If you feel tired, out of sorts, listless and notice that memory and concentration are also affected, then from today you know that help can come from a delicious food, chocolate! But it must be dark chocolate, at least 70%. This emerges from a very recent scientific research that appeared in the journal Behavioral Neuroloy thanks to the work of a Japanese team (Nemoto et al, Behav Neurol, Dec 2022).
Dark chocolate is good for the heart and blood vessels
The aroma of chocolate brings joy and its strong and decisive taste satisfies the desire for sweets. But chocolate is not only a joy for the palate and for our sense of smell, in fact, this delicacy is also a precious source of antioxidant substances beneficial to health. Provided, however, that it is dark, with at least 70% cocoa. In this case then several studies have shown that dark chocolate is able to improve the function of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels, to increase blood flow to the brain and to protect the heart, helping to reduce blood pressure. Some studies also seem to indicate the ability of dark chocolate to improve memory and cognitive functionality even if, to date, this action had never been clarified. Today's study, however, sheds light on this aspect and adds new, very interesting details on the action of chocolate in our body.
Dark chocolate and its action on the brain and mood, the study
Scientists recruited 104 people, half male and half female, all adults between 40 and 65 years old. The study participants were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to take 5 pieces of 72% dark chocolate every day for a month. The second group was used as a comparison and in this case they were asked not to eat chocolate. Before, during and after the experiment, the volunteers underwent medical examinations, MRI examinations, questionnaires to assess their physical and mental health status and tests for cognitive function. What has emerged is that the intake of dark chocolate has been able to counteract fatigue, both physical and mental, which is a common condition as age progresses. Vitality, memory, attention, concentration and cognitive function also improved in the volunteers who had taken the chocolate. Scientists believe that dark chocolate's ability to increase vitality and counteract fatigue improves mental health with an effect on gray matter volume, which controls movement, memory and emotions.
Here are other important reasons to enjoy dark chocolate, even every day! Dark chocolate, with a cocoa content of at least 70%, can therefore be included in a varied and balanced diet, without excesses, to improve our physical health, of the heart, brain and blood vessels, but also our mental health, helping us to improving attention, concentration and cognitive function, as well as instilling good mood and vitality.