute fruits, vegetables, and water with chocolate. They can occasionally take a bit of dark chocolate, preferably milk chocolate or white chocolate.
Does eating too much chocolate cause headaches?
Eating excess chocolate can trigger headaches in some people. The caffeine content in dark chocolate is high. This means some persons could come up with headaches, while others who eat the same excess chocolate will not.