Cocoa flavanols… show positive impact on brain

It’s long been known that chocolate, when consumed in moderate quantities, can be beneficial for your health. Now it has been demonstrated that chocolate, and in particular the cocoa flavanols in it, also have a positive impact on brain performance. In other words, a regular intake of cocoa flavanols, which can be found in high flavanol cocoa and chocolate, will help a person’s brain function more efficiently. This was shown in an independent study by Professor Andrew Scholey and Con Stough from the Center for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in Australia.

What are Flavanols?

Flavanols are a type of flavonoids, a group of secondary phytonutrients with antioxidant qualities found in food such as grapes, red wine, apples and both green and black teas. High levels of cocoa flavanols are present in cocoa and products containing cocoa. Studies have suggested that flavonoids and flavanols in particular, can have many health benefits when consumed regularly. Some effects have already been shown throughout the years, but new areas of benefit are still being researched and discovered as we speak.

This article is available in full in the Spring 2012 issue of Nutraceuticals Now