What is the most craved food in the world? Pizza? Rice? Ice cream? Nope. It turns out that it’s chocolate! Rituals, religions, currencies, wine, gels, flavorings, foods, candies, conquests, wars, economies, holidays and many more things are associated with or have been created from chocolate. Is it any wonder that it is associated with maintaining a healthy brain?

Now that we mentioned the brain, these are the primary areas of it that dark chocolate activates. 

 

Do you know what these areas of the brain are called? 

The frontal lobe (the CEO/decision maker of the brain) is that large part on the left of the above brain image and the dot and tadpole looking shape are parts of the reward pathways of the limbic system (the ‘I feel good’ part of the brain). Based of this brain activation I’d say dark chocolate basically helps you become the boss of your life and feel good while doing it! Maybe that’s why it’s so pervasive in our culture.

Chocolate jokes: 

Why did the doughnut visit the dentist?
Because he needed a chocolate filling! 

What is a balanced diet with chocolate?
A dark chocolate bar in both hands!

The rules on how to enjoy good chocolate:
1. Share with a friend
2. Eat in moderation
3. Remember, there are no rules.

How does chocolate contribute to brain health?

Dark chocolate helps the heart(1), it lowers inflammation(3), it balances blood sugar(2), it makes you feel great(4), it gives you the sensation of feeling in love, it nourishes the body a lot and on and on. Specifically, as far as the brain it contributes to an overall increase in blood supply to the brain (especially the frontal lobe), it lowers stress (helping preserve neural connections), in some studies it has been shown to improve working memory by 20%, and it improves clarity of focus(5,6). (See scientific references at the end)

Want to make your own Whole Brain Healthy Chocolate? Check out our video here: 

Whole Brain Health Chocolate recipe: Check out Video here

Chocolate is a health food! Remember dark is best and your brain will thank you! If you can’t make your own there are many great brands out there (see below). The simpler the ingredient list the better and make sure it lists where the chocolate comes from. No Hershey’s or candy bars. Sorry. If you want to seriously feel great and improve your brain health then have some fun by getting some seriously good dark chocolate. I make mine with only the best ingredients!

Brands to seek out: 
-Lulu’s
-Hu
-Sacred Chocolate
-Lily’s (sugar free)
-Living Intentions
-Imlak’esh
-Lakanto (sugar free)

Let me know how it goes searching for your perfect brain healthy chocolate bar or making your own! And remember if you have fun while improving your brain (i.e. eating tasty dark chocolate) you will improve your memory!

Best,
Charles

P.S.

Before I go I wanted to make you aware of options for you to take action on improving your brain health.

  1. In person Brain Clubs open to the public.-Northwest YMCA 12:30pm – 1:30pm20803 Alves Dr, Cupertino, CA 95014

    Instructor: Dr. Janani DhinaKaran
    Room: Community Room
    OPEN TO NEW ATTENDEES – need to become a YMCA member after three brain club attendances.

-El Camino YMCA, Mountain View, 1pm – 2:15pm, 2400 Grant Rd, Mountain View, CA 94040
Instructor: Dr. Janani DhinaKaran
Room: Kiwanis Room
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

  1. Online Brain Club with YouTube LIVE.
    Visit our YouTube Channel:VISITWhole Brain Health on YouTube
    View our prerecorded brain clubs or look out for announcements when they will be LIVE!
  2. One-on-one Brain Health Coaching with Whole Brain HealthIf you need to get better faster and need more personal attention Whole Brain health can start a customized and individualized path to improve your brain healthy lifestyle with 1 on 1 brain health coaching from a range of different coaches depending on your situation and budget.
    Click here to receive more information for Whole Brain Health brain health coaching
    or
    Call us:408 341-9717
    Email me: chall@wholebrainhealth.org for more information.

    JOIN US IN OUR ONLINE COMMUNITIES:

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJkQ-bRw0GdJk3wGSn8Ut_w?view_as=subscriber
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WholeBrainHealth
    Instagram:  instagram.com/wholebrainhealth

    REFERENCES

Scientific References to Dark Chocolate Benefits

1.Chocolate – heart healthy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942736/
2.Chocolate – reduces risk of diabetes: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/81/3/611/4648949
3. Chocolate – reduces inflammation: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/138/10/1939/4670056

4.Chocolate – makes you feel great: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19942640
5. Chocolate – improves cognitive function: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6262453/
6. Chocolate – comprehensive list of biological changes with ingestion of cocoa flavonols https://examine.com/supplements/cocoa-extract/

Video list to check out: 

1. Charles Hall. Whole Brain Health Chocolate Recipe.  Approx 5 minutes. VIDEO . Whole Brain Health Executive Director Charles shows you how to make organic dark chocolate brains.
2. Will Lydgate. Changing the way we think about chocolate. Approx 14 minutes. VIDEO . Dark chocolate is a health food and should be treated as such.
3. Dr. Sarah Speck. Health Benefits of Chocolate. Approx 2 Mins. VIDEO . Dr. Sarah of the Swedish Medical Center and her review of the research on chocolate’s health benefits.  VIDEO .
4. Deanna Pucciarelli. The History of Chocolate. Approx 5 min. VIDEO