#167- Reach for the Chocolate!

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Based on research by Montopoli, M., Stevens, L., Smith, C. (2015), written by Mara Rowcliffe, BS.

Chocolate has been known as the food for Gods and a gift of love, but does eating chocolate have benefits besides being a delicious treat?

Previous research suggests chocolate widens blood vessels, lowers blood pressure long term, and contains mild stimulants. Psychologist. Larry Stevens with colleagues at North Arizona University, collaborating with a mathematician from Western Arizona College, conducted a study to examine the stimulant effects of eating chocolate containing 60% cacao in comparison with, low (0%) cacao chocolate, drinking sugar water, or plain water. After eating 60% cacao chocolate or drinking one of the types of water or low 0% cacao, participants’ blood pressure, brain activity, and mood were measured before and after a 60-min digestion period. Results revealed for those participants who ate 60% cacao chocolate, their brain activity showed increased levels of alertness and attention. Their blood pressure did increase, but only for a short time period. No mood changes were found.

So if you need a quick pick me up to improve your attention and alertness and it’s too close to bedtime for any caffeine, grab a piece of high cacao chocolate!

 

References:

Montopoli, M., Stevens, L., Smith, C., Montopoli, G., Passino, S., Brown, S., Camou, L.,      Carson, K., Maaske, S., Knights, K., Gibson, W., Wu., J. (2015). The acute electrocortical and blood pressure effects of chocolate. NeuroRegulation.

 

 

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