For centuries before becoming the sweet treat we know today, chocolate, the product of fermented cacao beans, was used as medicine. Early Aztec cultures concocted remedies using cocoa from the “chocolate tree” to ease intestinal complaints and upset stomach, control diarrhea, reduce fevers, and boost strength before military conquests. Later eras linked chocolate to other properties, such as a cure for “chocolatomania” cravings in the mid-1900s, which were believed to occur in young women.
Allium vegetables comprise approximately 500 species, the most common including onions, leeks, garlic, chives, and shallots. They have been valued throughout history for their flavor as well as their medicinal properties. Rich in health-promoting flavanols and organosulfur compounds, alliums have increasingly attracted the interest of the medical community for their potential to play a part in preventing cancer.