Epilepsy Talk

Chocolate for the brain? | September 14, 2022

Yes. You’ve got it.

If you don’t believe me, look at this statistic: places where chocolate consumption is highest have the most Nobel Prize recipients!

Here’s the deal…

A recent review analyzed the evidence to date that flavanols (found in dark chocolate and cocoa), may benefit human brain function.

In a study, young adults found that two hours after consuming dark chocolate (with high flavanol content), memory and reaction time were better.

And those taking a cocoa supplement with high flavanol content for three months had better performance on tests of memory than those assigned to take a low-flavanol cocoa supplement.

(As long as you choose a small amount of the quality stuff: Dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.)

You might want to check out this guide on how to find the best dark chocolate.

More good news…

Chocolate can make you happy. Because it’s s a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin, the neurotransmitter of happiness and positive mood.

Chocolate chases away the blues. According to a recent study, people who ate a small amount of dark chocolate during two 24-hour periods were 70% less likely to report symptoms of depression than those who ate no chocolate.

Chocolate elevates your mood. Dark chocolate especially enhances your body’s production of endorphins. These are some of the same neurochemicals the brain produces when you fall in love.

Chocolate relieves stress. Chocolate contains magnesium, which has been linked to aiding relaxation.

Chocolate improves focus and memory. With a small dose of caffeine, chocolate can improve concentration without pumping up your adrenaline.

Chocolate improves blood flow to the brain. Eating chocolate or drinking hot chocolate improved attention span and reaction time. It was especially found to be helpful when studying math.

Chocolate protects your brain. Antioxidants found in chocolate are credited with decreasing the risks of dementia and strokes.

No wonder everyone loves chocolate.

All of this is encouraging, but more research is needed, especially since most studies were relatively small.

(Do I have any volunteers in the audience?)

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
— Charles M. Schulz

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Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/your-brain-on-chocolate-2017081612179

https://bebrainfit.com/benefits-dark-chocolate/

https://www.exploratorium.edu/exploring/exploring_chocolate/choc_8.html

https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/6-proven-brain-benefits-of-chocolate/

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-chocolate-affects-your-brain-according-to-experts-21741675


12 Comments »

  1. I agree, it really does work.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Patti Kowalski — September 14, 2022 @ 3:47 PM

  2. You know when I have a seizure, I swear I just feel “bad” (even a bit depressed) or “off” or “not there” when the seizure is over. On the other hand, when I eat dark chocolate – the stuff in the 90 or above range – I just feel better. Never knew that dark chocolate could be doing some or all of what you pointed out in your research. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by George — September 14, 2022 @ 3:53 PM

  3. I eat three squares of 80% dark chocolate [low sugar] almost every day. But despite this, I still have not managed to earn a Nobel prize! Clearly I need to try harder.

    To be more serious, eating chocolate with blueberries and coffee (cappuccino in my case] is a great way to recover from exercising [cycling in my case] and is a definite mood elevator.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Michael H — September 14, 2022 @ 5:49 PM

  4. Wow. What a sweet article.
    I am impressed with the words “CHOCLATE AS A NEURO TRANSMITTER AND GIVES POSITIVE MOOD”. NO DOUBT IN THAT. FINE.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jmjalal65 — September 17, 2022 @ 11:33 AM

  5. Confirmed my suspicions about my liking for dark chocolate consumption

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jane Terry — September 17, 2022 @ 12:04 PM

    • No more “guilt”. 😉

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 17, 2022 @ 12:08 PM

      • Yes. Now to combine my milk chocolate lovers to cross over to the “dark”side.

        Thank you for the information and all your work

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Jane Terry — September 19, 2022 @ 12:57 PM

  6. You’ve got the right guy here! Been at it for 60 years since my mother gave me a few M&M’s. Had withdrawal anxiety this week. As many of us don’t drive, I had to wait for my wife to get to the grocery store! Seriously though, I eat only a little each day and over the years have weaned myself away from those chocolate items with a lot of sugar. Love the dark chocolate too. Note, too much protein in some chocolate items can be harmful. I learned this recently from blood test review with my doctor. We’ve made some adjustments.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Roy Anthony — September 22, 2022 @ 12:31 PM

    • The protein info is a news flash for me! Thanks.

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 22, 2022 @ 2:24 PM

      • More info: I was drinking 16g of Ensure Plus and eating 1/2 of a 20g protein bar each day (I stay physically active), both chocolate. No more Ensure Plus. Using only 1/4 of the bar now.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Roy Anthony — September 22, 2022 @ 3:42 PM


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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