A study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences has revealed something quite counterintuitive about chocolate, one of the world’s most prized ‘high-fat’ foods. This strangely medicinal ‘sweat treat,’ which ironically you find in the candy aisle at the pharmacy, improved markers of cardiovascular disease, including the reduction of belly fat, and only after one week of consumption.
Katharine Hepburn reportedly said of herself, “What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” Inspired, we broke that down into hours, weeks, months and years. Here’s what a fix can do….
Within 90 minutes…your neurons are humming.
One way in which scientists test for alertness and mental stamina is by asking their subjects to do math in their head — counting down by 3s and 7s, for instance — tasks so tedious they’re prescribed for insomnia. But 90 minutes after people drank cocoa, they rattled off correct numbers, found a study at the U.K.’s Northumbria University. Credit goes to flavanol, a plant antioxidant that has been found to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow in the brain. How much flavanol you get depends on origin, harvesting and processing, says one of the study’s authors, Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, PhD. The most flavanol-rich options are usually the darkest and bitterest, like cocoa powder and baking chocolate. To match the study’s cognitive sweet spot, she says, we’d need roughly 7 grams of special, enriched high-flavanol cocoa powder or a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar with at least 70-percent-cocoa content. (The cocoa powder in the study was CocoaPro; it’s in CocoaVia and Dove Dark Chocolate products.) (more…)
A new study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences has revealed something quite counterintuitive about chocolate, one of the world’s most prized ‘high-fat’ foods. This strangely medicinal ‘sweat treat,’ which ironically you find in the candy aisle at the pharmacy, improved markers of cardiovascular disease, including the reduction of belly fat, and only after one week of consumption. (more…)
The brain is without question the most important, and yet least understood, of all the parts of the body. It controls every major function performed by the body, and its correct functioning is undoubtedly one of the crucial parts of having successful and happy life. However, due to the complexity of the brain, there are many things that can go wrong with it, and there are also many lifestyle factors that influence its performance. Food is one of the primary factors in optimizing brain function and preventing brain disease, and yet many people are unaware of exactly what foods they should be eating for these purposes.
Here is a list of the ten best brain foods, and why they work. (more…)
Today’s Dear Mark post touches on a concept that many of us have pondered: the perfect food. That is, does such a thing even exist? What with phytates, lectins, easily-absorbed fat-soluble vitamins, allergenic proteins, and all the rest, it sometimes seems like every good food has a crippling downside. If you read too many health and nutrition blogs that delve into these relatively arcane topics (my own not necessarily excluded!), it often feels like you can’t eat anything at all without risking some horrible illness, deficiency, or excess. (more…)
Isn’t it amazing that people instinctively gravitate toward what’s healthy for them unless their instincts have been manipulated by false advertising? Apparently we’ve been hardwired to seek out chocolate – the average American eats more than 11 pounds of it a year, and only 4 percent of people say they don’t like it. Science keeps discovering more reasons to support this grand design of nature’s. The latest finding shows cocoa may prevent intestinal pathologies including colon cancer. (more…)
A group of researchers from the University of Hull and the Hull York Medical School have found that dark chocolate has significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. According to the study published recently in Diabetic Medicine, HDL (high density lipoprotein), or ‘good’ cholesterol, is improved and overall cholesterol balance is enhanced when patients consume 45g of dark chocolate each day. (more…)
The possible health benefits of cocoa polyphenols may be linked to their anti-inflammatory potential, suggests data from a human study from the University of Barcelona, Spain. Consuming 40 grams of polyphenol-rich cocoa powder was associated with a significant reduction in the activation of a protein called NF-kappaB (NF-kB), which is known to play a key role in some inflammatory pathways. (more…)
Cocoacontains a compound that boosts the positive effects of endurance exertion. Researchers at the University of California gave (-)-epicatechin to mice that walked fast for half an hour a day on a treadmill and observed that the mice’s stamina increased dramatically. So does cocoa boost the effectiveness of condition training? (more…)