We are very excited to share our first blog post with you today!
With Oreme being located in Brussels, the “heart of Europe”, what are the first things that cross your mind when thinking about Belgium? The Atomium, waffles, or might it even be CHOCOLATE?
Surely this post has to be about the world-famous Belgian chocolate!
As you may already know, a good quality bar of dark chocolate can carry many benefits by being rich in iron, magnesium, zinc, etc.
But what makes Belgian chocolate so popular and why is Belgium considered “the capital of chocolate”? Let us give a you a short insight into chocolate-history:
As early as the 1880s, the Belgians brought cocoa beans from Africa all the way to Europe. This early access to cocoa before many other nations and the ability to understand how best to process the beans, enabled Belgians to produce quality chocolate before anyone else in Europe and before most countries in the world.
History of the Belgian praline
In 1857, Jean Neuhaus opened a pharmacy in Brussels and to make his medicine taste nicer, he coated it in a thin layer of chocolate. From this simple idea, his grandson came up with the ingenious idea of replacing the medicine with a delicious soft filling. So, in 1912, the praline was born.
Over the next few years the praline market in Belgium started to boom.
After our team recently explored the world of chocolate with a local chocolatier, we would like to share more healthy benefits of dark chocolate with you:
1. Chocolate improves heart health and lowers blood pressure
Research shows that prostacyclin, which is a compound in dark chocolate, helps lower blood pressure by increasing vasodilation: the opening, and loosening of your arteries and blood vessels. Another study revealed that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.
2. A natural boost for brain function
Cocoa contains stimulant substances such as caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why chocolate can improve brain function in the short term.
3. Natural stress reducer and mood booster
There have been studies where people who ate dark chocolate showed a decreased amount of stress hormone levels. In case of stress always have a bar of dark chocolate in your pocket! Natural contents of dark chocolate help in the production of endorphins which are known for boosting your mood.
4. Reduce the risk of developing cancer
Research has confirmed that the antioxidants in dark chocolate have a strong ability to combat DNA damage that can lead to cancer development, as well as reduce certain inflammation enzymes that can encourage its growth.
5. Great source of antioxidants
Cocoa contains more antioxidants than other fruits such as blueberries or acai berries. Chocolate prohibits “free radicals” (which you get from breathing oxygen) from damaging your body.
How to choose the best quality of chocolate?
Read the ingredients and make sure that a chosen bar contains at least 70% cacao. This will ensure a minimum of added sugars and other unnecessary ingredients. The higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the greater the bitter flavor!
Today we want you to enjoy every little bite of that delicious chocolate bar hiding in the cupboard ;)
Until next time, take care!
Your Oreme team