Nobody wants to be labeled as an airhead, but the brain actually needs a lot of oxygen to be in good health. According to an article in Psychology Today, the brain requires about 20 percent of the body’s oxygen, even though the organ is a relatively small portion of body weight.
In fact, making sure the brain has an ample supply of oxygen and other nutrients it needs can be critical to increasing overall brain function. Research has found that one of the ways to modify age-related changes in the brain is through exercise. According to the Psychology Today article mentioned above, exercise can engage the brain in new ways and also some studies indicate that it may also lead to a preservation of brain cells.
Those that are focused on improving their brain health – and specifically memory – are exercising, eating a healthy diet and also recognizing the power of a plant-based nutrient found in cocoa beans, called cocoa flavanols. Research shows that cocoa flavanols increase the body’s supply of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a supermolecule that allows arteries to relax and widen, promoting healthy blood flow throughout your body. When blood is flowing, it delivers needed oxygen and nutrients to every single organ, muscle, tissue and cell – including your brain – guaranteeing they stay nourished and performing at their best.
By increasing blood flow to a certain part of your brain that is sensitive to aging, you can also help improve cognitive function. In fact, four scientific studies show that you can improve three different aspects of your memory in just 12 weeks by adding a high-flavanol supplement like CocoaVia Memory+ to your daily diet. Study participants that consumed 750 mg of cocoa flavanols daily improved word recall by 31%, which is important for remembering names that may have otherwise been on the tip of the tongue. They experienced 24% faster completion of spatial memory tasks, which can be helpful when trying to recall where you put your phone. And participants also showed improvement in episodic memory, which allows you to hold on to those valuable memories from childhood. Blood flow to the part of the brain associated with memory loss as you age increased by 62%.
But using cocoa flavanols as an excuse to eat lots of chocolate would not be using your brain in the best way. Cocoa flavanols are destroyed by typical chocolate processing, so to get the 750mg of flavanols you need to improve your memory you would have to consume 1,624 calories of the leading high percentage dark chocolate every single day. While it might be what your heart desires, it’s important to remember that ordinary chocolate is a treat, not a health food.
For improving your memory and increasing your overall wellness, becoming an airhead (by increasing oxygen throughout the body) should be a no-brainer!