While there are plenty of foods that contain magnesium, like peas, bananas, and leafy greens, chocolate is another way to get this important nutrient.
“Chocolate is […] a good source of magnesium, which may help reduce stress by suppressing the release of the stress hormone cortisol,” Melissa Nieves, LND, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian, tells Bustle. But as with anything, it should be a part of other stress-beating tricks.
While chocolate isn’t a cure-all, it can impact the brain in lots of interesting ways, including temporarily boosting your mood, and relieving stress. Now go treat yourself to some.
Experts & Studies:
Santiago-Rodríguez, E., Estrada-Zaldívar, B., & Zaldívar-Uribe, E. (2018). Effects of Dark Chocolate Intake on Brain Electrical Oscillations in Healthy People. Foods, 7(11), 187. doi: 10.3390/foods7110187
Haskell-Ramsay, C., Schmitt, J., & Actis-Goretta, L. (2018). The Impact of Epicatechin on Human Cognition: The Role of Cerebral Blood Flow. Nutrients, 10(8), 986. doi: 10.3390/nu10080986
Nehlig, A. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 716–727. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2009). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(10), 1505–1514. doi: 10.1177/0269881109106923
Moreno-Ulloa, A., Nogueira, L., Rodriguez, A., Barboza, J., Hogan, M. C., Ceballos, G., … Ramirez-Sanchez, I. (2014). Recovery of Indicators of Mitochondrial Biogenesis, Oxidative Stress, and Aging With (−)-Epicatechin in Senile Mice. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 70(11), 1370–1378. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu131
Dr. Krystal L. Culler, DBH, MA, director and founder of Your Brain Health Matters, LLC and Atlantic Senior Fellow with the Global Brain Health Institute
Dr. Anna Cabeca, triple board-certified physician
Melissa Nieves, LND, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian