Eating chocolate has been tied to a reduced risk of heart disease. Now scientists have uncovered how strong this link is.
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Turns out there’s added benefits when you add nuts and berries.
Walnuts are one of the top nuts for brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Among other things, DHA has been shown to improve cognitive performance in adults, prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline and lower resting blood pressure. One study even shows that mothers who get enough DHA have smarter kids.
Just a quarter cup of walnuts provides nearly 100% of the recommended daily intake of DHA.
Strong scientific evidence also exists that eating berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes.*
“Berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. The two also report that berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition.”
Woofer’s Bark Bark, a good for your brain’s Valentine treat
- 1 lb 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated or 6 oz. bag of dark chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups roasted walnuts or almonds, unsalted
- 1/2 cup dried raspberries (other dried berries will work)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt chocolate in microwave oven or stir chocolate in a double boiler until melted.
- Add nuts & berries and stir quickly to combine. (reserve some to sprinkle on top)
- Spread chocolate-berry-nut mixture on parchment paper, keeping nuts in a single layer.
- Sprinkle top with the remaining berry-nut mixture.
- Chill until chocolate is set, about 3 hours.
- Break bark into pieces and store between layers of parchment or waxed paper.
Journal Reference: Marshall G. Miller, Barbara Shukitt-Hale. Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.