Good news, chocolate lovers! A falvonoid called epicatechin (epi) in chocolate might make memories stronger and longer lasting. At least it helps snails remember.

Chocolate Makes Snails Smarter

Of course I immediately reached for a square of dark chocolate.

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And it doesn't have to be chocolate snails!

But wait, there's more! It turns out that several years ago Norman Hollenberg of Harvard Medical School suggested that epicatechin is so important it should be considered a vitamin. He studied the Kuna people of the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama, who drink up to 40 cups of cocoa a week, and found that the risk of stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes, is reduced to less then 10% in the Kuna -- but as explained in another paper, "this protection is lost upon migration to mainland Panama City .... Island-dwelling Kuna consumed an average of 3–4 cups of cocoa per day. Those living on the mainland consumed on average <4 cups per week."

Natural cocoa powder would be a good supplement to dark chocolate, since it also has a high concentration of flavanols (and antioxidant activity in general) without the extra calories and fat. The concentration is much higher in lighter, more boldly flavored natural cocoa powder than in the darker, milder flavored "Dutch processed" or "processed with alkali" powders.

(In this page from Hershey's, scroll down to the table at the bottom.)

(Now where did I put my chocolate? :-)

I had no idea Special Dark cocoa has less than half the antioxidants of regular cocoa powder. Thanks.

I have some dark cocoa powder. I will have to figure out what to mix it in - thanks - love the chocolate snail too.

I make breakfast with it. Fill the blender with fresh fruit, some walnuts, some linseed or pumpkin seeds, a big spoonful of cocoa powder and some almond milk - makes a very good breakfast.

I love dark chocolate!

I am so glad! My daily dose of dark chocolate with raspberries or almonds, or chocbits satisfied my sweet tooth. Tonight it was Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds. 

Is that the Endangered Species chocolate Joan? I love that chocolate.

I've had these before and I love their chocolate. I've tried many of their flavors.

Grinning Cat, great article on chocolate; thanks. 

From your title, I thought it was about the old diet aid that was chocolate-cubed, called Aides. In the late 80s, I think it was, they disappeared from the shelf due to name-association.

More research on chocolate's brain benefits! Cocoa polyphenols keep nerve cells from dying.

"Our studies indicate for the first time the cocoa polyphenols do not act only as mere anti-oxidant but they, directly or indirectly, activate the BDNF survival pathway counteracting neuronal death" says Annamaria Cimini of the University of L'Aquila… [emphasis mine]

The Power of Cocoa Polyphenols Against Neurodegenerative Diseases




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