Dark Chocolate Health Benefits: How It Helps Your Brain

There are so many reported dark chocolate health benefitsDark chocolate health benefits, and many of them are good for the brain. Know how dark chocolate antoxidants and flavanoids can make the brain healthier and work better.

How dark chocolate brands help the brain

The world loves chocolate and is enjoying the dark chocolate health benefits for men and women. In fact, Americans consume about 3 billion pounds of it yearly. People love chocolate not only because of its tate, but also because of the way it makes you feel. And it’s very rare that something so delicious is good for you, but dark chocolate is an exception to this rule. In fact, chocolate is at the top of the brain food list. Let’s look at the 9 proven dark chocolate health benefits for the brain and the science behind it.

1. Dark chocolate makes you happy

It’s teeming with feel-good chemicals called endorphin that bind with the opiate receptors in your brain, leading to feelings of euphoria, the kind joggers call ‘runner’s high.’ It reduces pain and decrease the negative effects of stress. Chocolate is the only known food source of anandamide, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘bliss molecule.’ Dark chocolate also has phenylethlyamine, sometimes called ‘love drug’ because it creates a brain buzz similar to being in love.

2. Dark chocolate improves blood flow to the brain

Compounds found in chocolate have shown to boost memory, reaction time, attention span and problem solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. Chocolate flavanoids have shown to improve blood flow to the brain among young and old alike. One study showed that one dose of flavonol-rich cocoa increased blood flow to the brain among young, healthy adults. Another study found that drinking two cups of hot chocolate increased blood flow to the brain for two to three hours.

3. Dark chocolate protects the brain from free radical damage

The brain uses lots of oxygen, making it highly susceptible to free radical damage. Free radicals are unattached oxygen molecules that attack the cells in the same way that oxygen attacks metal, causing it to rust. Age sports, wrinkles and sun damage are just some of the visible signs of free radical damage. Antioxidants protect the brain cells by neutralizing free radical damage to prevent premature brain cell aging.

4. Dark chocolate improves focus, learning and memory

The flavanoids in cocoa penetrate and accumulate in the brain regions that are involved in memory and learning. It has shown to improve performance on standardized cognitive tests. Chocolate also has caffeine, which is a known brain booster that improves mood, concentration and memory. Caffeine level in a serving of chocolate is quite low, so eating chocolate will most likely not keep you up all night.

5. Dark chocolate helps relieve stress

Known as the ‘original chill pill,’ magnesium is great in helping you relax. Chocolate is one of the best food sources of this mineral. It’s believed that people crave chocolate because of its magnesium content. If you get more magnesium, you can improve your sleep, mood, focus and resiliance to stress. Theobromine is a compound that is only found in chocolate, and is related to caffeine, although it’s more of a relaxant and not a stimulant.

6. Dark chocolate helps control food cravings

Chocolate is a widely craved food. But indulging in cheap, mass-produced chocolate will not reduce your cravings; in fact, it just might fuel it. But dark chocolate, on the other hand, is very satisfying so you’ll be happy eating less. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate has shown to decrease cravings for junk food of all kinds. It can also help you make healthier food choices, cut calories and even lose weight.

7. Dark chocolate protects your brain for a lifetime

We’ve seen so many exciting findings surrounding the use of chocolate in treating brain-related medical conditions like dementia and stroke. The powerful dark chocolate antioxidants that are found in chocolate can decrease the risk for dementia. In fact, the more seniors ate chocolate, the less likely they developed dementia. The flavanols in chocolate has also shown to improve cognition among seniors diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.

8. Dark chocolate supports good intestinal bacteria

One unusual dark chocolate health benefit is that it increases good bacteria in the intestines, which is good for your brain. Bifibacteria and Lactobacilli are two of the most common good bacteria in the intestines and are found in many probiotic supplements. They act as antioxidants that protect your brain from free radical damage. Chocolate acts as a prebiotic that keep good bacterial levels high and bad bacteria low.

To enjoy these dark chocolate health benefits, make sure that you really eat dark chocolate, and not milk chocolate. Compared to the latter, the former has more of the good things, like antioxidants and flavanoids, and less of the bad things, like sugar. It’s believed that the dairy in milk chocolate can interfere with flavonoid absorption. Generally, 70 percent dark chocolate brands is a good place to start to get its genuine health benefits. If you find 70 percent too strong, start lower and work your way up.

Previous post:

Next post: