Chocolate Benefits Your Cognitive Function
If there’s one food that people always eat with a little bit of guilt, it’s chocolate. It’s a comfort food, one of those temptations we give into, and sometimes it can even make it hard to lose weight.
Nevertheless, there’s nothing quite like eating chocolate in moderation—and the right kind of chocolate.
Dark chocolate is usually better for your health, but new research says that even a little bit of milk chocolate benefits your body.
According to a recent study conducted at the Research Center for Nutritional Physiology at the University of South Australia, if you eat chocolate at least once a week on a regular basis, your brain will be more agile and your concentration and memory will be greatly improved.
This is definitely one of those results that everyone is happy to see, and that’s why we want to share it with you in today’s article.
Chocolate benefits your cognitive function
You probably already know that there are many different types of chocolate out there, and not all of them are healthy. What you might buy from a commercial chocolate factory, for example, isn’t necessarily good for you.
Anything with a very high sugar content or lots of preservatives will no doubt have negative effects: reducing your brain function, raising cholesterol, and elevating your risk of having a stroke—all this is worsened if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
According to Dr. Georgie Crichton, you should only eat about an ounce of chocolate every day (between 25 and 28 grams).
You can exceed that amount a couple times a week. But the best thing to do is to choose high quality chocolate.
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Consuming dark chocolate during pregnancy improves the development of the fetus
According to a study at the University of Atlanta, dark chocolate is very rich in a powerful antioxidant known as flavonol.
When pregnant women consume between 20 and 35 grams of dark chocolate a day throughout their pregnancy, the quality of the placenta is improved and they also have a reduced risk of preeclampsia, a medical condition associated with high blood pressure.
Interesting, isn’t it?
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Chocolate can protect you from heart and cerebrovascular disease
The key is flavonoids and minerals such as magnesium, which are capable of enhancing the health of both your heart and brain.
- The University of Aberdeen in Scotland conducted a 12-year study during which they monitored the health of 20,000 participants, including a group that consumed between 30 and 40 grams of chocolate a day. The rest of the participants did not eat chocolate and also avoided excess consumption of alcohol.
- The results were incredibly illuminating. Patients who enjoyed chocolate in small amounts but on a regular basis, when combined with a fairly active lifestyle enjoyed better heart and brain health.
Dark chocolate, as well as milk chocolate benefits cognitive function
In the beginning we suggested that eating chocolate on a daily basis and in moderation is fine, and it can have the following positive results:
- Your visual memory and organizational skills will improve.
- Your working memory will increase, enhancing your ability to analyze data, retain information, and create new information.
- Your short and long term memory will also improve.
Now you might wonder how you can get all these benefits from a single ounce of dark or milk chocolate.
The researchers followed people between 19 and 98 years old for over 30 years, finding results that were overwhelmingly positive.
- The flavonol in chocolate increases connectivity between your brain cells.
- Blood flow and quantity to the brain is improved.
- Small amounts of caffeine in chocolate improve alertness without raising stress levels or putting strain on the body.
- Another interesting fact is that cocoa contains oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that helps control and regulate LDL cholesterol. It’s a good thing to keep in mind.
To conclude, it’s important to reiterate that chocolate by itself won’t give you all these benefits if you’re neglecting the rest of your diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
This ancient and delicious food should be consumed as if it were a gift from nature herself: in small, regular amounts, and accompanied by healthy living habits.
We know you’ll enjoy it – and of course, your health will too.