Happy Chocolate Day: Fun facts about the history and uses of chocolate

Don't feel bad about grabbing that extra chocolate-glazed donut today. It's OK if you grab a Hershey's bar at the store or some German chocolate cake from the bakery. Why?

Today is Chocolate Day!

History

Several sources say Europeans discovered chocolate on July 7, 1550, making it the internationally recognized day to celebrate the sweet treat.

According to Wired.com , chocolate was grown and has been used in Central and South America for centuries. Cacao, the bean used to make chocolate, was used in all different forms for different things, including a bitter drink consumed by the Aztecs. 

Aside from that, the article also states that chocolate was very valuable in Aztec society.

But it wasn't until the 1500's that Europe got a taste of what they were missing and they soon began giving cacao to royalty, Wired.com says.

These days, almost everyone enjoys chocolate in it's sweet, delectable dessert form.

Sweet Facts

According to the Herald Sun , a chocolate store worker noticed that men's favorite chocolate tends to be of the darker variety, while women like pralines and colorful treats.

Sports enthusiasts can also enjoy the benefits of chocolate, according to Women's Health magazine . Studies have shown that chocolate milk can be just as good, if not better, of a post-workout drink than your average recovery beverage.

The Dubai Chronicle also posted some fascinating facts about chocolate, that may surprise you.

For example, did you know that the United States and Switzerland consume the most chocolate?

Chocolate also makes us scientifically happier and actually isn't bad for our teeth, according to the article. Find out how here .

But beware- you may want to celebrate Chocolate Day wisely. The Dubai Chronicle says that the world is experiencing a chocolate deficit due to a disease affecting Central American cacao trees. Luckily, African trees are still healthy, but we could soon see a price hike.

How are you going to celebrate Chocolate Day?

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