Neuroscience continues to uncover new ways that coffee and (to a lesser extent) tea and chocolate, tend to make brains healthier and more resilient. 2019 has already seen some amazing research breakthroughs that are definitely worth sharing.
First, a joint study from the National Institute on Aging and Johns Hopkins University, and published last January in Neurochemical Research magazine, discovered that a methylxanthines–a class of chemical found in coffee, tea and dark chocolate (cacao)
“has clear effects on neuronal network activity, promotes sustained cognitive performance and can protect neurons against dysfunction and death in animal models of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”
That same study also discovered that xanthine metabolites–a chemical released when your brain processes caffeine, “may also contribute to the beneficial effects of coffee, tea and cacao on brain health.”
Second, a meta-analysis of 11 studies on the impact of coffee on brain health and published in World Journal of Surgical Oncology showed that both coffee and tea (and thus, by extension, cacao) doesn’t just reduce the risk of alzheimer’s disease but also reduces the risk of brain cancer.
Finally, a groundbreaking study at Okayama University
“indicated that intake of coffee components, CA and CGA, enhanced the antioxidative properties of glial cells and prevents rotenone-induced neurodegeneration in both the brain and myenteric plexus.”
Translation: caffeine makes your brain more flexible and resilient.
The big takeaway: if you want to keep your brain healthy both today and in the future as you age, you should be consuming coffee, tea, or cacao.
Well, chances are you’re not consuming enough. Studies have shown that the ideal daily dosage of coffee is about six to eight 8oz cups, ideally consumed prior to 2pm so that it doesn’t disturb your sleep.
If that sounds like too much coffee, consider replacing a cup or two with an ounce of dark chocolate. It need hardly be said that, for other health reasons, you should be consuming coffee, tea and cacao without sugar or creamer. But you still get the brain-boost, regardless.