Good news chocolate fans. It actually has health benefits. But, before you raid the Hershey factory searching for a photographic memory, there are some caveats. Not all cocoa flavonoids are created equal. You can’t just destroy a case of Hershey and expect to photographic memory. Limitless, diabetes style.
The study is out from Columbia University. It linked the flavonoids from cocoa plants and their ability to fight age-related cognitive decline. Talk about a nice study to be a part of. Here, drink some chocolate. And I get paid for this? Sounds like an American study.
Participants were divvied into two groups. One received a drink containing 900mg of flavonoids. The second group drew the short straw, getting a 10mg flavonoid cocoa drink. Outcome? The drink containing 900mg of flavonoids had a greater impact on health. Too much of a good thing is actually good for you in this case.
Researchers were quick to point out the drinks they mixed up were not the same as chocolate. So no, chocolate doesn’t beat back dementia. The issue with the cocoa flavonoids and chocolate is the processing. Processing chocolate removes the majority of the healthy flavonoids. The diabetes risk stays standard as a feature.
If you are looking for chocolate that keeps the highest concentration of flavonoids, you are going to have to give up your milk chocolate love. You know, the kind that actually tastes good.
Dark chocolate is the winner here, for those looking for health benefits. A 100g bar packs 500-2000mg of the flavonoids. Before you reach for the bar, there’s a drawback there too. Each bar can pack up to 60mg of caffeine and 500 calories. Maybe you will remember to hit the gym after you eat it.
Regardless, if researchers can extract the flavonoids, they could come up with powders to get around the calorie count. Plus, you can get flavonoids from a variety of teas, vegetables and fruits.
The study is published in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience.