Can eating chocolate really make a difference to how well your brain works? The high flavonol content of dark chocolate has been linked to a number of cognitive and vascular benefits, as well as tasting good and being very pleasurable to eat!
A recent study published in Neurology suggests that consuming chocolate may help seniors to maintain their brain health and function as they age. A group of 60 subjects with an average age of 73 and of normal cognition were asked to drink two cups of hot cocoa daily for thirty days. As a child I always used to enjoy a cup of hot milky cocoa at bedtime. I found it always helped me to sleep.
Tests were undertaken prior to and after the
study on cerebral blood flow, memory and thinking skills. Results revealed that those
with impaired cerebral blood flow at the beginning of the study showed an
improvement of around 8.3% in blood flow and improved working memory. The observation was that there was a strong correlation between cerebral blood flow and cognitive function and both can be improved by regular consumption of cocoa by those with baseline impairments. More work
needs to be done, but it would seem that there is some benefit to continuing to
enjoy cocoa for better brain health. Which is very good news to cocoa drinkers like myself.
Do you know which are the other great foods that have been shown from the research to promote better thinking and memory?
Is it really possible to stave off dementia?
Do you know how to future proof your brain, to ensure you stay sharp, no matter what your age?
To find out the answers to these questions and discover what it takes to build your level of brain fitness, why not come along to the next "Brain Fit Workshop" on Saturday 21st September at UWA Extension. You can book your place here.
Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/21002426@N00/71510220/">--Mike--</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>