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Can chocolate rev up your brainpower?

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Can chocolate rev up your brainpower?

Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

Are you wondering where you left the TV remote, trying to remember where you parked your car at the mall, or having trouble solving a Rubik’s cube?

Well, maybe you need more chocolate.

No, seriously! A new study reports that a frequent intake of chocolate is associated with better cognitive function. Here’s what the researchers had to say:

Habitual chocolate intake was related to cognitive performance, measured with an extensive battery of neuropsychological tests. More frequent chocolate consumption was significantly associated with better performance on the Global Composite score, Visual-Spatial Memory and Organization, Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, Abstract Reasoning, and the Mini-Mental State Examination.

In plain English, the researchers found that people who ate chocolate did better on lots of tests that measure memory and thinking.

The researchers do stop short of saying that there’s a cause-and-effect relationship here. (And frankly, there are a lot of factors their study didn’t consider.) But hey—why take chances? After all, there’s already evidence that eating chocolate can cut your risk of heart disease and stroke, increase your insulin sensitivity,and reduce your stress,  And that’s not all—it even helps your gut fight inflammation.

So I say, if you’re craving something sweet, reach for chocolate! And with St. Patrick’s Day and Easter both on the calendar this month, what better time is there to celebrate with some fun chocolate treats? Just make sure you get your dose of chocolate in a healthy recipe. Here are some fun options:

·       Check out my St. Paddy’s Peppermint Patty Cookies here. You get all the melty, gooey, pepperminty awesomeness of store-bought chocolate mint cookies… and they’re totally guilt-free.

·       How cute are these crème eggs from Detoxinista? You’ll never be tempted by those unhealthy ones in the checkout line again.

·       I love these adorable chocolate nests over at Wallflower Girl’s and the home-made marzipan eggs nestled in them. (They’re even vegan, in case there’s a vegan or vegetarian on your holiday treat list.)

·       If you’re looking for something to please the guy in your life on St. Paddy’s Day, you can’t go wrong with bacon—especially when you combine it with chocolate in my Chocolate Bacon Brownie Muffins.

·       Here’s an easy, yummy recipe you can pour into molds to make bunnies, eggs, or other Easter shapes.

·       If you’re a gourmet baker, try Jenni Hulet’s Cherry Chocolate Naked Cake or Chocolate Bundt Cake with Blackberries over at The Urban Poser. Awesome.

If you try these or other chocolate desserts, I recommend using the highest quality chocolate or cocoa. (I’m a big fan of Enjoy Life products, which are dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free.) And remember that even though these desserts are packed with healthy ingredients, you’ll want to eat them sparingly because even natural sweeteners like honey raise your blood sugar levels.

So have a nibble, and share the rest of your chocolate goodies with the people you love. You’ll make everyone’s spring holidays brighter… and who knows, you might even make your brain brighter as well!

Keep Thinking Big & Living Bold!

drkellyannsign

 

 

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