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Wine, Tea, and Chocolate Improve Brain Performance

Updated on December 10, 2011

Wine, Tea, and Chocolate Improve Brian Performance

A study from December 2008 shows that wine, tea and chocolate all enhance cognitive performance.

The Study

A team of researchers from Oxford’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics in Norway examined the relationship between three common food items (wine, tea and chocolate) and cognitive performance in 2,031 older people (between the ages of 70 and 74).

The participants were asked to fill in information about their habitual food intake and then underwent a battery of cognitive test. Those who consumed wine, tea and chocolate had significantly better mean tests scores and lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance that those who did not. The findings were reported in the Journal of Nutrition.

This role of micronutrients in age-related cognitive decline is now being increasingly studied. Beverages such as tea, red wine, cocoa, and coffee are major dietary sources of polyphenols - micronutrients found in food derived from plants. Flavonoids are the largest subclass of dietary polyphenols, and it has been reported previously that those who consume lots of flavonoids have a lower incidence of dementia.

These recent findings seem to support the theory, but the researchers caution that more research would be needed to prove that it was flavonoids, and not some other aspect of the foods studied, that made the difference. The beverage with the most pronounced effect was wine.

Moderation is Key

This does not mean that overdoing it is okay. While moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better cognitive function and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, heavy alcohol intake on the other hand may be one of the causes of dementia - and other health problems. Moderation is the key.

Further, a few squares of dark chocolate a day may stave off hardening of the artery in smokers and could potentially curb the risk of serious heart disease. It must be dark chocolate which is also more filling than milk chocolate and reduces cravings.

Buying Chocolate

When buying bar chocolate or cocoa powder consider buying fair trade; look for the Fair Trade Certified by TransFair USA. The label insures that the workers who harvest and process cocoa beans are paid a living wage and are protected from the use of harmful pesticides.

Also consider chocolate products that have the USDA organic label, or are organic.

For more information about the healthy benefits of dark chocolate, see the links below!


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    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you AnkushKohli! We just have to remember it is dark chocolate that is healthy and then we will also naturally eat less because of the high cocoa content.

    • AnkushKohli profile image

      Ankush Kohli 6 years ago from India

      I always loved chocolates but since childhood i was told it's not good for our teeth. I may have certain reservation for wine but chocolate is definitely one to tried out.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for writing Gerty Hattingh!

    • profile image

      Gerty Hattingh 8 years ago

      Simply click on my name and receive a free e-book about Healthy Chocolate. There's a lot of good info that you would love. Enjoy you day.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hi BeatsMe!

      As long as it is the real thing it all seems to be healthful - dark chocolate as opposed to milk, freshly ground arabica, instead of the robusta beans which are sold ground on the super market shelf, and wine in moderation.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 8 years ago

      Wow. It's amazing what alcohols can do. They can be helpful and harmful, huh. Nice hub. I took a look at it because of chocolates. I guess, coffee and chocolates are good for health, without the sugar. But then, they wouldn't be fun without sugar. ;)

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you for the info Gerty Hattingh!

      I can share your recommendation. I'm sure I saw Xocal in the health food stores and I will certainly try it!

      This is big news and I thank you!

    • profile image

      Gerty Hattingh 8 years ago

      I LOVE chocolate. So much that when Xocai Healthy Chocolate was launched in SA, I was one of the first 100 that registered even 2 months before we could receive our product. It simply is devine! I am now so spoiled that I can't eat ordinary chocolate any more... my husband confirmed it this weekend. He told me that the chocolate we used to eat tastes like plastic compared to Xocai.


      Gerty Hattingh

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Sounds good to me Princessa. Time to celebrate 'anything' with wine and chocolate!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      This is what I call good news. Another reason to keep having a glass of red wine and a square of black chocolate.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Will check your AC article justmesuzanne.

      So true Denny Lyon - moderation and balance - what a great way to live!

    • Denny Lyon profile image

      Denny Lyon 8 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

      This hub really works for me! :) Blogging this on over to my chocolate blog as chocolate people always enjoy a little validation from time to time! Come to think of it this would be a good fit for my healing blog too, especially like it you talk about moderation as moderation in most things brings balance - what is healing but a restoration to balance.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      I enjoy pure 2 oz. of dark chocolate and a cup of strong coffee every morning and have for years. It boosts mid-brain seratonin levels and increases endorphins.

      You may enjoy my article:

      Honoring Your Sweet Tooth & Gaining Health

      It is important to note that the benefits a person could get from wine could also be gotten from high quality, pure grape juice. The alcohol has nothing to do with it.

      Nice HUB!

      Thanks! :)

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hi VioletSun - I think it's time for a wine, tea and chocolate party! Maybe with some coffee and cocoa thrown in. Mmmmmmm.

      Oh, and lots more restaurants and coffee shops here in the city. All we do is eat and drink and eat!!!!!

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I liked to read this! I drink several cups of tea everyday sprinkled with cinammon, must have my tea in the morning or else I won't feel settled; love chocolate, and have wine with lunch or dinner when I go out at least once or twice a month at the most; its my only real indulgence nowadays, (way different from my New York life) the going out to a restaurant. Good to receive confirmation again, I am not doing so bad with nutrition, sometimes I feel guilty when I don't eat properly. And, yes, modaration is the key.