New Telegraph

Cocoa can boost brain power

Re s e a r c h e r s in the United Kingdom (UK) said the main ingredient flavanol found in cocoa could supercharge the brain, help young, healthy adults think better, faster and more efficiently. These are the results of a new study published recently in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’.

The researchers found that after drinking flavanol- rich concoction, 14 of the 18 men participants in their study, saw their oxygenation response rise more than three times higher than it had following a low-flavanol drink. The flavanol-heavy drink also triggered a one-minute faster response, the ‘Newsmax’ reported. In addition, after drinking flavanol-enriched cocoa, the men were able to respond about 11 per cent more quickly when asked to problem-solve, but only when the tests were at their most challenging. No difference in response was seen when posed with simple tasks. The results of the study, is based on work with 18 healthy men, aged 18 to 45.

All underwent brain scans and mental acuity tests after consuming a cocoa drink packed with high levels of flavanols which are naturally found in significant amounts in cocoa, grapes, apples, teas, and berries, among other items. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that a diet rich in flavanols can also have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. Study author Catarina Rendeiro said, “We have known for many years that flavanols from cocoa, in particular, can improve vascular function in humans.

“These benefits are apparent even after only one single dose of cocoa.” Rendeiro is a lecturer in nutritional sciences with the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham, in the UK. However, the extent to which some of these benefits could translate into the brain vasculature were less clear. That’s where this study comes in.” Rendeiro explained that the goal of the research was “To investigate whether one single dose of cocoa flavanols could improve brain oxygenation levels.”

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