In Honor of Brain Awareness Month…

…we want to blow your mind! ‘Cause when it comes to cocoa flavanols and their positive impact on brain health, there is LOTS to think about…

Cocoa Flavanols Reduce the Risk of Stroke!

A review article published in Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association, titled “Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa and Risk of Stroke” found that chocolate consumption is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. In fact, results from five prospective epidemiological studies (four from Europe and one from the United States) showed a significant 19% lower risk of stroke when comparing the highest with the lowest category of chocolate consumption. Cocoa flavanols are thought to reduce the risk of stroke by improving vascular function, exerting neuroprotective effects and reducing inflammation.

Cocoa Flavanols Reduce Stress and Boost Mood!

More good brain news – a recent study published in the journal Antioxidants showed a 29% reduction in cortisol levels (‘the stress hormone’ found in our adrenal glands) after four weeks of high-flavanol dark chocolate (500mg of cocoa flavanols) daily! Another study, this one at Swinburne University, revealed that daily consumption of cocoa flavanols increased calmness and contentedness relative to a placebo group. And, in a recent survey of 2,000 American women, 85% reported that chocolate makes them happy.

Cocoa Flavanols Boost Cerebral Blood Flow!

Blood flow to the brain is important for all aspects of brain function. It’s how your body delivers critical oxygen, glucose, and other key nutrients. In fact, your brain consumes 50% of the glucose and 20% of the oxygen available in your body. Multiple controlled trials have shown significant improvements in cerebral blood flow with cocoa flavanols, including a study out of Harvard showing a meaningful 10% increase after only two weeks of consuming 450mg of cocoa flavanols daily!

Cocoa Flavanols Enhance Cognition and Memory in Young and Old!

Research at top medical institutions around the world has shown that consumption of cocoa flavanols enhances cognition across a range of ages and study periods. Noteworthy trials range from a single day study in young adults showing improved performance during a highly effortful cognitive test, to a three month trial with baby boomers at Columbia University showing a remarkable benefit in the speed of memory recall. Daily cocoa flavanol consumption in studies demonstrating cognitive and memory benefits have generally ranged between 500mg and 1,000mg.