We’ve all fallen in love with the taste of chocolate from the first bite! From the ancient Aztecs to the modern civilian human, chocolate has been considered as one of the most delicious nutrients ever. The human’ love for chocolate made them consider the 7th of July as the international day of Chocolate.
Chocolate is sweet, and over-consumption of sweets is known to cause many health problems like obesity, heart diseases, blood sugar, and many other health issues … But wait, does that mean chocolate itself is bad for your health?
Happy to tell that the answer is NO. In fact, chocolate has dozens of benefits for your cognitive functions and your brain health! Let’s discover some of these chocolate-benefits and illustrate how great it is for your brain.
Not All Chocolates are Beneficial
Chocolate has a great number of beneficial properties. These properties come from +300 chemical compounds of the raw cocoa. In order for them to become edible, the raw cocoa beans go through a process of separating chocolate liquor and butter and then mixing them with plenty of sugar and milk.
The quantity of cacao to sugar and milk changes depending on the chocolate type. Milk sugar, for instance, has to have only 12% of cacao in it, white chocolate may even have less cacao content. Clark chocolate, on the other hand, is usually made with 70% or more of cacao content.
It is needless to talk about the effects of excess sugar consumption, and since chocolate contains sugar and milk, excess chocolate consumption may result in negative health conditions.
In fact, most of the problem that excess consumption of chocolate bring is coming from sugar and milk in it. Milk and chocolate and white chocolate, therefore; abolish the benefits that cocoa should have brought.
The benefits we are willing to discuss are based on the consumption of dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content.
The Chocolate Benefits for the Brain
We mentioned that cocoa is a rich nutrient with more than 300 different components! These components include antioxidants and natural neuro-productive chemicals. Moreover, chocolate includes Flavonal, which has been found to provide an instant boost to your brain. In addition to this, chocolate is rich in caffeine, Phenylethylamine, Anandamide, and Xanthine among others, that impact memory, cognition, focus, and mood.
Increase Blood Flow to the Brain
Flavonol is essential for the increase of blood and oxygen flow to many different areas in the brain. It also boosts cognitive performance through aiding the visual information processing, especially in demanding conditions such as sleep deprivation and fatigue.
This is why the consumption of chocolate is good if you were tired and sleepy during a time you want to be productive. Cocoa has been recently found to be effective in repairing brain functions in Dementia patients and old age-related brain issues.
Chocolate Improves Memory
Recently, the relationship between recall abilities and chocolate consumption has been found to be strong. Chocolate changes the brain wave frequency to one that is called gamma, and it is related (gamma) to the highest levels of cognitive functioning.
Moreover, the antioxidants in chocolate are able to enhance and cause an upsurge into the gamma frequency, especially the areas that are in charge of information processing and reasoning.
Chocolate is rich in psychoactive substances such as Caffeine and Xanthine and other similar chemicals. These substances are essential when it comes to increase alertness and readiness. This implies that chocolate consumption is effective in clearing your mind if you were fatigued or tired of work.
Many of the components of chocolate have a profound effect on the mood. Including Dopamine and Serotonin, chocolate enhances the flow of different neurotransmitters.
Dopamine is the responsible chemical of motivation and pleasure. Serotonin, on the other hand, is beneficial in calming and alleviating feelings of pain.
The chemical activities your brain allows after eating chocolate explains why we feel good during and after the consumption.
The myth that says chocolate causes obesity and diabetes cannot subside its numerous benefits. You only need to pay close attention to the ratio of added sugar and milk to the cocoa. As long as sugar and milk’s ratio is lower than 30%, you’re good.