Drinking two cups of Hot Chocolate a day, Harvard researchers found, increases thinking and memory because of better blood flow in the brain. This very recent and highly publicized study reveals that a growing body of evidence suggests that your brain blood flow impacts thinking and memory. While memory loss and even dementia are major concerns of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients, this new study gives them a possible sweet solution, but you should BE CAREFUL!
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"As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow (neurovascular coupling)," explained lead author Farzaneh Sorond. This relationship may play an important role in diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer's. Yet in the case of CKD, patients should be aware that chocolate contains high amounts of phosphorus which can result in excessive itching and bone disease. Your Dietitian likely will tell you to avoid it.
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However, some hot chocolate mix contains much less Phosphorus such as Nestle Mix, because during the process of making the powder much of the phosphorus is removed. Previous research suggests chocolate can carry vascular health benefits. Studies have linked the consumption of chocolate to reduced blood pressure, lower risk for stroke, better cholesterol levels and even benefits in people who already have mild cognitive impairment. A Danish study suggested that dark chocolate lessens cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
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Still, KidneyBuzz.com does not recommend that you run off and start drinking several cups of hot chocolate based upon the findings of this new study. There are other ways to reduce your risk for cognitive decline any potential for dementia as well as engaging in physical activity, getting enough sleep, reading, doing social activities and eating healthy. Your decision to incorporate hot chocolate into your diet and how often should be made with balance in mind and after careful consultation with your Dietician to take into account your unique needs.
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"Two Cups of Hot Chocolate a Day Could Help Fight Dementia: Study." NY Daily News.
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"Nutrition Facts." And Analysis for Cocoa Mix, NESTLE, Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix