The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

Growing the Cocoa Bean  |   Varieties of Cacao  |   Crop for Shipment  |   How to Make Cocoa Powder
Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
Eating Chocolates  |   Growing Chocolates  |   Chocolates just for kids


Why Beer May Be Good For You

For quite some time now we've known that drinking red wine can have certain health benefits and having a glass with supper every so often isn't such a bad thing. But what If you're the type of person that prefers a cold glass of beer with your dinner? Lucky for you recent studies suggest that beer may be good for you to! Just like wine, beer may have certain health benefits when consumed in moderation. Of course they both contain alcohol and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial to your health. iIn fact, it has been associated with higher HDL cholesterol which is a good type of cholesterol you want to have more of in your body.

moderate alcohol consumers also have less fibrinogen which can cause clotting that can lead to thrombosis and stroke. In some recent studies including one at the Institute of Epidemiology at the University of Muenster,it has been suggested that moderate beer drinking can help reduce coronary disease. This is because alcohol tends to lower your Income levels which then reduces the risk of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). the benefits of drinking beer accent beyond the benefits that you get from alcohol.

In a study by the Dutch TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute it was noted that people who drank beer gained 30% more vitamin B in their system but those drinking red wine had only 15%. At Tufts University study on beer consumption suggests that beer can help preserve bone mineral density. And Harvard University published a study In the New England Journal of Medicine citing that moderate consumption of beer helped preserve mental abilities in older women. The European Journal of clinical nutrition reported In 2001 that beer drinking had good effects on folate levels which are thought to help fight cardiovascular disease.

But beer drinking is not without its downside. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not drink alcohol as this can be harmful to the fetus or newborn. Beer has about 150 to 450 calories per glass depending on which kind you drink so drinking a lot of may cause weight gain. Then again, these studies prove health benefits with moderate consumption so drinking a light beer every now and then probably won't add pounds to your size.

If you are beer drinker anyone experience of these health benefits it's probably best to limit yourself to one or two classes per day. Just like wine, there are many interesting varieties that you can try out and you're sure to find something that will please your palate as well as improve your health.

Lee Dobbins writes for where you can learn more about great food and drink.


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