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Dark chocolate reduces stress in humans, according to a new study



I know, I know – we are so used to seeing research claim that chocolate is "good for us", that it hardly feels like news any time a new newsletter is published. But this is worth checking out: after two new studies, dark chocolate can reduce stress and improve your memory – and in particular, this research did not find that the results correlated with the sugar content of chocolate. It focused specifically on the concentration of cocoa, with the researchers finding that the results are indeed very encouraging.

We have long known that cocoa is a potent source of flavonoids, which LiveScience describes as a type of phytonutrient found in most fruits and vegetables. As antioxidants, flavonoids have an anti-inflammatory effect on the human body and bring with them a considerable number of benefits for our immune system; In fact, flavonoid-rich diets are associated with the prevention of cancer and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. And with cocoa that contains the amount of flavonoids … well, you can see how previous research has drawn a line between chocolate consumption and those health benefits.

The current research, which was presented at the 201

8 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California this week, is remarkable because it is "the first time we look at the effects of large amounts of cocoa in such small doses as one regular candy bars in people for short or long periods, "according to researchers Lee S. Berk from the School of Allied Health Professions and Loma Linda University, according to Science Daily. Previously, so Berk, "we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content" – that is, "the more sugar [there is] the happier we are." However, current results show that it is not just the sugar in the chocolate that plays here: Said Berk, "These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cocoa, the more positive the effects on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other positive effects. " 19659002] According to the results, the chocolate you consume must have a cocoa percentage of at least 70 percent to get the benefits. In the first study, cocoa consumption was found to be "[up-regulate] multiple intracellular signaling pathways involved in T cell activation, cellular immune response, and genes involved in the sensory perception of neural signals." Percent Cocoa "Improves Neuroplasticity for Behavioral and Cerebral Benefits" Overall, the results suggest that regular consumption of 70 percent cocoa can strengthen the immune system, improve memory, and reduce stress.

Of course, as Vox noted in October, a good deal of chocolate research was actually funded by Chocolate Companies so the health benefits of candy might well have been crowded and over-inflated over the years. Although the flavonoids contained in cocoa may have some positive effects on certain systems in the human body, chocolate is still sweets, so perhaps it's not the best way to call them "healthy." This does not mean that legitimate research on what Vox calls "high quality cocoa science" is not worthwhile. on the other hand. As the Harvard nutritional research center JoAnn Manson said, "[Cocoa] has looked promising in small randomized controlled trials and observational trials, so it's worth moving on to larger and randomized controlled trials." Research is being conducted, it is still worth taking the knowledge with a grain of salt.

In addition, the quality of the chocolate in question plays a role. As chocolatier Jacques Torres said on CNBC's "On the Money" in March 2018, "Dark chocolate can be good for you, and if I can say it's what kind of dark chocolate you eat." Chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa – at least 50, but compared to 70, as current research shows – and a low concentration of sugar is the best solution to take advantage of health benefits.

But, you know what? It's A-OK if you are not even interested in the potential health benefits of chocolate. If you just want to eat it because it's a tasty reward, go ahead. Are you doing? Live the chocolate life.


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