No one wants to go through Alzheimer’s disease, and no one wants to see anyone they love suffer from this progressive disease. It is heartbreaking to watch someone you love slowly lose the memories of the people, places, and things they love. If you could do anything to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, you most certainly would.
That’s why it is so exciting to find out that cocoa, in addition to its many other health benefits, may be key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Keep reading to learn about the latest research and how you can use these findings to strengthen your brain.
Health Benefits of Cocoa
When you are looking at the health benefits of cocoa, you are most often looking at the health benefits of polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients that work in the body in many different ways. They can be difficult to obtain through food, which is why it’s important to include foods like cocoa in your diet.
Flavanols are the most commonly studied polyphenols. They have been linked to a reduction in cell damage, they can thin the blood to prevent heart attacks and other types of heart disease, and they may reduce your risk of stroke.
When studying these subjects, researchers noticed that animals seemed to suffer lower rates of degenerative brain disease when fed cocoa on a regular basis. This was the basis for ongoing research in Alzheimer’s prevention with cocoa.
Research on Cocoa and Alzheimer’s Prevention
The latest research on Alzheimer’s disease and cocoa comes from Dr. Giulio Pasinetti, a researcher who has dedicated his career to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of the research was to discover whether or not certain types of cocoa led to a decrease in Alzheimer’s disease rates.
By studying the different molecular makeups of different types of cocoa, Dr. Pasinetti and other researchers were able to determine exactly which flavanols are most beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
The research was promising: researchers were able to determine specific traits of cocoa that minimize the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease in an animal population. Researchers hope that they can use this study to encourage the development of new types of cocoa that are rich in these polyphenols. This involves the development of new cocoa plants by agricultural researchers.
In addition, researchers in this field would like to make polyphenols found in cocoa more widely available to the public at large. This would allow people to enjoy the benefits of polyphenols even if they do not have access to specialized types of cocoa.
What This Means for You
Preventing Alzheimer’s disease can help you get as much possible out of your life and protect your brain as you age. However, don’t start chowing down on that Hershey’s bar just yet. Cocoa is a very concentrated substance, and it’s important to get the right kind to enjoy the benefits of polyphenols.
When you buy cocoa, make sure that you are buying whole, minimally processed cocoa. This allows you to get the greatest amount of health benefits from it.