Friday, February 27, 2015

Habitual chocolate users perform better

“Cocoa products are particularly rich sources of flavonoids, although this is influenced by the processing during manufacture (19). Due to a high antioxidant capacity, cocoa products have been promoted as having several beneficial properties (mainly cardiovascular). Even very modest consumption of chocolate may significantly contribute to total polyphenol intake (38). However, a recent clinical trial (39) did not find any beneficial effects of short-term (6 wk) dark chocolate and cocoa consumption on cardiovascular outcomes or on neuropsychological tests. In our study, we found that habitual chocolate users performed better in all cognitive tests and had significantly reduced risk for poor test performance in most tests, whereas the mean intake of chocolate among users was as little as <8 g/d. Moreover, a maximum beneficial effect on cognitive performance was gained at a mean intake of chocolate of ∼10 g/d. The real effect of polyphenols in chocolate may be even stronger, because not all chocolates are equally good sources of flavonoids and the type of chocolate consumed was not specified in our study. In the US and Europe, milk chocolate is the most popular form, but this contains less cocoa mass than dark chocolate and therefore contains fewer polyphenols (40).”

Must be dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. I use Hershey’s 100% cocoa with the brown label, not red.

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