Now, Can I Remember Where I Put the Dark Chocolate? By Mrs Vera West
Continuing our health and fitness series, with a focus on the older citizen, chocolate has been reported to have numerous cardio-vascular benefits, but now it has been found that chocolate actually helps relieves stress and improves memory:
“New research shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate. Findings from two studies being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. While it is well known that cacao is a major source of flavonoids, this is the first time the effect has been studied in human subjects to determine how it can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health. Lee S. Berk, DrPH, associate dean of research affairs, School of Allied Health Professions and a researcher in psychoneuroimmunology and food science from Loma Linda University, served as principal investigator on both studies.
“For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content -- the more sugar, the happier we are,” Berk said. “This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings. These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects.”
I do not want to plug for any brand of chocolate, but I notice that both Coles and Woolies, almost every week, have a special on a number of brands of dark chocolate, right up to the grand one of 90 percent cocoa. The sugar content of one brand is about 1.3 grams per serving, which is not too bad at all compared to other foods like bread. And, have you ever looked at the sodium content of most commercial breads? It’s sky high. Thus, for a snack, I will have a square of dark chocolate, slowing sucking it. Suddenly the world seems to be a better place, at least until the chocolate is gone. And, then …