Fall is here, so It’s time for some hot chocolate and movies! Are you hot chocolate lover like me? Guess what, you are not alone in our love for hot chocolate! Did you know that hot chocolate has been enjoyed for thousands of years, with its origins dating back to the ancient Mayans and Aztecs? These early civilizations created a bitter, frothy beverage known as "chocolatl," which was quite different from the sweet and creamy hot chocolate we savor today. The transformation of this ancient concoction into the comforting and indulgent treat we know is a testament to the evolution of one of the world's most beloved beverages.
Drinking hot chocolate can offer several benefits, especially when enjoyed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Here are some potential advantages:
Mood Enhancement: Hot chocolate can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. It's often associated with comfort and can provide a sense of relaxation and well-being.
Antioxidants: Dark chocolate, which is used in making hot chocolate, is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids. These compounds may support heart health and provide protection against oxidative stress.
Improved Cognitive Function: Some research suggests that the flavonoids in dark chocolate may have a positive impact on cognitive function, potentially enhancing memory and learning.
Warmth and Comfort: Drinking a warm beverage like hot chocolate can be comforting and soothing, especially on cold or stressful days.
Bone Health: Hot chocolate made with milk is a source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.
Energy Boost: The sugar and caffeine content in hot chocolate can provide a quick energy boost. However, it's important not to consume excessive amounts of sugar or caffeine.
Hydration: While it may not replace water, hot chocolate does contribute to your daily fluid intake, helping you stay hydrated.
Antidepressant Properties: While not a replacement for professional treatment, the phenylethylamine content in chocolate may have mild antidepressant properties.
It's worth noting that the benefits of hot chocolate are most significant when it's made with high-quality dark chocolate and without excessive amounts of sugar or additives. Drinking hot chocolate in moderation, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can enhance your overall well-being and provide moments of warmth and enjoyment.
I prefer my hot chocolate sweet, made with real milk, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whip cream on top, and chocolate sprinkled all over it. I am sure Mayans and Aztecs didn’t quite make it this way, but I am living over to the fullest over here! Yum! There are hundreds of ways to make hot chocolate, try a few of them and see which one you like best and don’t forget to watch a movie with chocolate themes!
Here are a few to get you started:
"Chocolat" (2000) - This film, based on the novel by Joanne Harris, stars Juliette Binoche as a chocolatier who arrives in a small French village and opens a chocolate shop, bringing about a transformation in the lives of the villagers.
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005) - Directed by Tim Burton, this film is based on Roald Dahl's classic children's book. It follows a young boy named Charlie as he wins a golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka's magical chocolate factory.
"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971) - The original film adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, remains a beloved classic.
"Like Water for Chocolate" (1992) - This Mexican film, based on the novel by Laura Esquivel, weaves a tale of love and magic in the kitchen as a young woman expresses her emotions through her cooking, particularly her chocolate recipes.
"The Chocolate War" (1988) - A drama film based on Robert Cormier's novel, which tells the story of a high school student who refuses to participate in his school's annual chocolate sale fundraiser.
"Romance and Chocolate" (2019) - A Hallmark Channel movie that combines romance and chocolate as a woman travels to Belgium and falls in love while discovering the world of chocolate making.
"Chocolat" (2016) - This French film is a biographical drama about the life of the first black professional clown in France, Rafael Padilla, who was known as "Chocolat."
This fall season indulge your senses with hot chocolate and movies and no matter what mood you started this exercise with, you will feel better!