New Study: Dark Chocolate Reduces Stress & Inflammation
Two new studies show that dark chocolate reduces stress and inflammation, while improving memory, immunity, and mood. Let’s get snackin’!
Lee S. Berk, DrPH, associate dean of research affairs, School of Allied Health Professions and a researcher in psychoneuroimmunology and food science from Loma Linda University, served as principal investigator on both studies, reports, “For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content – the more sugar, the happier we are. This is the first that that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings. These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects.”
The Natural Side of Dark Chocolate
There are a few reasons why chocolate – or specifically cocoa (in its original form) – is beneficial. This is because chocolate, in its original form, actually contains minerals and polyphenols similar to those found in wine that offer superior antioxidant protection. Cocoa is rich in potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, folate, niacin, choline and lutein. While cocoa itself is supremely healthy, after processing, alkalized sugar and dairy are adding, drastically reducing its benefits.
The Published Research
According to results presented at the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting, dark chocolate (70% cocoa) was shown to affect human gene expression, regulating cellular immune response, neural signaling and sensory perception. Researchers also found that dark chocolate (70% organic cocoa) increases acute and chronic EEG power spectral density and response of gamma frequency for brain health, particularly for cognitive processing, learning, memory, recall and mindfulness meditation.