A new study, the first of its kind, has found that dark chocolate and green tea could be the ideal combination to tackle that mid-afternoon slump
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Step away from the coffee.
In a scientific study sponsored by Hershey Company, researchers at Northern Arizona University tested the mental responses of participants who ate chocolate of various levels of cacao content.
However, the research found that those who consumed dark chocolate with the amino acid L-theanine, which is a relaxant found in green tea, experienced an immediate drop in blood pressure.
“It’s remarkable,” said Larry Stevens, a professor of psychological sciences at NAU who conducted the study. ”The potential here is for a heart healthy chocolate confection that contains a high level of cacao with L-theanine that is good for your heart, lowers blood pressure and helps you pay attention.”
The study, which was published in the journal NeuroRegulation, claims to be the first of its kind to examine chocolate’s effects on “attentional characteristics of the brain” and to be conducted using EEG technology, which measures the brain’s responses to certain stimulants by taking images.
Professor Stevens said that the dark chocolate and green tea combination is not currently available on the market, but he added that it is “of interest” to Hershey and the researchers.
Dark chocolate of various intensities, from 60pc to 100pc cacao content, can be purchased at almost any retailer. Milk chocolate bars have less cacao and more sugar: Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, for example, has around 26pc cocoa solids, but the nutritional information shows 57.3g of sugar per 100g.
The study tested the effects of dark chocolate and five control conditions on 122 participants between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.
The results follow a recent study, which found that dark chocolate and green tea, along with red wine and a variety of other ingredients, could help boost weight loss.