Brain Benefits of Dark Chocolate

New research finds dark chocolate may improve brain function.

Popular for centuries, chocolate is a $7 billion dollar industry in the United States alone.  And as if we needed another reason to reach for chocolate, dark chocolate has an added benefit for our brains   Eating dark chocolate has been found to provide a short-term boost to brain function according to several recent studies. A West Virginia University study showed that consuming dark chocolate can boost blood flow in the brain for up to 3 hours.

Increased blood flow to the brain may help short term memory and general alertness levels for short periods. These findings are leading to further study of chocolate in treating medical conditions like strokes and dementia.

The study suggests that the flavanol found in dark chocolate may improve brain function for people fighting sleep deprivation, and even slow the effects of aging by increasing circulation.   More research is still needed to determine the amount of dark chocolate needed to achieve these desirable affects.

Here are a few more perks associated with consuming dark chocolate…

  • it increases endorphins, which gives a feeling of pleasure
  • it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
  • it can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure
  • it has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by up to 10 percent

So the next time you need at chocolate fix, reach for the dark chocolate and start reaping the benefits.

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