More reasons to have a chocolate.
Chocolate was used both as a primary remedy and as a vehicle to deliver other medicines from early days. It became more popular in Europe in the mid 1500s. The word cacao is derived from Olmec and the subsequent Mayan languages (kakaw). Early colonial era documents had lots of references having instructions for the medicinal use of cacao.
Cacao flowers were used to treat fatigue in the early days. It was noted that a patient who is deprived of energy showed some improvements when Choco flowers were used in the medicine. This is practiced even now by the tribal people of the southern part of India. Cacao beans and the herb tlacoxochitl were also used to alleviate fever and panting of breath and to treat the faint of heart. It is also known for its use in the treatment of emaciated patients to gain weight, to stimulate nervous systems of apathetic, exhausted or feeble patients; and to improve digestion. Some other ailments treated with chocolate or cacao included anemia, poor appetite, mental fatigue, poor breast milk production, consumption/tuberculosis, fever, gout, kidney stones, reduced longevity and poor sexual appetite or low virility.
Chocolate can be used as a form of self-medication for dietary deficiencies like magnesium deficiency or to balance low levels of neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood. Chocolate is full of essential chemicals which body use for mood enhancing. As it has lots of sugar (Read carbohydrate) it triggers the release of serotonin which is very beneficial for good mood. With lots of fat in it, chocolate provides a feeling of satisfaction since it gives you all the calories you need. Chocolate is also said to have the same mood enhancing chemical that is found in marijuana, although in much smaller quantities.
Researchers are coming up with more evidence that cocoa is rich in cholesterol fighting antioxidants which helps to protect you from some factors associated with heart attacks and stroke. The antioxidants in chocolate called flavonoids and studies show that flavonoids slow the processing of "bad" LDL cholesterol into material that clogs the arteries, and at the same time make blood platelets less likely to clump and cause clots. The fat in dark chocolate acts as a saturated vegetable fat that behaves in an artery friendly way, just like our good old olive and canola oils.