I believe it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assert that chocolate eaters tend to be smarter, more alert, and uplifted than those who choose not to partake—just ask any seasoned chocolate lover. Mental cognition is predicated heavily on smooth blood flow and oxygen absorption capacity to the brain. A popular class of brain enhancing or cognitive performance enhancing nutraceuticals, called nootropics, has helped demonstrate the powerful effect specific foods, superfoods, and herbs can have on mental acuity.
A nootropic instigates or assists in one of two physiological actions: acting upon the brain’s oxygen supply and increasing nerve growth potential. Theobromine, cacao’s primary cardiovascular stimulating molecule, fits this model and is noted on the public listing of compounds for nootropic stacking (combinations).
Nootropics are not merely stimulants. They require a compound, herb, or food be nueroprotective as well as highly functional. Stronger nootropics, such as modafinil or the racetam class, are used widely by academic professionals, college students, entrepreneurs, and those looking for the edge in their performing fields.
These highly concentrated tools are proven to work effectively, but due to the neuro-chemical bank account they tap from, specifically the choline pathways, there is no biological free lunch for excessive usage. I suggest using chocolate in combination with neurological protective and enhancing herbs and superfoods to develop incremental gains in cognitive potential over the long term.
An epidemiological study conducted in 2007 studied 1,640 individuals in the age range of 65 and older. The study goal was to examine the cognitive effects of higher flavonoid intake in subjects free of dementia over a ten year span. The test group was reexamined four times within the ten year study, showing those who had the highest baseline flavonoid intake developed increased cognitive performance.
It was documented that after the ten year follow up, subjects with the lowest flavonoid intake had dropped 2.1 points on the mini-mental state examination used to examine cognitive performance whereas the other group had only dropped 1.2 points as they aged. This study, among many others, indicate that flavonols (antioxidants) in cacao can have a profound effect on cognitive function, neuro-protection, and anti-inflammation of the brain over time. This is just one more reason to include raw organic, dairy-soy-refined sugar-free chocolate into your holistic diet, not that most of us really need another reason!