How Well Do You Know Chocolate?

For quite some time, the general consensus has been that chocolate tastes too good to be anything but bad for you. Chocolate is adored for its rich texture and sweet flavor, but also feared for the same reasons. Luckily, a plethora of chocolate research has shown that the wealth of antioxidants found in chocolate can actually benefit your overall health. A study from Osaka University in Japan also suggests that certain parts of the cocoa bean can help inhibit oral bacteria and tooth decay. For chocolate lovers everywhere, these revelations are ample reason to celebrate. To honor the traditional champion of sweets, Queens, NY, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz provides these fun facts you may not have known about your favorite indulgence.
Fun Chocolate Facts

  • As of this date, a Google search for the word “chocolate” returns 761,000,000 results in 0.23 seconds. By contrast, a Google search for “oral health” only returns 109,000,000 results.
  • The official, or scientific, name for the cocoa tree, which provides the cocoa beans to make chocolate, is Theobroma Cacao: Greek for “food of the gods.”
  • Because chocolate comes from a bean, which is a vegetable, you could technically consider chocolate a vegetable.
  • Before there was chocolate as we know it today, the cocoa bean was used by the Aztecs as currency. It is believed that a pumpkin cost around four cocoa beans, whereas a turkey could cost around 100 beans.
  • Perhaps a part of chocolate’s benefits to the body’s systemic health lies in the chemical theobromine, which occurs naturally and stimulates the heart and respiratory systems. While harmless to humans in small amounts, this chemical can be deadly to dogs, cats, and other small animals (hence the belief that chocolate is automatically poisonous to dogs).
  • While sometimes irresistible, chocolate is not addicting, contrary to popular belief.

To learn more about nutrition and your oral health, or to schedule a dental consultation, contact Dr. Leibowitz by calling our Queens dental office at (718) 728-8320. We proudly serve patients from Astoria, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the surrounding communities.