Everyone’s Favorite Superfood Scores Another Win:
One of the benefits we can all cash-in on with new information is discovering our own blind-spots.
For example, thanks to nutrition scientists we now know that if you’re an adult and you have stress, you’re probably magnesium deficient.
Still further, Dr. Joel Fuhrman opened everyone’s eyes to how little micronutrients they get if they aren’t eating big salads every day.
On that note, it turns out researchers are finding even more dietary blind-spots.
If you’re like me, or any other nut who stops by HealthTrekker, you want to have those bases covered.
And the team at Mass General might help us all out a little…
The Short Answer:
- We all have blind spots.
- These can occur in health & nutrition as well.
- One type of thing that usually helps a lot is the group called Superfoods.
- Mass General’s team studied the effects of supplementing with cocoa extract as a superfood.
- Just under 600 subjects, average-aged 70 were studied for 2 years of follow-up.
- Just 500mg/day of strong cocoa supplements increased overall cognitive function in the group.
- The group showing the best results was one with dietary deficiencies.
- If your diet & health is better, you may need more to see a similar jump.
- Previous studies have shown positive effects from cocoa in the diet in many areas.
- They include gut microbe, cardiovascular, and every type of brain function except for working memory and verbal memory.
- Those benefits were found to occur regardless of age or demographics.
- If you’d like to broaden out the benefits into different food-categories, look to getting more flavonoids into your diet.
- A short list of foods containing them is at the end of the article.
Read on to find out the details…
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The search that we all go on to relentlessly tweak our health often runs into the category of Superfoods.
Even though the term is overused even back to the snake-oily days of the Acaí weight-loss craze,
There really are some genuine ones out there.
One example is Blueberries, which while still managing to be low-glycemic and low calorie, also have more antioxidants and anthocyanins than just about anything else.
That all adds-up to a tasty and very brain-healthy, body-protecting snack.
Another Superfood forms the basis of this post; Cocoa!
A team from Mass General used it as one component for a large study on the benefits of supplementation.
Out of the larger group of 12,000, the researchers looked at just under 600 subjects with an average age of about 70.
These people were given 500mg/day of high-concentration cocoa supplements, similar to CocoaVia no doubt, and then run through a battery of tests over the next 2 years.
Strangely enough, the results showed for this group that the people with the best results were those with poor diet quality.
For them, the overall quality of their mental functioning went up.
So if you’re starting from a low baseline, the 500mg/day might help.
There is also the possibility that to gain greater benefits for people already doing well, the dose that produces results might be higher.
Like if your brain goes from running on 87 octane gas to Plus or Super, it may be significant.
But for someone who’s already running on the best Super+ grade gas there is, the next stop is really race gas.
The reason for mentioning that is as follows.
Although it’s encouraging news for one subject type that needs the help, at HT we also want to see if we can find improvements for everyone here.
And previous studies have shown them.
Some of them include:
1) Oxygenation in the brain
2) High levels of Flavonoids (common to almost all Superfoods)
3) Improved cognitive speed on challenging tasks
4) Increases efficiency in the neocortex & PFC
5) Improves your gut microbes
6) Gets antioxidants into your bloodstream thanks to those microbes
7) Lowers blood-pressure
8) Improve scores on multiple cognitive tests
9) Improving every cognitive capacity except for Working Memory & Verbal Memory
In all the studies that examined them, they occurred regardless of any demographic factors.
So even though this first round of Mass Gneral’s COSMOS study results sounds a little restricted, ,
There is a greater body of work out there that is much more encouraging.
It’s all well and good to be addicted to dark chocolate and mugs of hot chocolate, especially in the winter months.
But if you’ve gotten this far, you might want to try something even cooler and more general that we hinted at earlier.
Get more Flavonoids [Warning: Superpost!] in your diet!
Because while they might not all have the same benefits or advantages of being metabolized by very special gut microbes like cocoa,
They can add all kinds of awesome in many different flavors!
Here are just a few:
4) Red Cabbage
5) Black Tea
10) Red Wine
Now get out there and make Dr. Joel Fuhrman proud with your massive gains!
• Source: Mass General
• More Coverage: COSMOS Trial Results Page | The Flavonoids Superpost | Protecting Your Brain With Fruits & Veg
• Source Study: AJCN – Effect of cocoa extract supplementation on cognitive function: results from the clinic subcohort of the COSMOS trial