05 April 2009

Even more proof that chocolate is good for you

There have been quite a few good news health stories about chocolate. Now it seems that it can aid mental arithmetic. According to the Telegraph mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate, called flavanols, in a hot cocoa drink. They were also less likely to feel tired or mentally drained.

Prof David Kennedy, director of the brain, performance and nutrition research centre at Northumbria University, and a co-author of the study, said that chocolate could be beneficial for mentally challenging tasks. "For things that are difficult to do, mentally demanding things that maybe crop up in your work it could help," Prof Kennedy said.The flavanols, part of a group of chemicals called polyphenols, work by increasing the flow of blood into the brain.

For the study 30 volunteers were asked to count backwards in groups of three from a random number between 800 and 999 generated by a computer. The findings show that they could do the calculations more quickly and more accurately after they had been given the drink. The findings also show that the volunteers did not get as tired doing the calculations if they had been given the cocoa drink, despite being asked to do them over and over for an hour.

The researchers gave the volunteers a total of 500mg of flavanol, an amount too great to be found naturally in the diet, researchers said that people should ensure that they have lots of flavanols, also found in fruit and vegetables, on a regular basis.

Prof Kennedy added: "The amount that you are giving is more than in the diet but there is quite a lot of evidence that general amounts are protective against declining function and that kind of thing. "The more fruit and vegetables and things that are high in polyphenols the better that is for your brain in the long run

Hmm now I have yest another excuse to eat that bar of Green & Blacks... and that one, and that one....

12 comments:

CherryPie said...

I never need an excuse for eating Green & Blacks :-)

jams o donnell said...

Ah but it's handy to have a back up Cherie!

sheila said...

I just KNEW chocolate was good for me! I'm gonna print this post off and glue it to the fridge.

jmb said...

I need to know the bad things, not the good things. I am already a chocoholic and just one look at me gives it away. I need chocolate with no calories. If only.

jams o donnell said...

Haha Sheila go for it!

Ah jmb all you need is to cut back on other stuff to make headroom for enough choc!

Steve Bates said...

Only in the past couple years has Green & Black's become available in my neighborhood, at an exorbitant price, of course... which, thanks to you, jams, I now have a well-documented reason to pay. Thank you!

The Lone Beader said...

Now I feel much better about bringing home that box of brownies from work!

jams o donnell said...

Haha LB!

Green & Blacks milk choc is one of my favourites of all. It isn't cheap here either but it is a case of less is more!

Liz said...

Yippee! Another excuse to add to my list!
"Helps me count backwards in threes!"

jams o donnell said...

THere you go Liz.. glad to have provided a valuable service!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Uhu... I love chocolate, and no one ever said that I am not mental.

jams o donnell said...

Haha Snoopy!