Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that help the body to prevent disease, but did you know the cacao in dark chocolate can also aid in cognitive development. The study, undertaken by Loma Linda University, has shown that there are amazing health benefits of concentrated cacao.
The more concentrated the chocolate, the more beneficial for the body, the researchers reveal. The first study was carried out on five individuals who avoided high-antioxidant foods 2 days prior to the study.
The subjects then consumed 48g of dark chocolate enriched in cacao (over 70%) every day for over a week. After consumption, blood samples and total RNA assays were taken where researchers observed a boosted T-Cell activation, immune response and a trigger in genes associated with neural signal and sensory perception, which are linked to the brain being more receptive to learning new skills and improved memory, also known as hyperelasticity.
Study number two was carried out amongst five other individuals given 48g (70% concentration) consuming almost 50g of dark chocolate. Electrodes were placed at nine different regions on the brain measuring electroencephalography response, both a half hour and two hours after eating the chocolate. What was observed was from the subjects was a boosted neuroplasticity in areas of the brain linked with behavioural and brain health.
Overall, the researchers found that the higher the concentration of cacao, the greater the impact on the cognitive memory, mood and immunity.
What an amazing find! Dark chocolate would be a good compliment to our patches in an overall healthy lifestyle.