Brain activity is complex and requires nutrients that help it manage the process 24 hours a day. This is where cacao reducing brain aging comes into play. More and more studies are revealing that its properties are beneficial for several parts of the human body.
How can cacao reduce brain aging?
First of all, one could say that cacao is one of the best purifiers for the brain. Additionally, it is recommended to optimize the health of elderly people, since its chemical reaction helps improve bad moods and depression. All you need is a moderate amount of chocolate for a few days to help the brain work correctly.
A study published in the journal Hypertension revealed interesting data about consumption of cacao in 100 people with deteriorations in decision making, language and mild cognitive decline. For two months, they consumed a cacao drink, and in this time the majority of the patients improved their brain function considerably.
Consume cacao but with caution
The first thing that comes to mind with consuming cacao is chocolate, and this is a problem when making and consuming it. With time, most patients find its taste pleasant and increase their consumption when it isn’t necessary. The problems are progressive because it can cause excess weight, heart problems, cavities, and others. But with moderate consumption, cacao can reduce brain aging with almost complete safety.
To avoid some of the problems above, nutrition experts recommend a consumption of no more than 20 grams of cacao per day maximum. Preferably pure cacao or bitter or very dark, (it’s important to understand that cacao is not the same as cocoa, we aren’t talking about the latter here). This serving will provide around 100 calories per day. If the person follows a specific diet, then the serving shouldn’t be more than three times per week.
The brain asks for “chocolate” to function better
Have you ever wondered why chocolate comes to mind in moments of stress, sadness and depression? Well, perhaps it’s because from the first time you tried cacao with its flavor, your brain felt pleasure due to its properties and taste. This brings us, then, to describe its true benefits, which are the following:
- Cacao contains an antidepressant called tryptophan. When something in life causes you to feel down, chemically your adrenaline decreases depending on the seriousness of the external situation. Tryptophan works as a natural stimulant that helps the brain generate more adrenaline which can be observed as liveliness in your eyes and the rest of your senses.
- It is a stimulant thanks to caffeine and theobromine. Both components increase blood pressure when it goes down. Theobromine belongs to the methylxanthin family, which are alkaloids (molecules) that stimulate the peripheral nervous system and act as diuretics. This last benefit helps relax blood vessels, smooth muscle and produces a general feeling of wellbeing.
- It stimulates pleasure and satisfaction. On the level of the hypothalamus, there is an indent that is incharge of releasing phenylethylamines, which are basically what produce the feeling of pleasure during sexual intercourse. Cacao contains this and in a smaller amount the brain receives it and sends the signal to the hypothalamus which later sends it through the neuronal network.
- It is ideal as an antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic.
- It contains flavanoids. This property in the blood stream acts as an antioxidant and eliminates free radicals that circulate and affect the upper layer of the brain.
A treat for the palate with chocolate and wine
There are hundreds of recipes containing chocolate (cacao) and which could be perfect to consume during the week and help slow down and reduce brain aging. But perhaps on this point, an indulgent recommendation isn’t totally out of line. We’re talking about combining chocolate and wine, both of which have a common property: resveratrol.
Resveratrol, besides acting as an antioxidant, can reduce brain aging. A property that few are familiar with due to the other components in wine. A serving of 20 grams and about 200 ml of red wine is enough to relax and help with the synapses of neurons in the brain.
It’s important to remember that brain aging starts at approximately 30 years of age. But this isn’t a strict rule; the brain has neuronal networks that die with the passing years due to factors such as age, external accidents, and ingestion of harmful substances, among others. But cacao can reduce brain aging if you follow the instructions mentioned above and avoid excesses and do activities that keep the brain active.