Dark Chocolate Antioxidants Benefits: Improved Blood Flow to the Brain

One of the most significant dark chocolate antioxidants benefits is improved cognitive andDark chocolate antioxidants benefits brain function. Check out evidences on how a daily dark chocolate dose can be a big help to brain health.

Know how much dark chocolate is healthy

With the growing number of evidences on the cocoa and dark chocolate antioxidants benefits, more and more people are now adding these cacao products to their diet. But you do not have to worry about going heavy on these foods just to boost your brain function. Previously, a special cocoa that is high in flavanols was shown to positively affect cognitive function among early adults with early memory decline. But a new study done on older adults with diabetes and/or hypertension has found that drinking only two cups of cocoa a day for a month was associated with significant improvements in cognitive function and blood flow in the brain.

High levels of flavanols, which are cocoa and dark chocolate antioxidants, made no difference. However, overall, the participants saw brain benefits when they started drinking either flavanol-enhanced cocoa or a lower-flavanol cocoa. Researchers are still trying to discover the optimal intake of flavanols. That daily dark chocolate dose used, along with different duration’s of consumption, can likely differ depending on factors like sex, age and health status. Also, the possibility should be considered that some of this health benefit of eating chocolate can be derived from other bio-active compounds of cocoa.

Dark Chocolate Antioxidants Benefits: Cocoa Bean Benefits

The flavanols that are found in dark chocolate and cocoa are part of a bigger group of flavanols called flavanoids that are naturally found in plant foods. In this case, this is the cocoa bean from which chocolate and cocoa are made. Flavanols are also found in tea and red wine. However, the flavanols in cocoa bean have a unique mix of these phytonutrients. Scientists have found that cocoa flavanols positively affect the circulatory system and help maintain the flexibility of arteries. This might obviously be important to heart health, your brain also depends on proper blood flow to function.

A new study tested the effects of consuming cocoa on 60 volunteers that has an average of 73% . Although none of them had dementia, 17 of them suffered from a condition called impaired neurovascular coupling, a measure of blood flow in the brain as it relates to nerve cells. Researchers initially tested two levels of flavanols in cocoa, eaten twice a day for 30 days. Participants were encouraged to change their diets to compensate for the added calories in the the best dark chocolate for antioxidants.

There were no significant difference seen between the two kinds of cocoa, so the results of both groups were merged. Participants that did not have impaired neurovascular coupling showed no significant benefits from consuming cocoa. However, the small group of volunteers with impaired neurovascular coupling saw significant changes after just one month of cocoa intake. Neurovascular coupling improved by more than double, and scores on standard cognitive tests jumped to 30 percent.

Dark Chocolate Antioxidants Benefits: Improved Blood Flow

Indications that the flavanols in cocoa might improve blood vessel function in the brain were further supported by data from many other studies, with researchers reporting that cocoa consumption led to increased blood flow to areas of the brain. This increases the possibility that certain food components such as cocoa flavanols might be beneficial in increasing blood flow and improving brain function among older adults or people who are cognitively impaired, like people suffering from fatigue or sleep deprivation.

So does all this mean that you can start eating dark chocolate or sipping cocoa to support your brain. Experts say that the available evidence on the potential benefits of cocoa in the brain is too limited to make any recommendations. However, it is worth noting that a health claim was recently approved, where 200 milligrams of cocoa flavanols can help maintain the elasticity of blood cells, contributing to normal blood flow. How much dark chocolate is healthy? It is 2.6 grams of high-flavanol cocoa or 10 grams of high-flavanol dark chocolate, which is about a fifth of a regular-sized chocolate bar.

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