The benefits of physical exercise on health are well established … Even if we sometimes wonder if they are for the brain! And if you were told that chocolate is more effective than sports for increasing brain performance, what will you choose: an hour’s walk or a chocolate bar? Let’s try to clarify this.
A recent study by researchers at New York University and Columbia University shows that flavanols from cocoa powder improve blood flow in an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in the development of memory. If you think that this theory seems too good to be true, you are certainly right nevertheless, some aspects of this study are interesting.
Various doses of flavanols were distributed to study participants. These doses were taken for a period of three months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that participants who received a high dose of flavanols had higher memory performance scores than other participants.
Concerns about the study
Small downside: this study shows that the sport has no effect on the participants, which is a very questionable aspect. In addition, participants consumed a product that was specifically developed for the purpose of this study and contained about 1 g of flavanols. Namely that a hundred grams of cocoa powder contains only 100 mg of flavanols.
This study actually shows that you need to consume about 20 kg of chocolate every day to get the amount of flavanols consumed by the participants. Which means that eating chocolate can actually boost the brain, but on the other hand it will deteriorate the general state of health.
Other scientific research on the effects of chocolate shows that consuming small amounts of chocolate daily can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The best thing to stay healthy is to adopt a healthy lifestyle based on regular physical activity and a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. And eating a chocolate bar every day is far from detrimental to health! It helps reduce stress and improves brain function.