Here we go again … chocolate for breakfast, mmm!

The chocolate is not just there for the flavor: there are many nutrients in that spoonful of cocoa. But take care to make sure you do not use dairy with it as that inhibits the absorption some of the nutrients by your body.

Heidi Godman, writing at Health.Harvard asks “Is Cocoa a Sweet Treat for the Brain?” (The short answer is yes!) Heidi says …

Italian researchers tested the effects of cocoa flavanols in 90 healthy 61- to 85-year-olds whose memories and thinking skills were in good shape for their ages. Participants drank a special brew of cocoa flavanols each day. One group’s brew contained a low amount of cocoa flavanols (48 milligrams [mg] a day), another’s contained a medium amount (520 mg), and the third’s contained a high amount (993 mg).

After eight weeks, people who consumed medium and high amounts of cocoa flavanols every day made significant improvements on tests that measured attention, executive function, and memory. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A similar study by these researchers published in 2012 showed that daily consumption of cocoa flavanols was associated with improved thinking skills in older adults who did have thinking problems, a condition called mild cognitive impairment. And both studies found that cocoa flavanols were associated with reduced blood pressure and improved insulin resistance.


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