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Post Reply Cocoa and chocolate are not just treats -- they are good for your cognition
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Posted 6/30/17 , edited 6/30/17
Man I am so glad I just bought 10 x 70% dark chocolate bars. This just proves it wasn't a waste of $20 *munches on chocolate*. So who else is completely addicted to dark chocolate and loves this excuse to stay addicted?

Researchers have examined the available literature for the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains. It turns out that cognitive performance was improved by a daily intake of cocoa flavanols.



https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170629101648.htm



A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands -- a phrase commonly used to justify ones chocolate snacking behavior. A phrase now shown to actually harbor some truth, as the cocoa bean is a rich source of flavanols: a class of natural compounds that has neuroprotective effects.

In their recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, Italian researchers examined the available literature for the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains. In other words: what happens to your brain up to a few hours after you eat cocoa flavanols, and what happens when you sustain such a cocoa flavanol enriched diet for a prolonged period of time?

Although randomized controlled trials investigating the acute effect of cocoa flavanols are sparse, most of them point towards a beneficial effect on cognitive performance. Participants showed, among others, enhancements in working memory performance and improved visual information processing after having had cocoa flavanols. And for women, eating cocoa after a night of total sleep deprivation actually counteracted the cognitive impairment (i.e. less accuracy in performing tasks) that such a night brings about. Promising results for people that suffer from chronic sleep deprivation or work shifts.

It has to be noted though, that the effects depended on the length and mental load of the used cognitive tests to measure the effect of acute cocoa consumption. In young and healthy adults, for example, a high demanding cognitive test was required to uncover the subtle immediate behavioral effects that cocoa flavanols have on this group.

The effects of relatively long-term ingestion of cocoa flavanols (ranging from 5 days up to 3 months) has generally been investigated in elderly individuals. It turns out that for them cognitive performance was improved by a daily intake of cocoa flavanols. Factors such as attention, processing speed, working memory, and verbal fluency were greatly affected. These effects were, however, most pronounced in older adults with a starting memory decline or other mild cognitive impairments.

And this was exactly the most unexpected and promising result according to authors Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara from the University of L'Aquila in Italy. "This result suggests the potential of cocoa flavanols to protect cognition in vulnerable populations over time by improving cognitive performance. If you look at the underlying mechanism, the cocoa flavanols have beneficial effects for cardiovascular health and can increase cerebral blood volume in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. This structure is particularly affected by aging and therefore the potential source of age-related memory decline in humans."

So should cocoa become a dietary supplement to improve our cognition? "Regular intake of cocoa and chocolate could indeed provide beneficial effects on cognitive functioning over time. There are, however, potential side effects of eating cocoa and chocolate. Those are generally linked to the caloric value of chocolate, some inherent chemical compounds of the cocoa plant such as caffeine and theobromine, and a variety of additives we add to chocolate such as sugar or milk."

Nonetheless, the scientists are the first to put their results into practice: "Dark chocolate is a rich source of flavanols. So we always eat some dark chocolate. Every day."


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Posted 6/30/17 , edited 6/30/17


They have been talking about how chocolate will help unlock our latent mental powers for years. Hadn't heard that chocolate actually makes women function, though.
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Posted 6/30/17

gornotck wrote:



They have been talking about how chocolate will help unlock our latent mental powers for years. Hadn't heard that chocolate actually makes women function, though.

That picture is a bit creepy to me.
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Posted 6/30/17 , edited 6/30/17
what scientists likely meant by "chocolate" being healthy / providing cognitive benefits



what some reporters think scientists meant



scientist: eating a few spoons of raw chocolate / cacao powder may be beneficial to
reporter: you mean chocolate ice cream is healthy? sweet!

edit: relevant:
study: above average blood sugar linked to higher risk of dementia
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Posted 6/30/17
More like 100% cacao baking chocolate.
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Posted 6/30/17
If you really want the benefits, you have to indulge in unsweetened, non-junk food chocolate. Use it as a bitter, savory ingredient, not as a sweet.
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Posted 6/30/17 , edited 6/30/17
hmm sometimes i don't mind dark chocolate but generally on its own prefer the types called semi sweet. often when i buy semi sweet baking chocolate it fails get used for its intended purpose
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Posted 7/1/17
I enjoy a spoonful of 100% cocoa powder in my chilli. I won't drink hot chocolate.
Posted 7/1/17

namealreadytaken wrote:
what scientists likely meant by "chocolate" being healthy / providing cognitive benefits



More so this than the chocolate bar. Yes, I know it's raw cacao with agave nectar for a sweetener, but it's still "processed/junk chocolate" to a degree.

Rujikin: Sorry to say, those 70% dark chocolate bars aren't covered in the article you've linked. It's focused around cocoa flavanols, which are the raw, unprocessed phytonutrients that are in cocoa. The moment you start adding sugar and all of the other processed nonsense to it is the moment you lose the health benefits of the cocoa.

You can always get those unsweetened cocoa packets (for dark chocolate drinks) and make something like a peanut butter smoothie (with powder + peanut butter + whole milk). But avoid those chocolate bars - it won't improve your cognitive ability.

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Posted 7/1/17 , edited 7/1/17

gornotck wrote:



They have been talking about how chocolate will help unlock our latent mental powers for years. Hadn't heard that chocolate actually makes women function, though.


LOL If you're talking about mental abilities why'd you post a picture of her sinus cavities? More people would eat it if it cleared out your sinuses.
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Posted 7/1/17

MysticGon wrote:


gornotck wrote:



They have been talking about how chocolate will help unlock our latent mental powers for years. Hadn't heard that chocolate actually makes women function, though.


LOL If you're talking about mental abilities why'd you post a picture of her sinus cavities? More people would eat it if it cleared out your sinuses.


It was the least kinetic picture for what I searched. Also, I thought the sinus diagram added something, like a glowing tattoo.
Secondary, they do have chili powder covered chocolate, though that is unrelated to the picture.
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Posted 7/1/17
they used to say chocolate was good for your health then went back on that a while ago.
Honestly i am skeptical but if its true cool i dislike chocolate unless it's white which im pretty sure has 0 benefits.
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Posted 7/1/17

gornotck wrote:


MysticGon wrote:


gornotck wrote:



They have been talking about how chocolate will help unlock our latent mental powers for years. Hadn't heard that chocolate actually makes women function, though.


LOL If you're talking about mental abilities why'd you post a picture of her sinus cavities? More people would eat it if it cleared out your sinuses.


It was the least kinetic picture for what I searched. Also, I thought the sinus diagram added something, like a glowing tattoo.
Secondary, they do have chili powder covered chocolate, though that is unrelated to the picture.


Chili powder chocolate?! You'll get drainage at both ends.
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Posted 7/1/17
There we go then. We have proven that "hot" dark chocolate is best, because it contains all those fibromyalgia particles as well as clearing all your tubes.
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Posted 7/1/17


I ate 4 snicker bars last night
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