Dark chocolate is made from the seeds of a cocoa tree and is a rich source of antioxidants. Most of the dark chocolate comes with sugary content nowadays.
Neglecting the sugary part, if we speak about the cocoa extracted part then there are a number of benefits especially for our brain
Dark chocolate contains a good amount of soluble fibers and is enriched with minerals. It has mixtures of iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc and selenium. All these minerals have proved to be beneficial for our brain. There is a very low amount of fat content in dark chocolate. It is also loaded with calories, sugar and a small amount of caffeine. All these substances stimulate the functioning of our brain and also provide us energy.
Dark chocolates are huge sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are biologically active compounds that include substances like polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. But in fact, cocoa and dark chocolate contain antioxidants which are more powerful than the above-mentioned ones. Antioxidants are more effective for the elderly. This is because as the brain ages, the nerve cells could not protect themselves from the highly reactive rogue compounds known as free radicals.
As a result, they lose their self-immunization power. This could be countered by antioxidants which forms a natural defense system for the nerve cells in the brain. They counteract the unstable molecules that comprise free radicals. So from the next time, you may gift dark chocolate to your grandparents which will please them as well as benefit their brain health. The presence of antioxidants in the brain also prevents the risk of falling prey to dementia with aging.
Boosts blood circulation to the brain
Most importantly, dark chocolate puts a positive effect on the functioning of the brain. It has been recently found out via research that consumption of cocoa that is rich in flavanol improves blood flow to the brain. It reduces the chances for a brain stroke and significantly improves verbal fluency. It also keeps control of several other risk factors. The presence of additional stimulants like caffeine and theobromine also helps in improving brain functioning in the short term. The brain functioning is improved as a result of good blood flow to the brain.
Eating dark chocolate leads to an increase in gamma frequency in the cerebral cortical region of our brain. Now, this particular area in our brain is involved with the function of memory and sensory processing. Thus dark chocolate can have a positive effect on neuroplasticity and behavioral characteristics of our brain. The amount of chocolate consumed should be kept on a check though because it has sugary contents as well. Around 35-45 grams of pure dark chocolate can really prove to be beneficial for your brain health.
Sparks positive thinking
It has also been found recently through research that dark chocolate can also enable positive thinking in your brain and thus keep you in a good mood. It gets rid of anxiety and depression and increases the feeling of calmness in our mind. This all happens from the benefit of polyphenols present in dark chocolate.
It also helps in cases of chronic fatigue. Moreover, it has been found to be beneficial for people suffering from hypertension. It also helps in the formation of new neurons, which are the brain cells and produces a good connection between them. Endorphins, which are also known as feel-good chemicals are produced in greater quantities by the consumption of dark chocolate. The presence of magnesium in dark chocolate helps in diminishing the stress in your mind.
It can be seen from the above-mentioned facts that how important dark chocolates could be for the organ which controls our body. Apart from this, dark chocolate helps in improving heart health, insulin secretion and provides skin benefits. The darker the chocolate is the higher will be its health benefits. This is because it would be richer in the important ingredients. But the ones that have the purest form and has the highest concentration of cacao in it would be the best for our brain health. 70% or more dark chocolate are found to be significantly good for the brain. There are several adulterated contents in the market, so do some research on the quality of dark chocolate before buying.
Emily Baldwin received her Master’s Degree from Morsani College of Medicine, practicing since 1999 in private practice in the Key West area. She now serves as a software manager focusing on health information exchange and collaboration markets. Also possess experience in transforming clinic operations through technology deployment and innovation, as well as offering diet, nutrition advice through her blog, and urine toxicology services for medical clients.