Coffee has a beneficial effect on health. This is confirmed by many studies. But, in the case of coffee, the formula “the more the better” does not work. The maximum safe daily dose is 4 cups of coffee.
Some people abuse coffee, as a result of which they lose proper sleep. A safe and healthy alternative to coffee is cocoa.
Cocoa (sugar free) improves the activity of brain cells and cerebral circulation, which is an important requirement for normal mental function and resistance to the development of dementia.
Sugar does not improve, but worsens memory and cognitive functions of the brain. The use of sugar leads to disorders in the hippocampus (brain area) responsible for memory. Read more in the article "How junk food affects our memory".
A recent clinical study demonstrated the benefits of cocoa for brain function in humans. Neuronal activity is associated with the delivery of oxygen and glucose. (Do not confuse sugar intake with blood glucose, which depends not only on the consumption of sugar, but on any other food).
An increase in metabolic demand leads to an increase in blood flow. The close functional and spatial relationship between neuronal activity and cerebral blood flow has been termed the neurovascular junction or neurovascular connection.
Thus, the beneficial effect occurs when the smallest blood vessels dilate to deliver more blood to areas of the brain where increased activity is needed.
The study proves that cocoa consumption leads to higher neurovascular connectivity, and people with high neurovascular connectivity have better cognitive function and greater structural integrity of the white matter of the brain.
Another study included young adults (mean age 33 years) who were randomly assigned to receive cocoa or placebo. Compared to placebo, cocoa significantly reduced reaction time and increased alertness in a test that required focus, attention, and concentration.
In fact, the results suggest that cocoa is responsible for concentration and improves mood.
The study tested various aspects of enhanced brain function, such as reaction time, fast visual processing, and energetic arousal, and found that all of these were improved after drinking cocoa.
Cocoa leads to an almost immediate improvement in cognitive performance when we need to pay attention and focus. All this is evidence of improved working memory.
Working memory is the ability to keep in mind various information necessary for momentary thinking, analysis and decision-making how to react in a given situation.
For example, a driver approaching an intersection puts traffic lights, cars on the right, left front and rear, pedestrians, road signs, road conditions, speedometer readings, and a host of other facts into working memory, and then combines them in an orderly manner, resulting in a seemingly automatic response. pressing the brake pedal, continuing to scan traffic, looking in the rearview mirror, and other mental and motor tasks necessary to bring the car to a safe stop before an intersection.
Loss of working memory impairs our ability to operate safely and effectively in an ever-changing world and contributes to the confusion, disorientation, and uncertainty that comes with age.
A strong neurovascular connection suggests that blood flow is increased in those areas of the brain that are particularly in need of oxygen and nutrients.
It is known that individuals with impaired neurovascular communication are more likely to experience cognitive decline, which occurs during brain aging.
Thus, cocoa is most beneficial for the elderly, as any therapy that can restore normal neurovascular communication slows the onset or progression of cognitive decline.
For those who are looking for an alternative to coffee, or want to cut down on caffeine, cocoa can be a good alternative to provide clarity of thought, improve focus, and elevate mood.
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