I am a chocolate lover. I have some every day of my life. Granted, what I consume are small quantities which I devour slowly and let simply melt in my mouth. I also know that dark chocolate has more benefits than the sweet milk chocolate of my childhood. Herewith, Medical News Today‘s take on the dark delight.
Chocolate lovers, rejoice; the sweet treat is not only delicious, but studies show that it can also promote friendly bacteria and reduce inflammation in our guts. But first, some background: trillions of bacteria live in our guts. They contribute to our immune system, metabolism, and many other processes essential to human health.
When the delicate balance of microbes in our intestines is disturbed, it can have serious consequences.
Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, allergies, asthma, and cancer have all been linked to abnormal gut microbiomes.
A healthful diet supports bacterial diversity and health, but could chocolate be an integral part of this?
Benefits of cocoa
Cocoa is the dry, non-fatty component prepared from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree and the ingredient that gives chocolate its characteristic taste. Continue reading
“We’ve known for a while that too much fat and sugar are not good for you.
This work suggests that fat and sugar are altering your healthy bacterial systems, and that’s one of the reasons those foods aren’t good for you.
It’s not just the food that could be influencing your brain, but an interaction between the food and microbial changes.”
The ‘Western diet’ that many consume daily is high in sugar, fat and simple carbohydrates.
I am fascinated by the workings of the brain, and in this case, how we can mess up a perfectly good system with bad diet. I think this post makes clear that we need to eat well and exercise in order to stay healthy. We don’t just adopt a few changes to drop a couple of pounds and then revert to our bad eating.
Our Better Health
A high-fat, high-sugar diet causes significant damage to cognitive flexibility, a new study finds.
Cognitive flexibility is the ability to adjust and adapt to changing situations.
The high-sugar diet was most damaging, the research on mice found.
This caused impairments in both long- and short-term memory.
This is just the latest in a line of studies showing the potentially dramatic effects of diet on mental performance.
Professor Kathy Magnusson, who co-led the study, said:
“The impairment of cognitive flexibility in this study was pretty strong.
Think about driving home on a route that’s very familiar to you, something you’re used to doing.
Then one day that road is closed and you suddenly have to find a new way home.”
With lower cognitive flexibility, adapting to these kinds of changes would be more difficult.
Professor Magnusson said it wasn’t yet clear how these damaging effects were caused:
“It’s increasingly clear that…
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