Today is National Chocolate Day! But, if I’m being honest, I don’t need a “day” to celebrate my love for chocolate. My love for chocolate has been life-long, and it’s not going anywhere.

Chocolate’s Versatility

The great thing about chocolate is it can be enjoyed in so many different ways. You’ve got milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.  And chocolate also pairs well with nuts, peanut butter, salty snacks, fruit, and more.  There’s also hot chocolate, one of my favorite hot drinks.  And then you have chocolate milk too.  You can drizzle chocolate on other desserts- it makes a great topping. Plus, you’ve got chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, and cupcakes.  Some people have even paired it with bacon! I haven’t tried it, but I probably would if I had the chance!

National Chocolate Day

According to National Today, the history of chocolate dates back over 2,500 years with the Aztecs.  Cacao seeds were used as a currency, and this was back before chocolate was sweetened! It wasn’t until the 16th century in Europe when sweetened chocolate really started to take off. Since then, many chocolate companies were formed, with some dating back to the late 1800s.

Fun Facts About National Chocolate Day

The data science team for National Today surveyed 1,000 people about their love for chocolate.  Here are some of the facts:

  • 79% of people have chocolate at least once a week.
  • 59% of people choose milk chocolate over dark or white.
  • 41% of people chose Hershey’s as their go-to brand.

Also interesting to know? Chocolate is a vegetable!  See mom, I do eat veggies.  Of course, it comes from the cacao bean, which grows on a tree. Oh, and when it comes to white chocolate… it’s not really chocolate.  It contains no cocoa solids.

Benefits of Chocolate

Yes, there are some benefits to eating chocolate.  First of all, it can lower stress.  Maybe that’s why I always want chocolate when I’m stressed! A study showed better cognitive performance and less mental fatigue.  It could be due to the fact that eating chocolate releases serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.  Plus, it has antioxidants too.

Could it help you lose weight? Maybe. One study showed eating dark chocolate before eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet led to a 17% lower calorie intake.

And chocolate is good for your heart. The American Heart Association found “Combining raw almonds, dark chocolate and cocoa significantly reduced the number of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, particles in the blood of overweight and obese people. LDL is often called ‘bad cholesterol’ because of the role it plays in clogging arteries.”

Favorite Chocolate

Now that we’ve learned all about chocolate… let’s celebrate National Chocolate Day and take a look at my top 5 ways to consume chocolate:

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