Eat This ONE Delicious Food To Drastically Improve Brain Function
If you’re a chocolate lover, then you will LOVE what I am about to share with you!
High quality, dark chocolate has many benefits. Studies have shown it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension, metabolic indicators of stress, and waist circumference, among other benefits. Fortunately for chocolate lovers (like me!), researchers from Northern Arizona University have added another benefit of high quality dark chocolate to the list.
This study analyzed brain images of 122 undergraduate students. It found that dark chocolate demonstrated the ability to boost attention, alertness and improve performance. In other words, chocolate not only tastes great and reduces your risk of disease, but it can also help you to get more done and perform better. What more could you ask for?
Here are some of the highlights from an article entitled, The Mind-Altering Effects of Chocolate by Margie King. View the full article here.
“In this study published in the journal NeuroRegulation[i] researchers used electroencephalography, or EEG technology to measure brain activity before eating chocolate, and then five minutes and 60 minutes after eating chocolate. Results showed that eating high cacao content chocolate – 60% cacao – made the brain more alert and attentive.”
To address former research suggesting that chocolate can raise blood pressure…
“Researchers also tested a combination of 60% cacao chocolate and 128 mg of L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea. Studies show L-theanine produces calming alpha waves in the brain and reduces blood pressure. In this study, L-theanine added to the chocolate counteracted cacao's formerly documented short-term ability to spike blood pressure. The authors speculated that millions of hypertension patients could eat a bar of this heart healthy chocolate every afternoon and their blood pressure would drop into the normal range, and they would be more alert and attentive.”
The most important thing to remember about this research is…
“Make sure you eat dark chocolate. The authors noted that a regular chocolate bar with high sugar and milk content won't give you the same effect. It's only the high-cacao content chocolate that has the benefits. In this study, students received one gram of chocolate for each kilogram of body weight. That's about the equivalent of a 2.4 ounce chocolate bar for a 150 pound person.”
The article also provides further directions for choosing high quality chocolate,
“When choosing your chocolate make sure it's:
1. Dark and Raw. The darker the chocolate, the less sugar is added. Aim for at least 70% cacao content. And raw cacao is even better. The more cacao is processed, the more flavanols are destroyed.
2. Organic. Non-organic cocoa may contain residues of the dangerous herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), and other pesticides used in conventional farming.
3. Free Trade. Cacao crops are often unfairly traded, and have even been linked to child enslavement.”
My take on this:
I LOVE CHOCOLATE! Consuming chocolate can not only improve health and increase productivity, but it adds enjoyment to life. For me, that is one of dark chocolate’s greatest benefits.
Although this article suggests opting for at least 70% cacao content, I like to take it one step further. I always make a point to consume organic, dark chocolate that is at least 80% cacao. My favorite brand, Endangered Species Chocolate, is 88% cacao and organic. The entire bar contains only 10 grams of sugar. I eat one small section (1 gram of sugar) after each meal, which makes me feel like I am always having dessert! I know it may take time to adjust to the reduced sweetness of this chocolate, but it is definitely a worthy aim, and your tastebuds will eventually adjust.
Here’s to more chocolate, more health and more productivity!