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Health tips on chocolate and memory loss

Health tips on chocolate and memory loss become more important as we age. I think everyone would agree that maintaining memory function involves living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining good nutrition.

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Cocoa powder for increased memory.

A study at Columbia University in NY City directed at aspects of senior health found that cocoa flavanols (the antioxidants in chocolate) improves a type of memory in the brain’s hippocampus. Adults between 50 and 69 were tested to see whether cocoa had a beneficial effect on age-related memory loss. http://newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu/blog/2014/10/26/flavanols-memory-decline

The researchers said that as we age, we’re a bit less likely to remember things like the names of new acquaintances, where you parked the car or find your keys. This is not the same type of memory loss as that associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The participants drank cocoa containing the antioxidant, flavanol, either 900 milligrams a day for 3 months or 10 mg a day. After three months, the researchers saw an improvement in the memories of those receiving the high-volume flavanol drinks. The study showed that this group performed as well as people two to three decades younger.

The researchers plan to duplicate the study with a larger group. In the meantime, try to base your diet on plant-based nutrition and don’t eat more chocolate candy to improve your memory— you would have to eat at least 1,000 in calories of dark chocolate daily— but add a few teaspoons of cocoa to your morning shake. It will add an insignificant amount of calories, sodium and fat.

Another article from Scientific American gives additional background about the study. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/talking-back/2014/10/26/cocoa-constitutents-fend-off-senior-moments-the-memory-of-a-30-year-old/

submitted by Gwen O’Neill

Gwen O’Neill has been a gardener for over 40 years and has always been a passionate cook. Her own health challenges led her to experiencing a variety of healing modalities. After finding that her health improved with eating more whole food and improving her nutrition using a real, whole food based supplement called Juice Plus, she committed to sharing this experience with others. The Tower Garden by Juice Plus makes it easy to grow produce right outside your kitchen door.

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