Cocoa benefits

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By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope

Let me introduce you to my second favourite F word… FLAVANOLS (I’ll let you guess my first)

Flava what now? Flavanols are essentially a group of beneficial plant chemicals that are linked with a whole host of health benefits – including heart health and brain health.


There’s a body of pretty convincing evidence showing that along with flavanols’ impressive antioxidant powers, they’re involved in…


  • improving blood flow to the brain and increase brain function as we age
  • keeping our blood pressure in check
  •  reducing the impact of sleep deprivation on our memory


Where can you find them? Cocoa is one of the richest sources which is said to be largely why dark chocolate has been linked with an array of health outcomes. Cocoa intake may even encourage the growth of certain health-promoting gut microbes! That (and the amazing taste) is another reason why I’ve added cocoa to @bioandmeuk Cocoa & Coconut Gut-Loving Granola.

Flavanols have also found in red grapes, red wine, tea, other fruits, berries and beans.


Full disclosure… I wouldn’t go as far as ‘prescribing’ chocolate for the flavanol benefits – but I can confidently recommend enjoying cocoa for the mood-boosting effects (anecdotally) and flavour too!

Especially in a chocolatey breakfast now the Christmas countdown is on…


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