YOU DOCS

Garden City Telegram

This is your brain on chocolate 

Dave Barry once said: "Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain." While that may be witty, we're sorry, Dave, scientifically speaking, it's completely wrong.

A study in Scientific Reports reveals that when healthy adults consume flavanol-rich cocoa found in cocoa powder and dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa is best), their brain gets a major boost from increased oxygenation, and they have measurably improved cognition. 

For the experiment, researchers served three ounces of flavanol-rich cocoa power in 10 ounces of room-temperature water. You could enjoy three ounces of dark chocolate or cocoa powder in oat milk. Milk chocolate and cocoa powder that is Dutch-processed or alkalized doesn't have enough of the flavanols to increase your brainpower. 

Participants who consumed the dark cocoa saw three times more oxygen delivered to their brain than those who consumed low-flavanol cocoa. And the well-oxygenated folks correctly solved challenging cognitive tests 11 percent faster than they did before they had the flavanol boost.

So read labels carefully to make sure you're getting cocoa powder that's not Dutch-processed or alkalized. And for a great chocolate recipe (that doesn't take a lot of brainpower) check out Chocolate Espresso Mousse in Dr. Mike's "What to Eat When Cookbook."

While we're talking about improving brainpower: In our column on herd immunity, we said hepatitis B and C had vaccines when we meant A and B. Think we need to eat more dark chocolate!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com. 

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.