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Friday, December 12, 2014

More Good News About Eating Chocolate

More Good News About Eating Chocolate (photo by LivligaHome.com).

For those of us who work hard to keep on top of what we eat, work out regularly and stay abreast of the current health news, here is some welcome information. It is more good news about chocolate. I found this in the November 14, 2014 issue of The Week and thought it was an important morsel to share...especially at this time of year when temptation lurks around every corner and every once in a while we just have to give in! As for me, I am baking another batch of Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies in celebration of the news. I plan on wrapping most of them up to give to friends and family. Honest. And yes, I plan on remembering I wrote that! Here is what I found out:

Eating chocolate has long been known to improve mood and increase blood flow, but new research indicates it may have an even bigger benefit: reducing age-related memory loss. The key ingredient, reports LATimes.com, is epicatechin, a flavanol found in cocoa beans. In a small study, researchers looked at two groups of healthy individuals ages 50 to 69. Half were given a daily drink that contained 900 milligrams of epicatechin, while the others consumed just 10 milligrams a day. After three months, the high-dose group performed significantly better on memory tests, and subsequent brain scans confirmed improved blood flow to the dentate gyrus, a region of the brain that’s been linked to age-related memory loss. Researchers caution that the typical candy bar contains minuscule amounts of the flavanol (with dark chocolate having more than milk chocolate), and that people would have to eat up to 25 chocolate bars a day to get as much as the group in the experiment. “It would make a lot of people happy,” said study author Scott Small, “but it would also make them unhealthy.” Researchers plan another, larger study on the memory-protective effects of epicatechin.

Red wine and chocolate, in moderation, of course, continues to be a great, healthy combination!