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General NewsTasty and healthy, too!

November 1, 2014

A daily dose of epicatechin.

A daily dose of epicatechin.

Photographer: Garnet Templin-Imel

Chocolate is oh so tasty, and it can be healthy, too. A new study shows that eating chocolate improves some types of memory skills in healthy people from 50-69. This is sweet news, especially for older people.

Chocolate contains cocoa powder, and cocoa powder has antioxidants or plant compounds called cocoa flavanols. Researchers believe a type of cocoa flavanol, epicatechin, is responsible for increasing blood circulation, heart health, and memory.

In the study from “Nature Neuroscience,” 37 volunteers drank a special concentrated beverage with cocoa flavanols developed by the huge chocolate company Mars. The participants who drank the mixture with a high amount of flavanols for only three months did 25% better on memory tests than the ones who drank the low-flavanol mixture. The memory tests included pattern recognition, such as remembering faces.

But there is a problem for people who want to try to improve their memory by eating chocolate. The participants in the study with high cocoa flavanol drinks consumed 138 milligrams of epicatechin daily. To get the same dose outside of the study, a person would need to eat seven dark chocolate bars everyday. This would mean eating a lot of extra fat and calories. And drinking regular hot cocoa/chocolate is also not an option. The processing of cocoa powder can kill off flavanols.

Scientists do not understand why chocolate improves memory. Some think it improves blood flow to the brain. Another guess is that it may cause neurons in the brain to increase. To answer these and other questions, a longer study with more participants is being planned.

But, in the meantime, eat a piece of chocolate and enjoy its taste and health benefits.


Published November 2014

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Comments (6)

 

  1. Amna says:

    The dark chocolate helps to save the memory.
    The dark chocolate is healthy but I don’t liked.

  2. Maryam says:

    I have never listen about this chocolate.
    It’s healthy.

  3. Mariam says:

    The chocolate very bad in your body .
    But now chocolate no bad .

  4. Meera says:

    A dark chocolate is healthy

  5. Ayesha khamis says:

    Cocoa health

  6. Abeer Sultan says:

    Piece of chocolate enough to have a tasty and healthy benefits.

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