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Here's to a Healthier Brain! Bottoms Up!

Here's to a Healthier Brain! Bottoms Up!

A recent study proves something you’ve been wishing were true: Chocolate is good for you!

You heard right! Chocolate has been scientifically proven to boost blood flow to certain areas of the brain. It’s the flavanols in chocolate that make it so healthy, and the darker the chocolate the better. Flavanols can also be found in foods like red wine, green tea, and blueberries. But let’s get back to the business of discussing chocolate.

Scientists found that drinking a flavanol-rich cocoa drink increased the flow of blood to the brain for two to three hours. Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), these scientists were able to detect increased activity in specific areas of the brain in individuals who drank just one serving of the chocolaty drink. The activity is linked to dilation of blood vessels which allows more blood–and therefore more oxygen–to reach key areas of the brain. The result? Better performance at specific cognitive tasks, plus greater alertness.

Scientists are going to continue looking into how this information can be used to enhance brain performance for people battling fatigue (can you say everyone?) and sleep deprivation, and it may even fight the effects of aging! The study also suggests that chocolate may be helpful in treating vascular impairment (things like strokes and dementia), thereby maintaining cardiovascular health.

So the truth about chocolate is finally out. Eating (or even drinking!) chocolate can actually make us healthier and smarter. It’s important to choose the right chocolates, meaning those high in flavanols, like dark chocolate. So the next time you’re tired or unfocused, hit the dark chocolate instead of the coffee pot – your brain will thank you.