Every one of us loves a research that is conducted to support our vices – be it indulging into a chocolate binge whenever we feel like it or unsubstantiated claims that sugar may not be that much of an evil that we perceive as it is.
Let’s talk about chocolates today, let’s leave the sugar for now. And when we say chocolates, most Melbournian can relate to the sweet delights that are offered to us by Schoko Chocolates – our very own handmade premium chocolates, delivered to our doorsteps every time you decide to give yourself or your loved ones a special treat and, for a very reasonable price, I must add.
Now let’s get to the main talking points.
A peer-reviewed study is indeed telling us that there is a connection between eating chocolate and improving brain function, when consumed in moderation. Don’t get disheartened for not being able to binzing, at least you now know that your unconditional love for chocolates is justified and it was never one-sided, blind love – chocolates indeed give us something back.
The study concluded that our memory and cognitive ability of thinking gets boosted by those who reported more consumption of chocolates. The notable thing here is that these upshots found are not to be shaped by the catalysts like age, weight or other health parameters.
Before you start opening your bookmarked page for Schoko Chocolates and make an online purchase, let me remind you a few things. The study is a correlational study – meaning the study depicted an affiliation between subjects who described regular chocolate eating and better performances on tests programmed to highlight heightened brain function. It doesn’t necessarily tell us that the physical mechanisms or functioning of our brains directly improve by chocolate consumption. Other factors also have a saying in the scenario – factors like better diets or consuming less alcohol also help participating people to perform better cognitively. Sorry mates, this study won’t let you justify your 3pm chocolate binging.
The study – How It Was Carried Out?
The number of the participants was 968 and they were from the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. The subjects tackled questionnaires and took part in physical examinations conducted at different intervals. This enables the researchers to model the changes pertaining at ageing, the formation of heart diseases with cognitive performance.
At regular intervals, the participants described how they ate during the week. Their foods included a variety of items - with chocolate they had regular foods like fish, vegetables, fruits, meats, egg, bread, nuts etc and potables like tea, juices of fruit, carbonated beverages, coffee, water and alcohol.
The researchers drew a comparison between two groups – the first group consisted of 337 people who never or hardly ate chocolate and the second group had the rest of 631 people who consumed chocolate at least once a week.
A multitude of tests highlighting brain functions were given to the participants. They were asked to remember where stuff was (pointing out the efficiency of spatial memory). They were also told to unravel a few given phenomena using abstract reasoning and took help from the memory and put their attention to test. After the participants had completed the various cognitive tasks, the researchers dissected the relationships between chocolate uptake and subsequent performance of the participants.
The performances of the people with dementia were omitted. The reason is simple – dementia is a grievous cognitive impairment and it would skew the actual results of people who are free from dementia.
People who ate chocolate more than once a week performed better performances in most of the cognitive tests, especially in the visual-spatial memory and organization category. It was not clear if there was any relationship between working memory and eating chocolate.
Also noteworthy here is that the chocolate-eaters were less likely to have higher blood pressure or diabetes and had low levels of fasting blood glucose (indicative of pre-diabetes). Nevertheless, they showed higher level LDL (low-density lipoprotein) which usually equates to bad cholesterol and more often than not it is usually associated with egregious cardiovascular health.
And All That Means?
As we all know, chocolate is very often seen as the instigator for accumulating high amounts of sugar and fat contents in blood. But cocoa beans, which are the main and often the only ingredient used by Schoko Chocolates, actually have lots of compounds that work for improving the brain functions.
Particularly, cocoa has flavonoids, caffeine and theobromine which contain stimulants that ameliorate wakefulness and thus our brain functions are improved when we consume them. It is obvious that the quantities of these compounds are determined by the cocoa concentration. Dark chocolates and handmade premium chocolates from Schoko Chocolates are well-known for exposing the nuanced flavors of the cocoa bean which is their star ingredient to create chocolates that are not only mind-bending in taste but also are being proven scientifically beneficial for human anatomies.
Other Influencing Factors:
The chocolate-eating subjects usually reported to have more servings of vegetables, meats and overall better quality food choices with drinking less alcohol. This is indicative of overall better health regardless of their reporting of eating more chocolate.
Alcohol is a well-known influencer to belittle brain function, that’s why it could have a bearing on the non-chocolate-eating but also drinking-alcohol group. The researchers followed through this reflection by analyzing alcohol consumption individually and there was no association between drinking alcohol and the tests of brain function. Though it is suggestive of alcohol not having an effect on brain functions, however it indicates deviations in overall health and general well-being. And it is also suggestive of the power of chocolates to improve performances of our brain.
The cross-sectional nature of this type of study works better for revealing the correlation between food choices and overall health performed during a logical length of time. But correlation does not establish causation. To be fixated once and for all and also to remove the slimmest shred of doubt about the impact of chocolates especially cocoa beans on improving brain functions, scientists need to design careful experimental studies to ascertain the link between chocolate and cognitive health. And they also need to expose the mechanisms how cocoa does that in our brains.
But so far, what science is telling us is more than enough for me to invigorate my love for handmade chocolates. And to the best of my knowledge, it should all be enough for you to consume chocolates wisely.
Now, enjoy the gifts of God.