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Chocolate not only tastes good, it’s also good for your brain

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Chocolate is so delicious that it would seem to be a dream come true for many people to discover that it has great health benefits. Researchers have made this dream come true with the finding that chocolate is good for your brain.

It has been reported by Frontiers that human cognition can be enhanced with cocoa flavonoids. It has previously been shown that cocoa and cocoa-derived products, which are a rich source of flavonoids, have cardiovascular benefits. More recent research has also found neuromodulation and neuroprotective actions from cocoa.

Cocoa and cocoa-derived food have the potential to counteract decline of cognitive function

It has been suggested that cocoa and cocoa-derived food have the potential to counteract decline of cognitive function and to help maintain cognitive abilities. Dose-dependent improvements have been found in general cognition, processing speed, attention, and working memory.

Furthermore, administration of cocoa flavanols can enhance normal cognitive functioning. This can also have a role in protecting cognitive performance. Cocoa is a fascinating nutraceutical which may actually protect human cognition while counteracting various types of cognitive decline.

Express reports new research has shown blood flow to the brain is boosted by cocoa. The antioxidants in cocoa are called flavonols and it is this which boosts blood flow to the brain. Older people who ate cocoa daily did better on mental tasks.

Cocoa could become a dietary supplement which could be used to improve cognition

Neuroscientists Professor Michele Ferrara and Valentia Socci, a PhD student, at the University of L’Aquila, in Italy, studied the effects of cocoa on cognitive functioning. They have said there is the potential for vulnerable populations to be protected by cocoa flavanols over time by enhancing cognitive performance. Cocoa flavanols can increase cerebral blood volume in vital parts of the brain. It is their belief cocoa could become a dietary supplement which could be used to improve cognition.

Dark chocolate is a particularly rich source of flavanols. However, it should be kept in mind that all cocoa should only be consumed in moderation due to the high caloric value of chocolate. The sugar and milk added to cocoa may also be of concern if too much is eaten.

Nevertheless as noted by the researchers cocoa and chocolate are more than just tasty treats, they are also good for your cognitive functioning. Cocoa can be viewed as a dietary supplement which can protect human cognition and which can actually counteract various types of decline in cognitive functioning. The researchers have noted an interesting phrase is a “balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.” It’s great to know enjoying some chocolate on a regular basis may keep your brain healthy.

Dr Harold Mandel