The plant of the cocoa (Theobroma cacao, of the Sterculiaceae family) is native to Central and South. Theobroma cacao is derived from the greek and means "food of the gods", scientific name attributed by the Swedish botanist Linnaeus in 1953.
Cocoa contains many nutritive substances, such as protein, fat (cocoa butter), carbohydrates, caffeine, theobromine, tannins cellulose, oxalic acid, minerals such as phosphorus, potassium and iron, in addition to vitamins in particular the A and those of group B.
Also cocoa contains phenylethylamine, a chemical similar to amphetamines which acts on brain neurotransmitters, which has power and euphoric exciting. This substance produces our brain when we fall in love. So even one square of dark chocolate (best to choose one that has a high percentage of cocoa), leads to increased production of endorphins and consequently of pleasure.
Various legends tell the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate: a example would Casanova consumed chocolate to conquer some women difficult and Madame de Pompadour, the favorite of Louis XIV, a hot chocolate consumed daily to cure their frigidity.
The consumption of cocoa and its products may be contraindicated in the presence of certain diseases such as kidney stones and oxalic cholecystitis. In some people may lead to allergies and digestive disorders.