In order to properly reign in #NationalChocolateDay … what could be better than A Study!
New research from Columbia University, which was published in Nature Neuroscience, indicates that high-flavanol COCOA actively rejuvenates specific brain activity, which can now be linked to reversing memory loss in older people! This discovery is due to the Chocolates ability to increase blood flow to the brain. In turn, this rejuvenation has been found to reverse age-related effects of memory loss in certain healthy adults in their 50’s to 60’s.
Scott A Small, is the lead author on this published work, a professor of neurology and the Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Center.
We know there is a direct link between age-related forgetfulness being caused by changes occurring in specific parts of the brain, but this has become the first piece of hard evidence linking memory decline reversal to changes in a patient’s diet. The study went a little something like this… 37 adults were given a special cocoa drink daily for three months… some drinks contained large quantities of Flavanols and others had nearly none! Tests conducted after the 3 month span showed that the grouping of patients consuming the high-Flavanol drink, had shown significant improvements in memory compared to their status at the inception of the study… in addition to improving the volume of blood in the dentate gyrus part of the brain.
Doctor Small goes onto explain how the brain of a typical 60 year old, had improved its proficiency and power an average of twenty years… so I know exactly what you are wondering… What Are Flavanols?!
Flavanol’s, which are found naturally in cocoa, tea and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables… Scientifically they employ coenzyme A esters and have a single active site to perform the necessary series of reactions, e.g. chain extension, condensation, and cyclization… So what does that mean in English? Flavanol’s are these naturally occurring antioxidants, commonly found in various types of plants! In addition, those antioxidant qualities have been found to be extremely important when maintaining a healthy body and Cacao Beans just happen to contain quite a significant amount of these compounds!
If you didn’t know… #NationalChocolateDay is celebrated every October 28, right in the knick of time for the holiday that celebrates all things sugary sweet treats! While there are many chocolate related holidays throughout the year, National Chocolate Day is a day to celebrate all things chocolate.
#YInsideScoop: Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma Cacao Tree, which has been cultivated for about three millennia, in fact the earliest known use of Cacao, takes us back to around 1100 BC! Cacao Seeds have quite the distinct and intense bitter taste, but once the seeds are fermented and processed they turn into those delicious delicacies we crave! The process goes a little something like this… Cacao Seeds are: dried, cleaned, roasted, de-shelled (leaving just the Cacao Nibs)… THEN the nibs are ground into cocoa mass which is liquefied and molded by adding a few other ingredients, in order to create a chocolate liquor. This liquor is then divided into two main components, which create cocoa solids and cocoa butter… and those are the ones that find their way into your tummy!
So maybe this just gives us Y’s a perfect excuse, as to why we should increase our Chocolate intake just a lil!