Can Chocolate Make You Smarter?
What does Willy Wonka know about chocolate that the rest of us don’t? And what better time to explore the concept than at Valentine’s Day? Can chocolate really make us smarter?
According to a study by Dr. Franz H. Messerli, a cardiologist, and director of Clinical Hypertension at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital, who published his findings in New England Journal of Medicine, the answer is yes.
Messerli conducted a study regarding chocolate consumption per capita of 10 million people in 23 countries. His measuring stick? Whether there was a significant correlation between a country’s chocolate consumption per capita and the number of Nobel Laureates. According to the study, it just might have been their hypersensitivity to the cognitive-enhancing aspects of chocolate that earned Sweden the distinction of 32 Laureates – which was more than double the predicted 14.
Regardless, if you are prone to indulge in chocolate this time of year, here are some interesting facts:
- Chocolate is loved worldwide.
- Americans eat 3 billion pounds of it annually.
- Dark chocolate is touted to improve memory by 25%
- Cocoa is high in antioxidants known as flavonoids
- Chocolate increases endorphins which bind to opiate receptors in our brains which decrease stress and lessen pain
- Chocolate is a top dietary source of tryptophan, the amino acid precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter which affects happiness and acts as a natural anti-depressant
- Since eating chocolate may be good for your brain, while the sugar and fat associated with it is not, the rule of thumb says the greater the percentage of cacao (dark chocolate) the better.
We’ll let you make the final decision, but for all those chocoholics who consider chocolate its own food group – this blog’s for you.
To all our clients, associates and potential candidates, Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at AllianceStaff.
PS: These scrumptious “Nut Clusters” are simple and quick – super for a Valentine treat.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil OR shortening
1 1/2 cups roasted, lightly salted peanuts
Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
Melt chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and vegetable oil together in a microwave-safe container on high for 30 seconds; stir, repeat, until chips are melted and smooth. Quickly stir in the peanuts until well-coated with the chocolate mixture.
Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the waxed paper, any size you prefer. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. Enjoy! Store leftovers—yeah, right!—in an airtight container.