Dr Michael Mosley recommends the sweet snack that could surprisingly boost brain health

Michael Mosley explains timed restricted eating

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Dr Mosley spoke about new research detailing the health benefits of eating chocolate in his BBC Radio 4 podcast episode. The doctor explained what type of chocolate is the best, how much to have and the science behind it.

“I’ve had a bit of a slump, so I really feel like a snack. I have a seriously sweet tooth, so much so that I normally don’t have any sugary treats in the house because I know I’ll just eat them,” Dr Mosley started the podcast.

During the episode, he made an exception to his sweet treat rule and “allowed” himself chocolate.

“That should not only satisfy my cravings but may even lower my blood pressure, improve my cardiovascular health and perhaps even boost my brain,” The Just One Thing host said whilst snacking on the treat.

“Recent studies suggest that a couple of squares of the really dark stuff may be good for you.”

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How can chocolate boost brain health?

Cassidy explained that flavonoids reach the large gut, where they’re munched up into metabolites.

After this process, they travel through “presumably” the blood to the heart and brain.

She added: “Metabolites have been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, where they have the potential to have neuroprotective effects and have impacts on neuroplasticity.

“So, they are getting into brain tissue and they seem to have effects on cerebral blood flow.”

Mosley said the “golden rule” for these healthy goodies is: “The darker the chocolate the more bitter the chocolate, the higher the levels of these plant compounds.

“Sadly, there are no flavonoids in white chocolate and very little in milk chocolate. Both of which I am extremely fond of.”

The podcast speaks about plenty of evidence linked to chocolate including a recent study done in Portugal.

“They asked 30 healthy volunteers to eat 20 grams a day for a month [and] found that doing so reduced blood pressure by a small but significant amount,” said Mosley.

What percentage of cocoa content should you eat and how much?

Professor Cassidy said any dark chocolate around 40 to 50 percent should do the trick while still being tasty.

But the general rule, backed by research, is the bitter, the better.

She added: “The good thing about dark chocolate because it is a bit bitter you don’t want to sit and eat a kilogram but a few squares is often enough to kind of satisfy the need for chocolate.”

And that’s exactly how much you should have. Just two squares replacing your usual everyday treats should be enough, the podcast recommends.

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