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Chocolate

Posted 3/21/2016

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  This seems a perfect topic to start this (for me) vacation week. We flew to Cancun on Saturday, stood in seemingly endless, hot lines to get through Immigration, finally found the right van, and even more finally arrived at our rented house in Akumal. We have been to this same house several times before, so it was easy to settle in, and the children wasted no time in putting on bathing suits and jumping into the pool. The concern there is the 21 month old who is especially delighted by the water and seemingly intent upon hurling herself into it--whether or not there is an adult right there. As you would guess, there is always an adult.

  Chocolate is not my vice of choice, but I know many others who feel differently. Here I am gorging myself on guacamole and will here share my son-in-law's recipe that made the very best (the excellent avocados may have had something to do with it): 4 avocados to 1 lime, squeeze in half the lime juice and decide if want the other half, 1/4 onion sliced VERY thin and chopped and one jalapeno done the same.

  Back to the chocolate. It is always awesome to find articles that tell us why we should indulge and here is a good one from the UK's NHS Health Choices: 

Can chocolate make you smarter?

Chocolate boosts brain function, claims study
"Chocolate makes you smarter, proves 40-year study," claims the Daily Express. The news is based on research which found that people who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better in brain tests.
Researchers in the US looked at whether eating chocolate regularly – regardless of the type of chocolate or the amount – was linked to brain function, in about 1,000 participants.

They found that people who said they ate chocolate at least once a week performed better in a range of mental tests involving memory and abstract thinking (among other functions), compared to those who rarely or never ate chocolate.
Lead researcher Georgina Crichton was quoted in the media as saying that the benefits of this would make someone better at daily tasks, "such as remembering a phone number, or your shopping list, or being able to do two things at once, like talking and driving at the same time".
The researchers said their results suggest that the "regular intake of cocoa flavanols may have a beneficial effect on cognitive function".
There have been plenty of studies in recent years looking at the possible health benefits of chocolate, including preventing heart disease and stroke, and improving brain function.
Due to the nature of the study, researchers admit they are unable to say whether the chocolate was responsible for the improved performance in the tests. Plenty of other factors could have been involved.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/03March/Pages/can-chocolate-make-you-smarter.aspx

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