Love Chocolate? This Study Confirms There’s a Brain-Boosting Reason to Indulge
The list of reasons to eat chocolate keeps getting longer. Now, science brings us more fun chocolate facts that justify our indulgent love affair with this sweet treat: Habitual consumption is associated with better brain function.
Chocolate May Help Prevent Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Although studies have found an array of physical health benefits linked to chocolate, less is known about its mental health effects. To explore the link between long-term chocolate consumption and brain function, researchers in Syracuse, New York conducted the first cohort investigation on the subject.
Dietary intake data was analyzed on almost 1,000 people from the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study, which provided information on how frequently the participants ate different foods. In addition, cognitive function was assessed through a variety of tests that included working memory, verbal episodic memory and visual-spatial memory as well as scanning and tracking.
The results show a link between chocolate consumption and better cognitive performance that was manifested regardless of other dietary habits. This means you can enjoy the brain-boosting effects of chocolate even if your diet isn’t great.
“Adopting dietary patterns to delay or slow the onset of cognitive decline is an appropriate avenue, given the limited treatments available for dementia,” the authors concluded in the write-up published in the journal Appetite. “The present findings support recent clinical trials suggesting that regular intake of cocoa flavanols may have a beneficial effect on cognitive function, and possibly protect against normal age-related cognitive decline.”
What Are Other Health Benefits of Chocolate?
Prior research of chocolate facts shows chocolate enhances cardiovascular health. It involves lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of stroke. It may also help with weight loss and protect against sun damage. Moreover, according to the new study, chocolate has historically been used to “reduce fever, treat childhood diarrhea, promote strength before sexual conquests, decrease ‘female complaints’, increase breast-milk production, encourage sleep and clean teeth.”
Opt for Dark Chocolate
Most studies on chocolate use the dark variety. It contains much higher amounts of flavanol antioxidants than milk chocolate. One hundred grams of dark chocolate has approximately 100 milligrams of flavanols. The same quantity of milk chocolate has 15 milligrams. Below is a delightful recipe that Nutritionist and Award-Winning Author Dr. Janet Brill was kind enough to share with us.
Dr. Janet’s Heart Healthy Dark Chocolate Pudding
Yield: 6 servings = 1/3 cup per serving
- 1 avocado
- 1 banana
- 1/3 cup of raw honey
- 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup of peanut butter (substitute with almond butter or any other nut/seed butter)
Add all the ingredients into a blender until pudding is a smooth consistency.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 128 kcal, Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrate: 24 g, Dietary Fiber: 4g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 8 mg
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.