Giving gifts to your significant other on Valentine’s Day is a widely practiced custom, but why is the act of giving chocolate so popular? Is it the unique melt-in-your-mouth taste? Or perhaps the use as a possible erotic stimulant? Whatever the reason for giving, chocolate consistently dominates the Valentine’s Day tradition year after year.
History of Chocolate as an Aphrodisiac
Chocolate has been considered a potent aphrodisiac by many for a long time. Mayan emperors would drink chocolate as a way to satisfy the appetites within their harems while French courtesans would feed it to their lovers to encourage stamina and arousal. As a ritualistic component to Mayan marriage ceremonies, the couples would feed each other chocolate in anticipation of their wedding night.
Pleasure Stimulating Chemicals to Give Love a Chance
The naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate may be exactly the thing to put your Valentine in the mood for love. The theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate can increase your heartbeat and act as a stimulant. Phenylehtylamine can simulate the effects of love while serotonin can elicit a sense of well-being. The idea of giving the object of your desire such a potentially mood altering potion would makes chocolate seem like the only Valentine’s Day choice!
Nutritional Properties for a Healthy Heart
Pure dark chocolate is rich with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The effects the antioxidants can have on your heart include increased blood circulation, reduced cholesterol levels, and lowered risks of stroke and heart attack. The magnesium, iron, and vitamin B found in chocolate can also help in preventing illness. Whether this is a conscious reason lovers give chocolate as a gift or not, it’s certainly a thoughtful way to show you care. Of course, to enjoy the nutritional benefits of chocolate, it should be consumed only in proper moderation.
Chocolate on the Valentine’s Day Market
For most of the year it’s women who tend to buy chocolate on a regular basis, however when Valentine’s Day rolls around the percentage of men purchasing chocolate jumps to around 75%. Anyone who does any shopping during the Valentine’s Day season can’t help but notice the overwhelming varieties of chocolate available at that time. Candy sales go up when love is in the air, so be it the encouragement of lustful desires or just the gesture of giving your sweet something sweet, chocolate at Valentine’s Day is a tradition that has yet to fail love-struck shoppers everywhere.