Chocolate Is Useful to Our Brains!
Chocolate is extremely beneficial to the mood and mental functions:
Chocolate contains cocoa which has marked effects in improving the mood. This effect is noticed when consumed under emotional stress. Its consumption relieves stress and depression and elevates the mood. In addition, flavonoids in cocoa preserve cognitive functions during aging when tested in rats, lower the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease and has protective effects against stroke in humans.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an increased activity in specific areas of the brain in individuals after consuming a single drink of cocoa. The effect is explained by the action of flavanols content in cocoa through dilatation of cerebral blood vessels, improving blood supply, and allowing more oxygen to reach the important areas of the brain.
Flavanols (including catechins and epicatechins) are some of the numerous elements in cocoa possessing enhancing effects on the brain. They are not only found in chocolate with a high cocoa content. They are also present in other substances such as red wine, green tea, and blueberries.
The beneficial effects of consuming cocoa beverage on cerebral blood flow give a chance for certain food ingredients (including pure dark chocolate) to be used in increasing brain blood flow and enhancing brain function when cognitive functions are impaired. This includes fatigue, sleep deprivation, and aging.
How eating chocolate improves your brain function?
Eating chocolate releases several neurotransmitters that have positive effects on human feelings (so, they make people feel happy). One of these is phenylethylamine, which resembles amphetamines and is sometimes called “the love drug” because it arouses feelings similar to that of falling in love. It causes alertness, a degree of excitement, quickening of the pulse rate and makes you happy
Serotonin is another neurotransmitter, well known as happiness hormone and improves the mood. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, a chemical that causes the release of serotonin into the brain.
''Anandamide'' is one of the fats contained in chocolate and activates a receptor which causes dopamine production. Dopamine causes a feeling of intense pleasure that is associated with being in a high mood.
Finally, eating chocolate releases endorphins into the brain. Endorphins are known to decrease levels of both stress and pain.
Chocolate improves cognition and fights aging:
Flavanols (in chocolate) consumption in elderly people improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile. Cocoa powder in pure (dark) chocolate, which has no added sugar and is rich in flavanols is thus a powerful enhancer to the brain.
Cocoa extracts may beneficially influence cognitive decline, such as in Alzheimer Disease (AD). Epicatechin flavonoid improves spatial memory and increases vasculature in mice. Consuming cocoa or chocolate is thus having profound effects on behavior and cognition. They also promote healthy brain aging.
Daily consumption of cocoa flavanols improves mental functions, thinking, and memory in older adults suffering from mild cognitive impairment and have thinking problems.
Cocoa flavanols produce these beneficial effects on the brain by reducing blood pressure and improving insulin resistance. This suggests a role of endothelial function (lining of blood vessels) and glucose sensitivity in improving the cognitive functions and memory.
Thus, it's possible to recommend the future developments of cocoa extracts as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Cocoa in chocolate is rich in magnesium:
Cocoa is useful to brain health and relief of anxiety and depression. Thanks to its rich content of magnesium, an important mineral essential for normal brain functioning.
The mechanism of magnesium function in the brain was studied. Magnesium ions are the guards between NMDA (short for N-methyl D aspartate) nervous receptors and the cell membranes. These neuro-receptors are responsible for both short-term and long-term memory. Inadequate magnesium causes inability to block the free flow of ions, cell death and problems related to short- and long-term memories affection.
Magnesium is affecting to relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Depression.
This occurs through the regulation of excessive cortisol during stress. Magnesium helps to reduce the release of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) which controls cortisol levels. Magnesium has a direct effect on the function of the transport of protein p-glycoprotein and can influence the access of corticosteroids to the brain. All of these systems are involved in the process of stress and depression.
Eat chocolate before doing exercise:
Consumption of a high flavanol cocoa enhances the effects of exercise on executive function. A single dose of cocoa flavonoids (as eating dark chocolate) before exercise allows the improvement of working memory, reasoning, task flexibility and problem-solving. All aspects of cognitive function are improved.
Benefits of dark chocolate:
Antioxidant flavonoids (polyphenols) neutralize free radicals (on eating chocolate) by inhibiting processes responsible for diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer.
Chocolate is now known as "the new anti-anxiety drug. It contains anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and anxiety and produces a sensation of happiness.
The chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine that increase level s of physical energy, mental alertness and lowers the blood pressure in women
Studies showed that consuming one-and-a-half ounces of dark chocolate every day for 2 weeks reduced stress hormone levels. This significantly improves the mood, relieves anxiety, and allows better brain functions.
Notice that milk chocolate does not have the same healthy effect as pure dark chocolate, because milk often prevents absorption of polyphenols (flavonoids).
Epicatechin, a flavonoid in dark chocolate, has a protective effect on the brain after suffering from a stroke. Acting by increasing cellular signals that protect nerve cells from damage.
Chocolate consumption improves the performance of all types of brain-powered tests. These include working memory, abstract thinking, visual memory. Thus more frequent chocolate consumption makes your brain even sharper.
Eating chocolate after sleep deprivation improves cognitive function, an effect benefits awaking persons especially for women!
Cocoa consumption relieves the exhaustion sensation and fatigue in patients suffering insomnia (sleep deprivation) and also benefits in conditions of work shifts.