Revealing How Dark Chocolate is Good for You
How Dark Chocolate is Good for You
A study was done on the effects of eating dark chocolate by a professor of psychological sciences at North Arizona University named Larry Stevens. Stevens and his colleagues studied the effects of eating chocolate, specifically on attentional characteristics of the brain. It was also found to lower blood pressure and bring peace to the brain. The study was published in the Journal NeuroRegulation and takes a close look at how dark chocolate is good for you. The Hershey Company funded the study.
Using electroencephalography (also called EEG technology) to measure brain activity, researchers examined 122 people between the ages of 18-25 and the effects of eating 60% cacao chocolate. First brain activity was measured before eating chocolate and then again after five minutes of time had passed, and then an hour. According to results the 60% cacao chocolate not only boosted the brain’s alertness and attentiveness, it increased blood pressure for a short time. There was, however, an instant drop in blood pressure found in people who ate chocolate that was added with the amino acid L-theanine. This amino acid is found in green tea and has been proven to calm brain waves. L-theanine proved to be a solution for the elevated levels of blood pressure after a person consumed chocolate. Thus, chocolate with L-theanine would not induce the short-term hypertensive effects which chocolate ordinarily causes. Even in the long run, however, chocolate is recognized as a vasodilator as it lowers blood pressure and widens blood vessels. Professor Stevens discovered that there is the possibility of making a heart healthy chocolate that contains L-theanine and a high quantity of cacao.
Researchers have discovered how dark chocolate is good for you. It can help individuals pay attention, lower blood pressure, and it will be good for the heart. As time goes on there is more and more evidence suggesting the health benefits of chocolate. The new potential recipe for a healthier chocolate hasn’t been put on the market just yet but with a little more time and research it could become a reality.
A meta-analysis done at a previous time had also conducted a study of cocoa throughout a period of two weeks. The research found that cocoa can lead to remarkable decreases in both diastolic and systolic pressure. This essentially means all-cause mortality had an 8% decrease, coronary heart disease had a reduction of 10%, and strokes saw a decrease by 20%. Another study looking at 470 elder men revealed that those who had eaten approximately 2.3 grams of cocoa powder a day over the course of five years generally had remarkably lower blood pressure. All of the information related to a 45-50% reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause risk. These vasodilation effects are likely related to an increase in nitric acid which is a result of cacao flavanols.
It was already known, according to the Cleveland Clinic, that the antioxidants and flavonoids which exist in chocolate help to repair and defend cellular damage. The implementation of L-theanine could, however, transform chocolate’s role in cardiovascular disease. Until this chocolate is perfected and sold on the market people can eat dark chocolate and enjoy better attention spans.
Dr. Lam’s Adrenal Fatigue Perspective on the Stages of Adrenal Fatigue:
For many with adrenal fatigue, cognitive function is impaired. Brain fog is a common complaint for sufferers. Along with other symptoms that affect mental health such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks, these make it difficult to concentrate and focus attention. These problems will not go away completely, but it seems adding a small bit of chocolate to diet can improve attention and alleviate some of these symptoms.
Now, it is important to note that the study was done with dark chocolate with 60% cacao. Much of the commercially available chocolate has a vastly lower cacao percentage, and have a much larger proportion of condensed milk and refined sugar. This kind of chocolate is not recommended as the refined sugar especially can have detrimental effects on metabolic health, can end up stressing the body and cause adrenal crashes. The proper adrenal fatigue recovery diet should cut out as many such simple sugars as possible.
Also be aware that for sufferers with advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, cacao can be too stimulatory and may itself trigger adrenal crashes. So keep in mind how dark chocolate is good for you and can be a great addition to a balanced recovery diet, but only when the body is strong and the adrenals well healed. Otherwise, it is best to avoid.
Source: Journal of NeuroRegulation 2015