Cocoa For Brain Health & Memory, Part 1 – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 129
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
Today we will be discussing Cocoa for brain health and memory! Cocoa does a number of wonderful things for your brain.
What constituents in Cocoa are beneficial?
There is a hierarchy of constituents that support brain health that are found in cocoa.
- Flavan-3 ols which is a healthy constituent from plants and a flavanoid that is very vasoactive. This means that they help improve circulation throughout the body and into your heart, legs and brain. This is extremely important as circulation to the brain may be a problem for many, including the elderly.
- Anandamide is natural to the human brain and is a neurotransmitter. It is called the “bliss molecule”, as it has been shown to improve your mood and help you feel happy.
- Cocoa also supplies an array of methylxanthines that provide brain energy and improve your focus and mental clarity.
- Phenol-ethylene is an alkaloid and an empathogen, that gives you confidence and empathy.
- Salsolinol is natural to our brain and it helps protect brain cells
- Inositol, which are connected to B-vitamins and helps with cellular communication
- L-Serine is an amino acid that is converted to d-serine in the brain which is really important for neuroplasticity and the brains adaptability
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The Link Between Brain Circulation and Memory
Circulation to your brain is of utmost importance to brain health. Your brain has a huge demand for nutrition, oxygen and energy. Your brain grabs 20% of the calories for brain energy from your meal. With age, circulation to your brain declines. The major arteries that go into the brain stiffen with age and it is harder for the heart to pump blood into the brain. So, with every pump of the heart, the brain is getting less oxygen, fewer calories, less nutrition and brain cells start to die, which impacts your memory and cognitive skills.
Research from Harvard Medical School shows, on average, circulation to your brain declines somewhere between 10-14%. In general, this figure is worse in smokers, diabetics and people with certain diseases. Harvard has also shown that Cocoa is feso-active. When researchers gave people Cocoa, within two weeks circulation was restored to their brain by 10%. Brigham Women’s Hospital actually coined a term called Neuro-vascular Coupling, because in their studies, when you give older people cocoa (even the first serving) it is restoring circulation to the brain. Overtime – and not a very long time at all – cocoa allows the restoration of important structures in the brain, according to Brigham Women’s Hospital.
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In one study from the University of Redding in England published a study in the journal Physiology and Behavior. Researchers studied young, healthy adults and gave them Cocoa. They found that just giving even one serving of Cocoa improved aspects of brain function, memory and vision.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of Cocoa for Brain Health and Memory!
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