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The Power of Two

Chocolate Neurons

Published February 19, 2014 12:41 PM by Eleanor Wolfram

Globally, chocolate is such a well loved food that there are literally hundreds of quotations describing the joys and mysteries of eating it. Two of my favorite quotes are:

"Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate." --Charles M. Schultz

"Put ‘eat chocolate' at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done." --Author Unknown

Regardless of which part of the planet you reside, chocolate represents a nurturing comfort food or a weight gain enemy. But one thing we all know for sure is due to extensive scientific research, chocolate has significant health benefits.

For example, chocolate affects your brain in the following ways: it increases alertness and reduces fatigue; it is an endorphin mood elevator; it provides stimulation to the central nervous system; and it triggers dopamine neurotransmitters for producing happiness and pleasure reactions.

Neurology has shown that chocolate aids blood flow in the brain thereby increasing brain activity for cognitive functioning and neuron communication. These findings are particularly important for memory retention and gerontology science.

Finally, there is additional evidence that dark chocolate may protect the brain after a stroke by shielding nerve cells from additional damage. It seems that the digestion of prescribed doses of chocolate results in increased cellular signals and benefits to the cardiovascular system.

Over the years, there have been literally volumes published of studies illustrating the benefits of this food stuff. And since I love, love chocolate -- last month I was particularly excited to read a Wall Street Journal article that stated Nestle, a chocolate food manufacturer is planning to spend money to test its products on human brain and liver cells.

Nestle plans to obtain the stem-cell-like mature human cells from the biotech firm Cellular Dynamics Internationals Incorporated to determine the nutritional health benefits of enhanced drinks, smoothies and other products.

I am most happy that food manufacturers are contributing money for ongoing clinical research endeavors. All of this investigating of chocolates can only lead to more appetizing findings.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram

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