The ancient Aztecs considered chocolate, or cacahuatl, to be the food of the gods. They used it as a ceremonial offering, a medicine, and even a currency. More than 500 years later, chocolate is still eaten at celebrations and used as medicine for the mood, if not for the body. In fact, the average American eats about 12 pounds of chocolate a year. But are we eating the right kind?
古阿茲特克人將巧克力，或可可水，視為神的食物。他們用巧克力來當作一種祭獻品、一種藥物，甚至一種貨幣。超過五百年後，巧克力仍在慶典中被食用，且如果沒用來治療身體的話，就用來當成療癒心情的良藥。事實上，一般美國人一年吃掉約 12 磅(約 5.5 公斤)的巧克力。但我們在吃的是對的種類嗎？
Welcome to Superfoods. Today we're going to teach you how to get the most out of that 12 pounds of chocolate you'll probably eat this year by learning how to pick chocolate that's actually healthy.
歡迎來到 Superfoods。今天我們要來教你如何充分利用你今年可能會吃下的那 12 磅巧克力，藉由了解怎樣挑選真正健康的巧克力。
The key component in determining whether that candy bar in your hand is healthy or not is cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made. Cacao is one of the few plants that isn't cultivated outside of its native humid, equatorial climate. It was eaten by the Aztecs and the Mayans long before the Belgians and the Swiss got famous for their chocolate. Chocolate didn't even make it to Europe until after 1502, when Columbus discovered it on one of his journeys. Wild cacao in its raw form is great for you.
決定你手中那巧克力棒是否健康的關鍵成分是可可，也就是製成巧克力的植物。可可是少數未在它原生的潮濕赤道氣候外被栽培的植物之一。早在比利時和瑞士人因他們的巧克力而聞名前，巧克力就被阿茲特克人和馬雅人所食用了。巧克力甚至沒傳入歐洲，直到 1502 年後，當時哥倫布在他的旅程之一中發現巧克力。在它原始型態下的野生可可對你最好。
Not all chocolate is a superfood. Most chocolate as we know it today is more junk food than superfood. Milk chocolate is a highly processed, highly diluted version of the plant product. It's higher in sugar and milk solids than it is in nutritious cacao. And white chocolate has no cacao solids whatsoever—just the fats along with the added milk and sugar. Sorry, milk chocolate lovers: your chocolate needs to be at least 50% cacao to be considered dark. You're going to need to come to the dark side if you want an excuse to eat chocolate and call it healthy.
So what is it about cacao that makes dark chocolate a superfood? Well, it's surprisingly high in fiber, which is great for the digestive health. It's packed with compounds such as tryptophan, which is proven to elevate mood and promote a sense of well-being. Chocolate is also packed full of antioxidants, which help prevent everything from wrinkles to cancer. A 2010 study published in The Nutritional Journal says that the antioxidants in chocolate also help reduce fatigue.
那麼是可可的什麼東西使黑巧克力成為一種超級食物？嗯，可可出乎意料地富含纖維質，那對消化健康十分有益。它也充滿化合物，例如色胺酸，那被證實能振奮情緒並且促進幸福感。巧克力也飽含抗氧化劑，那協助預防皺紋到癌症等每件事。一項 2010 年在《營養期刊》內發表的研究指出巧克力中的抗氧化劑還幫助減少疲勞。
Chocolate also helps your blood flow more smoothly by reducing clotting and improving arterial function. Studies published by the European Heart Journal and the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition says that adults who consume small amounts of chocolate on a regular basis were 30% less likely to have strokes than those who did. They were also 12% less likely to have a heart attack.
Chocolate is a higher-calorie food, so moderation is a key to this superfood. Here are some tips for handling and storing your dark chocolate and cocoa nibs. Keep your cocoa nibs in your refrigerator for up to six months; wrap chocolate in foil, not plastic.
Chocolate sauce: oil, heavy cream, honey, salt.
Cacao coffee: cacao nibs, ground coffee, boiling water. Steep five minutes.
Chocolate covered bananas: banana, melted chocolate, nuts. Freeze.
Ice cream with chocolate sauce: chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, nuts.
- 「最充分地利用」- Get The Most Out Of
Today we're going to teach you how to get the most out of that 12 pounds of chocolate you'll probably eat this year...
今天我們要來教你如何充分利用你今年可能會吃下的那 12 磅巧克力...
- 「到達」- Make It
Chocolate didn't even make it to Europe until after 1502, when Columbus discovered it on one of his journeys.
巧克力甚至沒傳入歐洲，直到 1502 年後，當時哥倫布在他的旅程之一中發現巧克力。
- 「和...一起」- Along With
And white chocolate has no cacao solids whatsoever—just the fats along with the added milk and sugar.
- 「經常地、有規律地」- On A Regular Basis
...adults who consume small amounts of chocolate on a regular basis were 30% less likely to have strokes than those who did.
- 「多達」- Up To
Keep your cocoa nibs in your refrigerator for up to six months; wrap chocolate in foil, not plastic.